I’m Confused by this Taco Bell Invention

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I saw an ad for this monstrosity the other day, an I have to admit, I am a little perplexed by this creation.  Bacon, cheese and potato burrito with sour cream? So, it’s like a Potato Skin burrito?  Didn’t Potato Skins go away when the last Bennigan’s closed its doors?

Maybe I’m confused since 99% of the Taco Bell menu is the same five things in different shapes.  Meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, beans – I guess there’s only so many ways to deliver the same thing over and over.  Flat, round, hard, soft, grilled, baked, steamed, fried.  They finally ran out of ideas!  (You knew they were getting close when they were using ingredients to “glue” other ingredients together – like a few years ago when they used nacho cheese to glue a taco shell inside a gordita shell.)

I’ve read that Taco Bell’s biggest problem is “portability” – you can’t easily drive and shove a couple of soft tacos down your gullet like you can with a couple of cheeseburgers or McNuggets.  This means they are losing a lot of Lazy Ass Driver sales.  This new invention is no different – they would have been better off to just bring back the Potato Skin.  A 685 calorie potato skin.  Ugh.

Oh, here’s what it really looks like via Would I Buy it Again.

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Why Nacho Underpants?

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Someone asked me the other day why the hell I would call my blog ‘Nacho Underpants’ instead of The Titillating Tales of Tiffany or some such crap.  Well, it’s kind of a tribute – and has been for over 20 years.

Back in my college days I had a weekly comic strip in the student paper that was also called Nacho Underpants.  The name came from a panel of one of my favorite comic strips, Life in Hell – which you may or may not know – was drawn by none other than Matt Groening in his pre-Simpsons days.  In fact, after my comic strip had been running a few years, I wrote Matt Groening and enclosed a copy of a few of my strips along with a letter explaining my tribute to him. He actually wrote me back and drew me my own comic, which, although framed, unforutnately has been ravaged by time and has faded somewhat over the years!  (see below) If he’d only used black pen for all of it instead of just my name – Bongo (the rabbit) was drawn in blue pen, and his signature was in red pen.  I always thought that was so cool of him, even though the Simpsons had not come out yet and he was hardly famous at the time – he was famous to me.

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Anyway, obviously my plan of having a comic strip in real life did not work out.  It’s a sorry tale of dream-crushing letters, big city drug dealers, and insider information that will have to wait for another day to be told.

The Saddest Little Cookbook Picture

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There is something very sad and depressing about this picture from my 1972 Betty Crocker Make-Ahead Cookbook. Is it the sorry piece of “Hamburger-Onion Hoedown” with the burnt top and the dry and crumbly inside?  Is it the depressing looking pieces of carrots and celery that are supposed to constitute some sort of side-dish? Is it the sorry excuse for a plate – that could possibly really be a lid to a tupperware bowl?

You know this was the dinner of some lonely latch-key kid that her mom made three days ago because she wasn’t going to be home for dinner because she discovered women’s lib and wanted to go out and get a job and stuff, and decided that working in a crappy department store was more important than being a mom, becuase that was so, like, 50s and outdated. And dad’s at the bar down the street having a drink because he doesn’t do the cooking thing because that’s women’s work, or so that’s what his dad said, and his dad before that – and what the hell is up with this women’s lib stuff anyway?

Sorry li’l Hamburger-Onion Hoedown – buck up!

RIP: Country Kwencher

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It has come to my attention that Boone’s Farm Country Kwencher is no longer produced.  In fact, I couldn’t even find a picture of the bottle to accompany my eulogy.  I say this is sacrilege!  Yes, yes – they have about 25 other lame flavors, but everyone knows Country Kwencher was the best one!  Do you know how many bottles of Country Kwencher I downed in college?  I mean, it was fairly sophisticated for my college repertoire – after all it was “wine.”

I remember sitting around someone’s first apartment, opening each bottle with a special ritual we only used for Boone’s Farm products.  We would twist the cap slowly and count out loud as a group how many twists until it came off.  If it was 7 or more, you had a “good” bottle – anything less and it was a “bad” bottle.  A bad bottle was a relative term, since really all of them were bad.  We were just looking for an excuse to “celebrate” a little more if it was a “good” bottle.  

Anyway, I was sad to learn that the Country Kwencher is no more.  You can have all your Mellon Balls, Strawberry Hills and Mountain Berries – but you will never be as good as the Kwencher.

RIP Country Kwencher.  We hardly knew ye.

Airport Bars of the World: OTC

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CHICAGO, Illinois, USA – Ogilvie Transportation Center (OTC)
The Chicago News Room 
Located on the 2nd floor

Okay, okay – this isn’t an airport.  But, it is a transportation center, so I thought it could kind of count.  Besides, it’s one of my favorite bars.  Welcome to the Chicago News Room inside the Ogilvie Transportation Center, otherwise known as the “end of the line” when going downtown on the Metra NW train line.  This is the best place to wait for your train and hang for awhile.  Why?  It’s nothing special to look at, right?  No, but they give you a very strong drink at a fair price (for Chicago, anyway) and have also figured a way to give you a roader that will give you no problems on the train – in a large styrofoam coffee cup with a lid.  

Not that you are not allowed to drink on the train – you still can.  (Hell, they used to still have bar cars on the commuter trains until just a few years ago.) But, the coffee cup ruse gives you the added bonus of people thinking that you’re drinking coffee, and perhaps not on your fourth rum & diet.  This way, you don’t get the annoying looks and stares from the other boring commuters and conductors like the beer drinkers do.

It’s not just the Chicago News Room that facilitates the time-honored tradition of the commuter train buzz – a friend of mine who used to commute daily had a “deal” with the little newspaper stand just a few stores over from this place where each weekday the guy working the stand would place two 40 oz Miller Lites in a brown paper bag at 4:30pm next to the cash register.  My friend would whiz by and grab the Miller Lites on the way to his 4:45 train.    He would pay the guy at the end of each week for that week’s worth of beer.  No muss, no fuss. Now that’s customer service!

Plusses: Strong Drinks & Coffee Cup Roaders – need I say more?
Minuses:
No Food, Kind of Depressing 

A T-RATING® of 4 out of 5