Tuesday, January 19, 2010

To Go


“Glen W. Bell Jr., an entrepreneur best known as the founder of the Taco Bell chain, has died. He was 86. Bell died Sunday at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, according to a statement posted Monday on the Taco Bell Web site.

The Irvine-based company did not release a cause of death.” --AP


What, is that last supposed to keep us guessing? I’ll take binge drinking for a thousand, Alex.

Well, well, well, 86 years old. Not bad. And I think we can be fairly certain where he chose not to eat.

I never knew his name, but surely Glen was a patron saint of all stoners. The alchemist of the slimy green and red sauce crowning the SPLAT of fat slapped inside the hard shell taco. Some days, te just quiero’d it, you know? and nothing else would do. I grew up on North American fast food, and would have eaten fried hamster tongues so long as they swam in thousand island dressing. My first, relatively greaseless taco south of the border was a revelation. “Can I get some mayo?” Educating this palate was every teacher’s nightmare.

But, eventually, when I became a woman, I put away childish things like Der Weinerschnitzel and Pup and Taco. Still, sometimes, yo quiero the taste of my youth and head for The Bell on south Lake Street. A burrito stuffed with ground brown stuff, and green and yellow vegetable and cheese substitutes. “Transfat, my good man!” I shout to the pimply party at the window, “And don’t be stingy, baby.”

So here’s to you, Glen. I understand you were a pretty nice guy and gave lots of money to charity. Glad I was able to do my part and have the thighs to prove it.

No matter how rich you may be, there are only so many sips in the straw. And you were right. Metaphorically speaking, we all want fries with that.

52 comments:

  1. It's been a tough year for our fast food icons. We also lost the inventor of the Quarter Pounder.

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  2. Thanks to PBS I happen to know a little bit about this guy. He started out small, of course, and grew. What really got my attention was that long after it became a chain each franchise still made their own refried beans from scratch - until they found out that hammies had developed a jonth for them and were visiting, you know, "after hours"...it's a familiar tale, corporate peeps stepped in, heads rolled, blah, blah, blah...OMG, hammie jokes just kill me, KB!

    wv resquind
    She resquinded her order.

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  3. All the TMZ guys hang out at Taco Bell. It's a favorite "grab and gorge" of the jet set (before retreating to their private vomitoriums.)

    Is Rancho Santa Fe where all good corporate heads go to die?

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  4. Another excellent post, although I've never actually eaten at a Taco Bell.

    xo
    Carolynn

    (P.S. I'm stealing that last paragraph for my collection of quotes. Uh huh...that's a keeper!)

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  5. I saw that story about the founder in the WSJ while in the cafe this morning, and my 2nd thought was to quickly think about you.

    RiP
    Carl's Jr founder died.
    McDonald's founder died.

    At least they lived good longer than average lives. It must say something about their fast-food diets since I hear vegetarians live only the average lifespan.

    Is the founder of the Orean Express still alive??

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  6. I'm lovin' it. With sour cream-like substance on top.

    GG

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  7. and, in this case, not so metaphorically speaking....

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  8. In the Midwest if you are drunk or got the munchies you head to White Castle. Nothing beats those square burgers and cheese fries.

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  9. What is this, Karin?....I was for a minute thinking you had changed in fast food now!

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  10. Man, this just flows like a Beat poem-I'm snapping my fingers.
    Oh, God, look at the word verification!
    ouzzles

    "...and could I have ouzzles of hot sauce, please?"

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  11. I'm a little worried about your other hip.

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  12. Ah, my college cuisine. Despite my now rather strident Bittman-esque approach to non-artificiality in my diet, Taco Bell cheese sauce is still one of my all time favorite guilty pleasures. WIsh I had some nachos right now.

    Didn't the taco bell chihuaha die a few months ago?

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  13. Did you guys ever see that Saturday Night Live where they did a spoof fast food commercial about a new item -- it was something like a taco wrapped in a waffle, deep fried, wrapped in a pizza and topped with cheese?

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  14. We used to go there after swim practice when I was little for Mexican pizzas and those cinnamon curls. That was back when the colors were brown, green and red (remember those days?). I managed to stay away for a few years until they introduced their chalupas full-force. Can't resist those damn chalupas.

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  15. Visiting... With Huell Howser
    #818 - BELL GARDENS

    Get a personal tour of Bell Gardens by Mr. Bell founder of Taco Bell restaurant. He also helped a former employee [named Dell] start Del Taco. Today Bell Gardens is both a working farm and a demonstration farm -- open for tours about 300 school kids come each day to pick strawberries, and ride the 1/4 scale train:

    http://www.education-ecommerce.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=VHH818

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  16. Oh gosh, Laurie. Do you think that's a mystery wrapped by an enigma inside a riddle, covered with cheese?

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  17. You have a nice blog. Like it.

    http://dreamchymecindy.blogspot.com
    http://chyme-inspiration.blogspot.com

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  18. From start to finish, this is a keeper.

    Why aren't you on KP-something-something, the Pasadena radio station that's so much better than KCRW?

