Tuesday, November 22, 2022



When I was a young man, I crossed the Americas on foot.  By which I mean 

that I hitchhiked (as was the style at the time) from Toronto to Santa 



I had read and half-digested a lot (arguable too much) of Jack Kerouac’s work.  And although I had no Neal Cassady in my life, at least there was no Allen Ginsburg either.


This is Jack Kerouac in a diner in New York in the 1950s.

Anyway the point of my story is that the final lift, the one that got me to Santa Barbara was with a very slightly older woman who said, ‘I’ll take you out for dinner tomorrow evening.’  I thought I had arrived in California heaven.


Next night she took me to eat at a Taco Bell.  This is a Taco Bell in Santa Barbara but it almost certainly isn’t the one we went to.


Now, I was not a exactly a food sophisticate at that time but I was sophisticated enough to realize that a meal at a Taco Bell was not exactly ‘going out for dinner.’


Even so I enjoyed myself – I’d never had Mexican food before and I thought it was great.  I seem to recall it was the refried beans that I liked best of all.


Well the years pass, and I was in Gloucester last weekend and imagine the thrill of discovering that Gloucester has a Taco Bell.  So obviously we went.

In the intervening years I’ve had a fair bit of good Mexican food, much of it in California, and Taco Bell is nobody’s idea of good Mexican food, whether in California or Gloucestershire. The food looked like this - not a refried bean in sight – and it tasted just as good as it looks.


Still, I’m glad we went - they did have this very fancy sign above the door to the unisex toilet.  


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