Thursday, November 30, 2006

Update: Taco Bell Hacker

I've received a deluge of email (three messages) commenting on the moral ambiguity of the TB Hacker, who illegally voted 1000+ times to get a Taco Bell at MIT. I feel obligated to defend a fellow revolutionary.

Now, I'm no philosopher. My friend is, though, and he's writing his Ph.D. thesis on cognition and the difference between logic and reason (why America pays this guy ~$8 million per year and not people like my friend is a mystery, and a tragedy, to me). I've hung out with my friend enough to pick up a few things, namely a super-sophisticated understanding of utilitarianism.

The best definition of utilitarianism was given by Spock in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, "The good of the many outweighs the good of the few, or the one." In other words, the most important objective of a good moral system should be improvement to (or saving of) human life, even at the expense of a smaller number of people. It justifies disposing of not only small groups of expendable people but also other (archaic) principles like good and evil. Bottom line: Jack Bauer can torture a dude to save Los Angeles.

This defense applies to TB Hacker in spades. He may have violated the law, undermined our democratic principles, etc., but he did so to improve the lives of all MIT students by delivering a Taco Bell to them.

Need proof? Here are some case studies:

Abraham Lincoln. Honest Abe suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the War of Northern Aggression to save the Union and free millions of slaves.

Laura Roslin on Battlestar Galactica. She failed to follow utilitarian principles by refusing to steal the presidential election from Gaius Baltar. He went on to become Cylon collaborator, and her decision resulted in the deaths of 10,000 people and threatened the survival of all humanity. She didn't have the bravery of the TB Hacker.

Spock. He went into the dilithium chamber to save the Enterprise, knowing it would kill him. The ship--including Captain Kirk, McCoy, Scotty, Uhura, Sulu, Chekov, and 400 others--was saved. AND THEN, because he'd mind-melded his consciousness into McCoy and was reanimated on the Genesis Planet, he came back to life. So everything worked out perfectly. (You can buy all 10 Star Trek movies on DVD here for only $80!)

What do these case studies teach us? Stop attacking TB Hacker. He remains a Champion in my eyes, and is still owed his $50 of Border Bucks from me.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Golden Pizza for Anti-Champions

NEWS FROM THE FRONT: Our Revolution is gaining steam as people world-wide choose sides, honest folks like "Goldsprinkles Are Love" choosing the side of good, while wayward souls like Anonymous take the side of evil. Just like those Left Behind books, except without the crazy God stuff. Take this comment, responding to one of TBChamp's Best Posts:

If you think TB has the best tacos, you must be on crack or you are just an idiot. You probably think Mc donalds has the best burguers.

Best "burguers"??? Looks like you're the idiot, Anonymous! HA HA HA HA HA HA!

I don't mind if Anonymous has traded in his taste buds for an American Express Black account. His loss. If he hates the Tex-Mex fruit of the Gods, here's something more up his alley: a $3,700 pizza. "Goldsprinkles Are Love" clued me into a story from the Sydney Morning Herald (via the ultimate pizza blog, Slice), about a Scottish chef who made this 10-inch pizza with lamb "medallions," champagne-soaked caviar and lobster marinated in cognac. And to top it off, he added shreds of edible gold. Sounds pretentious AND disgusting.

If Anonymous the AJ wannabe prefers ingesting rare minerals to making a down payment on a car, he can. He pulled the tricks, so he can spend the money how he likes. That's the U.S.ofA.

Anonymous doesn't realize that he isn't just attacking me, he's attacking America. This is more than tacos and burgers (though, obviously, BK has better burgers and McDonalds better fries).
Apparently Anonymous is against my Constitutional Right to the pursuit of happiness. Even if you don't like TB, every red-blooded American should support the right of millions of people in Midtown to MAKE THEIR OWN CHOICE. That includes Taco Bell, even if it's not your favorite.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving Shoes

Had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with a meal rivaling both the best of Taco Bell and my early Thanksgiving turducken. Hope you all had a chance be thankful for the good things in your life, such as the three taco value meal. I think it's also worthwhile to spend a few moments on Thanksgiving remembering the things that you're not thankful for, such as TB's moronic lack of a restaurant in Midtown and grandparents dying. But that's for another post.

No, this post is about how that motherfucker AJ and his ilk tried to ruin my Thanksgiving.