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  19. When I was in Cuernavaca Mexico learning Spanish, I tried to express to my host-family my dismay that there was a Taco Bell in town.

    "We like it," they said. "It gives us a taste of American food."

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  20. Supersize my Gordito Supreme s'il vous plait. If he lived to 86 on that stuff I'm headin for the border myself.
    V

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  21. I won't say I had you pegged for a tofu kid, but your enthusiasm for hamster tongue and such is a little surprising. I'm on your side, just a little off balance. Nice post!

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  22. But gross picture, girl. If you're gonna eat this stuff, you can't look at it. Lord, I have to explain everything.

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  23. I'll have the Crunchy Enigma Supreme, please.

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  24. Enigma Supreme is what they call it in Paris, according to Pulp Fiction!

    How come Mr. Bell is getting all the credit and no one is talking about Mr. Taco?

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  25. Karin, if you got your thighs by eating at Taco Bell then I'm on my way there right now.

    Susan, some folks will never lose the inventor of the Quarter Pounder, if you know what I mean.

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  26. I've never frequented one, but nice to know they'll live on without him. For yo quiero days, KB.

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  27. The latest billboards in Paris featured a crispy chicken wrap with "Sauce Ranch"! For the love. Get the hell outta Paris Mickey D!

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  28. Dammit K, they haven't asked me, not once.

    I'm really surprised at the inroads fast food has made in Paris. Just wait til they taste sauce red and sauce green.

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  29. Virg, just proves that even if the French don't like us as much compared with past generations, they still gotta have our American food.

    Times past but French tastes stay the same!

    Btw, my French friends who escaped to come to California, tell me graffiti is fairly popular in France as wel!

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  30. A Quarter Pounder isn’t that about Half a Dollar....alternatively 50 cents.

    I thought we were talking CHARITY here! :-D

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  31. Sorry, even worse: only 41 cents.
    :-D

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  32. And how many of you were there from The Beginning(tm). . .and remember the Bell Burger? Yes, they once plopped that same, savory, mystery-pile on a steamed, soft, white hamburger bun, threw on the shredded lettuce and cheese. . .and called it the Bell Burger. Ahhh, good times, good times.

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  33. Their usual ad man must have been asleep at the wheel. They should have called it the Sloppy Jose.

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  34. We take our foreign company to Taco Hell and Del Taco. These visitors love mexican food...

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  35. This post cracks Miss J up! She thinks that since he did live to 86, his tacos were likely not a dietary staple for him.

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  36. No lie, AH... I was about to write "Sloppy Jose?" when I saw you beat me to it.

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  37. He lived to 86 with all that fast food around and in him. I think I'll found a restaurant and serve deep fried fat with special sauce and cheese. I'll bet I live til I'm 96.

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  38. CO,
    Oh don't you dare get me started about graffiti. You know that pushes a major button avec moi! I have a doozy I photographed in Paris. Just wait. Deep breath...... I am not going to rant, I am not going to rant.

    But may I say I think the only people in Mc D's in Paris are the tourists! Anyone with any sense stays away. I know the French can't cook ( DON"T cook) a hamburger worth a damn, but I can wait till I get home for a good one. Meanwhile, I never had a bad meal in Paris, anywhere! And I never set foot in a fancy restaurant !

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  39. You KNOW you can't say "Sloppy Jose." You just can't. At least Mister Bell couldn't. He saw what they did to the Frito Bandito.

    WV: trophet - A very wise, articulate, perhaps psychic, lady of the evening.

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  40. Mr Earl, I had forgotten all about señor:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frito_Bandito

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  41. Oh please, I'm a direct descendent of Hagar the Horrible. The Frito Bandito has nothing on that. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4gar_the_Horrible

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  42. Mr. E,
    PUHLEEZE, I want to be a trophet!! Oh wait, I'm not articulate...or wise.....oh forget it. Maybe I should settle for trollop???
    V

    PS I"m not all that psychic either.

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  43. I'll see that Hagar and raise you a Pepé Le Pew:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pep%C3%A9_Le_Pew

    wv ingloc

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  44. I will never say no to a bean and cheese burrito.


    Vanda - sliders all around! They are the perfect hangover food too.

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  45. Famous Tommy will never die...take your greasy taco & raise you a burger with chilli.

    So to steal all from -K-, this one is a keeper, keeper, keeper!
    So what is wrong with those people at KPCC?? What do you mean they haven't asked you to be on air? (& yes, much more preferable than KCrw.)

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  46. Ohhhh, my leetle cabbahge leaf, I love Pepe http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JEdBndu0YUM

    (I see Tash said nothing about her namesake and Boris.)

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  47. No, Dahlink, but ders steel time.

    wv lunalte

    The Lunalte Hiker

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  48. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHUiCYAE2DY

    wv punquar

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  49. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  50. Dear Karen, how nice to find your blog. It's a hoot. Pup and Taco, you jar me. Hope all's well w/u.

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  51. Darrell, how nice to hear from you.

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