Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Make A Run For The Bathroom

Dear Taco Bell,

I realize we’ve had issues in the past.

I also realize I must be suffering from either self esteem issues or perhaps chronic masochism.

This can be the only explanation for why I continue to seek you out. I am a sailor lost at sea, swimming for a distant lighthouse and when I finally haul my body up onto the beach and gaze upon your solitary beauty I suddenly have the horrifying realization that I have less than .0289 seconds to get to the nearest restroom.

I know this about you. You bring out the worst in me.

Yet, while driving around Green Bay and hesitant to go further and get lost, I suggested we just eat there.

Had I been alone, I would have been more adventurous. I would have tried the Mongolian BBQ across the street. If I’ve learned one thing from travelling it’s this: If you’re going to risk the attack of bowel loosening demons, you might as well do it eating something that you can’t get ten minutes from your home.

It’s even better if you can try something that gives you a really good story, as well as gastric upset.

Like the time I was working in Sumatra and I was offered BBQ’d mystery meat on a stick.

I was young. That’s all I’m going to say. Ignorance can be educated but stupidity is steadfastly recalcitrant. I have never, since that time, eaten mystery meat on a stick, especially on the outskirts of the jungle. All I can say is that monkey does not taste like chicken. Monkey tastes like monkey.

Perhaps this is why I’m not a big fan of the food at the MN State Fair? I can guarantee you, somewhere under all that damn deep fried batter is Curious George, not feeling so curious after all.

But the effects of monkey on a stick might be expected to be, how shall I phrase it? Unfortunate? But a burrito from your establishment? Eaten while on the road? In a car? In a hot car? In a hot, small car? Should that really make me, fifteen minutes upon completion, wish that my life were over and that Satan could come and take my soul to the fires of hell so long as the gastric agony would just STOP?

Perhaps it’s just me. I can remember a little tea shop in Osaka, Japan that I was walking by when a woman I took to be the owner, motioned me in. Speaking no Japanese, I didn’t want to offend her as she started to make me a cup of tea with ritualized beauty. I took the proffered cup, bowed graciously, and proceeded to drink the slightly musty tasting concoction.

Within ten or fifteen minutes, I learned the sheer horror of being a tourist in a foreign country where there was not a hope in the world of finding a sign in English that read “American tea drinkers and shit takers, please use this bathroom” with a corresponding red arrow approximately three stories tall, pointing to a little bamboo outhouse.

See? I’m not a novice here.

So, perhaps it’s just me, or perhaps, just perhaps, you might occasionally WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS.

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