I went to a nice Thanksgiving, a fancy Thanksgiving, the kind of Thanksgiving where (to my consternation) people wear diamonds and ignorantly beat-up on "white trash." I'm ashamed to say that most of these folks disdain Taco Bell. Even so, they're my family, and I had a good time. (I'm embarrassed that my grandpa mistrusts "Krauts," but I still love him.) Anyhoo, I had to dress up for this dinner, and I didn't know what shoes to wear.

Here's where the fucking shit broke loose. I Googled about appropriate shoe attire and found a website that had this to say:

For a classic look, wear your khakis with a pair of martin or tassel loafers to achieve traditional American business style. Another sure bet are Kiltie oxfords -- with or without perforated medallion toe detailing.

That's when I wanted to travel back in time, murder all the pilgrims, and bite off George Washington's dick with his own wooden chompers. Why? Because their dream dies every day that Americans are required to wear "Kiltie oxfords" to fit in. Giving us a choice of "perforated medallion toe detailing" does not a free country make. Since when has Thanksgiving become a stiff-backed affair all about costuming ourselves as pretentious shits? I'd rather eat turkey, watch football, and drunkenly bring up long-standing family taboos. That seems obvious to me, but these days I guess I'm Thinking Outside the Bun.

Guess what? I wore black shoes, and everything worked out just fine.

So in case any of you are faced with fashion problems like this in the future, here are some simple fashion rules that don't offend the forefathers:

1. If you are going to a fancy place/event, wear whatever you own that is most expensive. Doesn't matter what it is.

2. Adjust according to temperature/season. Don't wear a sweater in August (unless you're in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case, wearing a sweater in August would be appropriate).

3. Ask a girl if you look stupid.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Fountain is a HORRIBLE MOVIE

This post has nothing to do with Taco Bell, but I simply cannot restrain the explosion of anger and hatred I have for the new Aronofsky film, THE FOUNTAIN, so I'm unleashing it all on you champions.

The Fountain is a film written and directed by Darren Aronofsky starring Hugh Jackman. It's a metaphysical epic attempting to deal with death and rebirth. It has three storylines: a 1500s-era Spanish conquistador searching for the Fountain of Youth, a contemporary doctor searching for the cure to his wife's terminal cancer, and a future space traveller (from the year 2500, according to ads) searching space for a dying star. In short: it's the worst movie I've ever seen.

By way of background, I've been excited about this film for years. Aronofsky directed the movies Pi and Requiem for a Dream, both of which I enjoyed and were well reviewed. Rather than taking Hollywood's many offers to direct blockbusters, he wrote The Fountain, which, according to internet script reviews, was genius. Brad Pitt was cast and grew this beard for the role. It was going to me a $100 million film, so apparently somebody besides me was excited about it. Then Brad quit (smart move). For the past few years, Aronofsky tried to resurrect the film and finally convinced Hugh Jackman to be the lead. Which bring us to today.

The three story lines, the weaving together of which I expected to be really neat, turned out to be a stupid convention with no payoff. The writing and performing in all three was trite and melodramatic. The philosophy--if it can be called that--is nonsense. And the last ten minutes, meant to be a revelation, are sheer idiocy on a scale that inspires murderous rage. The first hour-and-a-half is a 9 on a bad movie scale of 10. The awfulness of the last ten minutes break the scale and simply can't be expressed in words. Snapshot: Jackman murders a flaming-sword-wielding Aztec priest, then a tree squirts semen on his hand, he pretends to be Sean Connery from the Last Crusade, and then he transforms into a bunch of plastic plants. Oh yeah, and Buddha shows up. FUCK YOU FOR STEALING $10 FROM ME!

I respect when artists try to do something new and tackle big issues. Aronofsky has certainly done so with The Fountain. These attempts are praiseworthy, but not necessarily the results. Simply being different and ambitious do not make a piece of art good. In fact, I'd say most of these attempts fail at being great art. But those few successes are among the greatest of all art and make worthwhile the failures. In other words, it's a gamble worth taking--high risk, high reward. Kudos for trying, Darren, but you rolled a craps with this one. The Fountain is a spectacular, monumental, failure.

Never, never, never see this movie.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Trans-fat Triumph

I remember watching Olympic women's gymnastics a while back--spying for camel-toes, as always--and I saw this Russian girl (or Latvian, or Slovenian, or whatever) win the Gold Medal. And then she started crying, and I had less respect for her. Well, I've changed my mind because NOW I KNOW HOW SHE FEELS.

Just last week I wrote a post about Yum! Brand's discriminatory policy of removing deadly trans-fat from KFC food but not Taco Bell tacos. Well apparently David Novak was listening. The Associated Press is now reporting that Taco Bell has announced that it, too, will begin removing trans-fat from food.

Congratulations, champions! This is the first proof-positive piece of evidence that this little blog of ours is making a difference. We ask. They answer.

I don't buy for a second Warren Widicus' outrageous claim that "This is something we've been working on for over two years." That's just a cheap way of taking the credit we deserve, Warren, and you and your alliterative name know it. Who is Warren Widicus, anyway? Here are your choices:
(a) Harry Potter villain
(b) Taco Bell Chief Food Innovation Officer
(c) Shit-for-brains

If you answered (b) and (c), you'd be right. (He's a shit-for-brains for "innovating" various nacho cheese replacements of shredded cheese and stealing the Taco Bell Champion's trans-fat thunder.)

There is one troubling piece of news in this otherwise excellent development. According to the report, TBs that share their space with other Yum brands (KFC, Pizza Hut, etc.) will use a different trans-fat replacement, soybean oil, than regular Taco Bells, which will use canola oil. You know my feelings on hybrid-Taco Bell abominations, namely that they sully the TB experience. But now the offence is much worse: not only will the experience be different, but the TACOS THEMSELVES will be different. I'd rather have heart disease than be treated like a second-class citizen.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Another Excerpt from "Crunched, " The Fictionalized Autobiography of David Novak

The runes were maddeningly complex. Then again, they always are.

But this time it was different. Academic pride, perhaps an artifact or two, weren't on the line. Emmanuelle's life was.

I studied the Norse scripture, comparing it to the weathered carvings before me. In spite of the tension, I couldn't help repeating the same question over-and-over again in my head: What were ancient Scandanavian symbols doing on the wall of an Aztec temple? According to history, Europeans hadn't discovered the Americas until Columbus in 1492. Even if rumors of Leif Ericson visiting in 1010 were true, that was at least hundreds of years after these carvings were made. History, it seems, was wrong.

I noticed a quickening of Emmanuelle's breath and looked to see the bite marks on her boob turning a deeper purple. If the world's only tri-toothed river viper--long thought extinct--was in these ruins, then the antidote would be here too. Hidden within the runes.

Inspiration sometimes surprises even me, and so it was when I made the critical connection. Aztecs were the greatest mathematicians of the ancient world, calculating the precise orbit of the sun as accurately as space-age satellites. The Norse were the greatest sailors. And what do sailors need to sail? Math. How could I have been so stupid! The key to this age-old mystery, staring me right in the face. I squirted a Fire sauce into my mouth as a reward, letting the spicy taste overwhelm my parched mouth.

"Good luck," Emmanuelle gasped, waking just long enough to offer some hope while desperately wanting some herself.

David Novak makes his own luck, I thought. What I need now is time.

to be continued...

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Special Weekend Post: Freakonomics Inferno

Over the past two weeks my post Freakonomics in the Kitchen has become one of the most popular posts ever, largely due to a link on the Official Freakonomics Website. In addition to MATHEMATICALLY PROVING that Taco Bell is cheaper than cooking at home, this post has generated numerous comments, as many emails, and several subsequent posts by me (like this one). To give you a glimpse of the passion this debate's fueled, here's the most recent anonymous comment:

Short sighted much?
The vast majority of opportunity cost is irrelevant, people are limited at 40 hours a week in virtually all jobs. That 30 minutes or whatever you calculate at 8/hr couldn't be spent working since most people aren't allowed to work overtime. Just one small aside to the total idiocy of that post.


When you champions out there read such strong words, I think it's important for you to get the FULL STORY. So here's a complete index of the debate.

Freakonomics in the Kitchen - the spark that lit the fire that started the inferno (including a litany of reader comments)
Comment on the Official Freakonomics Website - legitimacy achieved
Math Under Attack! - a post responding to particularly inacurate assaults on the Champion
Wanted: Healthy Food - an old post refuting the idea that TB is unhealthy, referenced during the debate
Beholden to No One - a post responding to a comment on the Healthy Food post, clearly written by a Freakonomics partisan
Freakonomics Inferno - this post

Friday, November 17, 2006

Beholden to No One

One of my old posts just got a disturbing response from Anonymous, who apparently took a break from masturbating with a lubricated thimble to shit on the Revolution. I've got a thick skin (mostly because of burns suffered during childhood) and normally I wouldn't pay any mind. In this case, though, I want to dispel a few myths spouted by Mr. Anonymous.

Here's his post in full, followed by my rebuttal.

I really hope yall are employed by TB as the new form of promotional advertising corporations are paying people to do on small internet scales. Taco Bell is about the bottom of the barrel of fast foods, fast foods are the bottom of the barrel of the food service industry.


I really hope yall...

First off, y'all is spelled with an apostrophe, hick. Second, "who all" are you addressing? There are thousands in our movement, but there's only one Taco Bell Champion. So if you've got nasty comments, Clitus, why not direct them to me and me alone.

...are employed by TB as the new form of promotional advertising corporations are paying people to do on small internet scales...

Where the hell did you learn to write? I wish that I had some hilarious, biting comment to describe how/why this is so badly written, but words fail me. (I'm not the best writer ever, either.) Regardless, you've embarrassed yourself before all the world by penning such a syntactically poor sentence. Quick question about "promotional advertising": is there any other kind?

More substantively, I want to make *absolutely clear* that I don't work for Taco Bell. I'm an agent of change outside the system, like those Catholic groups that lobby the Pope to stop priests from molesting kids. My objectivity should be eminently clear to anyone who reads the site. I've posted some harsh criticism, accusing Taco Bell of idiocy, discrimination, and most recently, mass rape. I'm beholden to no one, David Novak least of all.

Would I work for Taco Bell to do "promotional advertising on small internet scales"? For free tacos, I sure as hell would. I've already tried to work for TB once. But as they did then, I expect TB would refuse association with this blog in order to keep me pure of heart.

...Taco Bell is about the bottom of the barrel of fast foods...

This is where Anonymous reveals himself to be either a crackhead or a victim of oral cancer. foods are the bottom of the barrel of the food service industry.

Sure, Anonymous, just go ahead and take a dump on the jobs of millions of working-class Americans and an industry that generates over $170 billion dollars in revenue. Just go back to your landed estate and enjoy your foie gras and have the rest of us eat cake . Or perhaps I misunderstood your metaphor. Did you use "bottom of the barrel" to mean that Taco Bell is the base, the foundation, the very bedrock of the food service industry, without which everything else would collapse and pour out? Because that's the God's honest truth.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Border Bullets: Indian Invasion

Some quick TB updates (some submitted by you champions out there)...
  • Taco Bell is opening in India! For the first time almost a billion Indians will have a chance to eat the best food America has to offer. This is good for Taco Bell and it's good for Indians, but I can't help but suspect David Novak's motives. Does he want to become one of India's thousands of gods?
  • A car smashed into an Indiana (not India) Taco Bell this week. Remarkably, no one was injured. This surprises me because, as I've said before, TB does one and only one thing well: make kick-ass tacos. Their restaurants are often dirty shit-holes and their employees rude. I wouldn't be surprised if the structural integrity was also questionable, simply because of TB's single-minded commitment to taco excellence.
  • A Boston man is accusing Taco Bell of putting heroin in his soft taco. I'm no Philip Marlowe , but I'd suspect this chick.
  • *Not Taco Bell Related* -- Have you ever seen the NBC soap opera Passions? That show is fucking crazy. I watched five minutes earlier this week, and it seemed that a guy saves sick/dying women by having sex with them while they sleep. According to Wikipedia, they also have a "orangutan caretaker" named Precious. And mermaid characters.
  • And finally, a pick-me-up to remind us all why this fight of ours really matters. WE LOVE YOU TOO.
From flickr via the Consumerist

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Taco Bell Hacker: Champion of All Time

Thanks to commenter "your mom," this is one of my favorite posts of all time. Why? Because we've discovered someone with as much Taco Bell fervor as the Taco Bell Champion. He is--as of yet--unidentified, but I am offering a reward of $50 Bell Bucks to find him. (According to TB's math, that's a month's supply of tacos!) So, sir, email me at to claim your prize. On to the heroics...

From "The Tech," MIT's campus newspaper:

"Roughly 2,000 students responded to a recent survey regarding the future of the [Campus] Food Court, showing strong support for Thai, Italian, and Chinese cuisine. However, according to Director of Campus Dining Richard Berlin, 'Some hacker voted for Taco Bell about a thousand times.' "

ROCK OUT WITH YOUR COCK OUT, MUTHAFUCKER! It must be Christmas, and I'm Mary with two awesome presents: a new baby who happens to be the Son of God, and heavenly permission to get dirty with my hubby Joseph for the first time!!!

Now this dude, let's call him TB Hacker until we discover his true identity, is a Champion for the ages. He apparently suffers from the same fate that we in Midtown do: a lamentable lack of Taco Bells. But did he whine and cry about it? Did he quit studying engineering or science to go home to suburbia, lush with TBs? Did he just go on eating at " Anna's Taqueria," which I imagine to be a bullshit Mercadito-style taco dining experience?

NO, HE SURE AS FUCK DIDN'T! He took matters into his own hands. He used his computer nerd smarts to vote at least a thousand times for Taco Bell. No hanging chads for this mo-fo. This guy is on the front lines of the TB Revolution, breaking the Nazi Enigma code and saving millions of Allies (Champions). And he did it through RAW BRAINPOWER and SHEER GUMPTION.

Now, I'm sure some of you are out there thinking that I should step back to consider the larger ramifications of TB Hacker's actions. After all, I've written about TB representing the best of America; doesn't this inherently undemocratic act warrant our condemnation, not our glorification? In some sense, sure, he sacrificed the most basic, important and honorable principles of our great society to get a fast food restaurant he marginally prefers over a swath of other unhealthy, cheap but still over-priced alternatives. Big whup. He's speaking for the silent majority of good, honest, MIT students eager for Taco Bell. So the ends justify the means.

I salute you, TB Hacker. Come forward and claim your prize.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Another Excerpt from "Crunched," the Fictionalized Autobiography of David Novak

The deck of the French ship was slippery with blood, heaving in the choppy sea.* Another burst of grape shot cut down Bobbins and the third lieutenant, Avery was his name. I think. Lieutenants die so quickly aboard the Decisive I sometimes have trouble keeping up.

Before I could grieve them, two Frenchmen lunged toward me at once. Were they compelled by bravery or ignorance? Along with the rest of the boarding party, I was still in clear line of fire from French sharp-shooters atop, and these two were now exposing themselves. As I parried effortlessly I had my answer: ignorance. Judging from their uniforms, caked in blood and powder, both were novice midshipmen. I dispatched them quickly, one with a cutlass to the throat, the other, a pistol to the nethers. In death, their boyish faces gave testament to their youth. Pity.

Though the battle on the deck was nearly won, Bonaparte's colors still flew, as did the round shot of his sharp-shooters above. I grabbed ahold of the Mizzen Staysail (what was left of it) and scaled it as I would regular netting, catching the snipers unawares in their nest. Making quick work of them, I attended to the flag.

Suddenly, a tinny burst came from the Decisive, surely a cannonade misfire. Before I could look to identify the unintended victim, the great mast beneath me lurched and I was falling. The mast and its sails teetered over like a lumberjack's prize, and I prepared for my end in the icy depths. Instead, I found myself back on my own quarterdeck, underneath wreckage from the French Topgallant. Remarkably, the fallen French mast had bridged the ships. Scrambling out, I saw my Steward approach with a pot.

"Coffee, sir?"

"Thankee, Killick.* I am worn from the battle. Might you be so good as to fetch me a Chalupa?" As I waited for my Tex-Mex delight, I brought the mug to my lips. To you, Bobbins. And to you, Davery.

to be continued...

Monday, November 13, 2006

The Only Person Banned from TB

I'm not a prejudiced person, and I'll welcome with open arms anyone who wants to join our Revolution to get a Taco Bell in Midtown. Case in point: Tanya Wenman Steel, the editor of gourmet magazine epicurious, has come down from on high to support the cause. Would I expect a frilly French chef to join us? No. But did I turn her away? Absolutely not. Did Matthew Broderick turn away Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington?

But this guy, AJ, has earned himself the singular distinction of being FOREVER BANISHED by me, the Taco Bell Champion. I'll go a step further and BAN HIM FROM ALL TACO BELLS FOREVER.I hate to waste more web ink on AJ, but here's a quick background: AJ is an "analyst at a major investment bank" featured in a video on, an obnoxious site dedicated to pretentious living. During the video he reveals himself to be a despicable, shallow person. He is also unattractive, but seems to think otherwise. Gawker has done an excellent job exposing AJ as a fraud and generally mocking him.

Why is AJ banned from Taco Bell? Simply because he stands for everything Taco Bell does not. Taco Bell is the pinnacle of American equality, where anyone can get a world-class meal for a few dollars. Money, hot girls (or in AJ's case, slutty girls) and a taste for $200 cocktails are not required at Taco Bell. The sign outside each Taco Bell is clear: "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me." (Or "Try the Big Bell Value Meal," depending on the franchise.)

So fuck you, AJ. I sleep easy each night knowing that your epic sorrow is two-fold. First, you'll never come to know the bliss that accompanies a Taco Bell feast. Second, your dreams and self-worth are exclusively, pitifully linked to money and "coolness," and that you will never achieve enough of either to be happy. You know it. Everyone knows it. And that's why you're a walking joke.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Special Weekend Post: Math Under Attack!

Hey Champions, I'm taking time away from my precious weekend napping to address the avalanche of criticism against numerical mathematics. Earlier this week I posted a detailed scientific study on the costs of eating at home vs. eating at TB, concluding that Taco Bell is at least $0.33 cheaper per meal. I guess a few of you disagree. (My assumption is that--like Stella Artois--you believe that perfection has its price.)

Well, sirs, in the famous words of Daniel Patrick Moynihan, "You are entitled to your own opinions, but you are not entitled to your own facts."

One respondent said:
You neglect to include the time invested in going out to the closest Taco Bell, waiting in line and returning home (Which is easily 15 minutes itself if not more) additionally the cost of Gas.

A simple thought experiment shows this objection to be ludicrous. The food you prepare for yourself doesn't magically appear in your kitchen. You go out to the closest grocery store, wait in line and return home. That process sounds familiar--oh yeah, because that's this dude's criticism of my formula!!! But guess what, when you drive home from the grocery store, your car has heavy groceries, making those gas costs higher than when you go to TB. Thanks for identifying yet another way Taco Bell is cheaper than eating at home. SNAP!!!!!

Another respondent said:
[If someone ate Taco Bell every day] they'd be really fat.

I guess I assumed everyone exercises as much as I do. Because I just won the fucking New York City Marathon. DOUBLE SNAP!!!!!!

Finally, huge thanks to my heroes at the Official Freakonomics Website for sending a shout-out to the Champion. Like the Associated Press and editors at, they're now among the heavy-weights who've joined our Revolution.

Here's me, winning the marathon:

Friday, November 10, 2006

Trans-fat Inequity

Along with Taco Bell's cancer policy, it's increasingly apparent that Yum! Brands is out to kill us. But only some of us.

A reader forwarded this link from the New York Times to me. Soon you won't be able to read the article online without a subscription--because the NYT is for money-laden, liberal nancies--so I'll recap it briefly here. Yum! Brands is leading the charge against trans-fat by removing the deadly additive from Kentucky Fried Chicken. Bravo.

But wait! What's that? No mention of removing trans-fat from Taco Bell tacos? What's that you say, Yum? Huh? I'm waiting for a reasonable explanation. On second thought--SHUT UP! Don't blow smoke up my ass, David, cuz your signal's coming through loud and clear. You're in love with gun-toting red-necks and black americans, but you hate Mexicans and the people who love them.

Don't get me wrong--I'll inject trans-fat directly into my heart to get that irresistible taco goodness. I'd do anything, even that defibrillator-to-the-head thing that Tom Cruise did in MI. Hell, I regularly walk a million blocks to The Whore on 36th Street just for a Gordita. I don't care that eating Taco Bell may be taking years off my life because sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the things you want. Like Laika, the Soviet space dog. The most dangerous thing a woman can do is give natural birth--IT'S TRUE--but many women make that sacrifice for a baby. I'm willing to (have my wife) make that sacrifice. Likewise, I'll sacrifice a little extra coronary heart disease for delicious tacos.

What I object to is the inequity of the thing. Why is Yum! removing trans-fat from KFC but not TB? IT'S NOT FAIR. Look, I don't mind playing trans-fat Russian Roulette with someone, but I don't appreciate your taking bullets out of the other guy's gun. (Incidentally, have you seen Deer Hunter? Majorly fucked up.) Next time you're looking to save the world, David, how about sneaking a peak at the ol' American Constitution where it says "All men are created equal."


P.S. If you geniuses can figure out how to remove trans-fat from fucking fried chicken, how about looking at a map of Manhattan and figuring out where to put your restaurants. Hint: try someplace near where 1,000,000 people gather to watch the ball drop on New Year's.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Freakonomics in the Kitchen

I read this book Freakonomics where this economist uses advanced statistical techniques to solve problems, like finding teachers who cheat on high-school tests or something. I am going to use those same techniques to show that Taco Bell is better than home cooking.

I have carefully calculated the price of the meals people cook at home, including main dishes (entrees, if you're French), side dishes and drinks.


1. Pasta with ground beef sauce
Pasta - $1.50/box. $0.50/serving
Ground beef - $2.99/lbs. $1.00/serving
Newman's Own Marinara - $2.79/jar. $1.39/serving
Total cost: $1.89/serving (Correction: $2.89--more expensive still!)

2. Chicken with rice
Chicken breast - $3.49/package. $1.74/serving
Flavoring (marinade, seasoning, etc.) - ~$0.50/serving
Uncle Ben's Rice - $1.99/package. $0.67
Total cost: $2.91/serving

3. Macaroni and cheese
Kraft Mac & Cheese - $1.19/package. $0.60/serving
Milk - $1.50/package. $0.15/serving
Butter - $4.95/package: $0.20/serving
Total cost: $0.95/serving

4. Sandwich
Bread - $3.19/package. $0.31/serving
Salami - $3.89/package. $0.77/serving
Kraft Cheese Singles - $4.19/package. $0.52/serving
Mustard - $2.89/package. $0.10/serving
Total cost: $1.70/serving

1. Frozen vegetables - $0.50/serving
2. Bread (buttered) - $0.40/serving
3. Chips - $0.50/serving

1. Milk (2 glasses) - $1.00
2. Coke (2 glasses) - $1.00

As you can see, the average cost of a home-cooked meal is $3.33 (half the mark of the beast). That's $1.86 for the main course, $0.47 for the side, and $1.00 for the drink. The average preparation time for each of these meals is 15 minutes. Assuming most champions are making at least $8.00/hour, it costs an additional $2.00 of your time to prepare a home-cooked meal, bringing the total cost to $5.33.

NEWS FLASH: The average cost of a TB meal is <$5.00. I can hear the scales falling from eyes world-wide! We've debunked the myth that cooking at home saves money! If someone ate Taco Bell every day instead of cooking at home, they would have enough money at the end of the year to buy Seasons 1 & 2 of Lost on DVD at full price! Baste that, Rachael Ray.


This post has caused such a groundswell of discussion, that I've created in index here, cataloging the various related posts and comments.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Deciding 2006

Today is election day, Champions, and I hope you all get a chance to vote. When I woke up this morning I did what all smart, well-informed, handsome people do on election day: I flipped on my set and watched the Today Show. Those people are fucking high. Within a span of five minutes they had segments on: the election, an interview with the new Bond Girl, cooking pasta, and the horrors of head lice. (Not a joke.)

Regardless, looking at the election map, I found myself wondering where Taco Bell falls in the culture wars. I compiled a scientific list.

President George W. Bush
President Clinton
Latinos (obviously)
Yum! Brand shareholders
Low-income minorities
Low-income whites (non-union)

Senator John Kerry
Vice-President Cheney (it would kill him)
Vegetarians/exercise enthusiasts
Effete liberal elites

As you can see, it's impossible to tell. Until we have clear positions from Taco Bell on baby killing and gay bashing, TB can only be described as NON-PARTISAN. Just like my hero.

One final note, I'm sad to see that our revolution has yet to make its way into the political process. The House Representative for the district where I work is named Carolyn B. Maloney. (Because I'm very witty, I refer to her as Carolyn M. BALONEY at dinner soirees.) She's running against Daniel Maio, and neither candidate has taken a stance on opening a Taco Bell in midtown. Lamentable. I guess that means that, just like blacks in the South, we'll need to rely on the courts for justice.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Border Bullets: TB Pro-Cancer

Some quick TB updates...
  • TB just announced a new "coins for cancer" program supporting the Jimmy Fund. That's fine and dandy, but what I want to know is why only New England Taco Bells are participating? Do TBs elsewhere support the world's most deadly killer? Stop f-ing around with us. Seriously.
  • Phoenix Sun guard Raja Bell gets unlimited tacos. From what I can tell, he got this offer because (a) he used to work at TB, (b) his name is Bell, and (c) he's a famous celebrity. Ironic that the person least in need of free tacos--a multimillionaire--gets them. Raja Bell needs free tacos like I need a book on tough-guy street-smarts.
  • Gmail's ad selection sucks. This morning my email had an ad for Cocaine Cowboys, a documentary about the blow trade. Where did that come from!?! Where are my ads for Desperado and Three Amigos and Timecop (which, little known fact, is about David Novak)?
  • Sexy and smart.
  • *Not Taco Bell Related* -- Just saw "The Prestige," the new movie about MAGICIANS! It stars Wolverine and Batman and was directed by the "Memento" dude. It fucking rocks. Check out the website.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Tell Mariska Hargitay to Bring the Kit

Let me pose this question to you, champions: "Could you pick out your rapist in a lineup?" I watch enough SVU to know the trauma victims go through, and depending on the circumstances (DARK ALLEY), it isn't as easy as it sounds. But what if you were repeatedly raped? Say, every day since October 16. And what if everyone you know was also, simultaneously, being raped? What if I told you that you were being raped right now?

Well let's try it. Which one of these is your rapist?
1. Tom Hanks
2. Gap's (Product) Red Campaign
4. Ted Haggard
3. Squirrels

WRONG! None of these are raping you; The Cheesy Gordita Crunch Cheesiest Pick Up Lines Contest is raping you, me, and everyone in America. On the surface, this is a fantastic contest to promote an interesting new TB menu item by offering winners "a free months worth of Taco Bell food." Here's where the dream becomes a nightmare. Taco Bell barristers define one month's worth of TB food at only $50--about ten meals. Bullshit. There's a word for eating only ten meals a month: anorexia nervosa.

Now here's where the nightmare becomes a rape. The winner of the Grand Prize gets "a year's supply of Taco Bell food"... but you actually only get $350 in Bell Bucks!!!! Using Taco Bell's already flawed logic that a month of TB food is $50, a year must be seven months long. That's five month's short (look it up). There's a word for eating only 35 meals in a normal, twelve-month year: not enough food.

Now you know. Buy pepper spray.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Another Excerpt from "Crunched," the Fictionalized Autobiography of David Novak

I needed a stiff drink and a starched shirt. Apparently there's no God, at least not one that cares about me, because I knew I wouldn't be getting either anytime soon.

I stood uncomfortably, sober and sweaty, waiting in the sweltering heat of the D.C. summer. The heat was getting to me, sure, but Mr. Sun wasn't making me sweat. The midget samurai's stare was. Don't get me wrong, I've got onions. Big ones. I've killed men and watched others die. But this compact, deadly son-of-a-bitch would make you shit your pants. And while you're shitting, I'm sweating. A little.

We'd tussled a bit in the Rose Garden, when he insisted I hand over my sawed-off. Want my cock in a baggie while you're at it? Seconds later, he had two crushed knee-caps, I had a Level 2 concussion, and we both had some mutual respect. Concussion? I've had worse. A small price to pay for the sawed-off still in my coat. Don't worry, Shorty, I won't hurt the President. Lest you forget: he's the one who called me.

Just before the Oval Office door opened, Bruce Wayne turned to me, all smug with his fancy pants tuxedo and his playboy lifestyle. "I love the Baja Blast, David," he said, "It's Mountain Dew, but better. Goes great with Caramel Apple Empanadas."

"Fuck you." I said.

to be continued...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Halloween Spurned

Just got an email from a loyal champion asking why I didn't do a "spooky Halloween post." Two reasons. First, I'm not a slave to the calendar. I don't need some fucking egghead with a telescope telling me what to do; I'll plant my crops whenever the hell I feel like it.

Second, have you ever heard of an INTERNATIONAL INCIDENT!?! You might not be aware of this, but the revolution to get a Taco Bell in Midtown (Manhattan) has gone world-wide. As I've noted here and here, we have visitors from all corners of the globe, and the last thing I want to do is alienate them with talk of America's Devil Night. "Here Mr. Goldsteinberg, have some delicious scallops wrapped in bacon and cheese." That's not how I roll.

According to Taco Bell Champion's site meter, 5-10% of champions live abroad. The last 100 visitors have included folks from:
- Al Manyal, Egypt
- Auckland, New Zealand
- Balham, U.K.
- Bern, Switzerland
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Lakonia, Greece
- Paris, France

I will die and go to heaven if either a Taco Bell opens across the street from my office or if I see visitors from Irkutsk on the site.