Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Taco Bell Five Buck Box.

The five buck box,
It rocks, it rocks.
It rocks for a jock,
It rocks for a fox.
It rocks for a meal that’ll give you the trots.

You’ve seen the commercial. You’ve seen a red-velvet-bathrobe-wearing Charles Barkley enter a phone booth, and come out the other side in a bizarre Taco Bell-themed universe (not to mention no longer wearing a red velvet bathrobe). You’ve debated whether he’s talking or rapping as he’s greeted by “a guy with dreadlocks,” the Nets mascot, cheerleaders, paparazzi, a decrepit red carpet reporter, and Lamar Odom for some reason. You’re left puzzled. You don’t know what to think. This commercial is “Green Eggs and Ham” meets “The Round Mound of Rebound.” As you can tell, I’ve seen this commercial roughly 100,000 times; and I always watch it in its entirety. I just can’t look away. It’s absolutely baffling, beautifully absurd, and I’m still trying to figure out if Barkley wrote it himself. It’s just mesmerizing.

In fact, Taco Bell in general has always had a special place in my heart. It just makes me laugh for some reason. Next time you see me, mention Taco Bell, and see if I don’t start grinning like an idiot. It could be the restaurant’s silly name, or the fact that it just invents Mexican foods by throwing extra layers of cheese and tortillas on things. It could be the fact that people just seem to be intimidated by it. But the fact remains: no other fast food restaurant combines LDLs and comedy in such equal measure. That’s why I was particularly giddy for Food Plus Beer’s next mission: Barkley’s own 5-Buck Box.

I was already in full giggle mode as we pulled into the Taco Bell drive-thru. This is where we learned that there are actually 2 versions of the 5-Buck Box: The Cheesy Gordita Crunch version, and the Volcano Taco version. Despite the fact that we both love spicy food, we chose the former, because that’s the one Barkley rapped about (plus, we planned on using copious amounts of Hot Sauce packets anyway). The total came to 10.60, making the 5-Buck Box really the 5.30-Box, but now we’re talking semantics. We were handed our food – in a bag.

What!? A bag? Points marked off! Points marked way off!

I'm looking...but I don't see no box.

The five buck bag.
It’s sad, it’s sad.
It’s sad for a dad,
It’s sad for a lad.
It’s sad for a promotion that really doesn’t follow through on its namesake taco-delivery vessel.

It was a bummer, but not enough to throw me off my giddiness altogether. Not only was our food in a bag, but it wasn’t branded with NBA stuff as I’d also hoped. I wanted to see which players were roped into appearing on a 16-ounce Taco Bell soda cup. LeBron? Kobe? Ron Artest? Gilbert Arenas? Darko Milicic?

An inside view of the Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

We brought the 5-Buck Bag to my house and dug in. What can you say? It’s Taco Bell – we all know what to expect. It’s cheesy, it’s meaty, it’s delicious. It’s fantastic soaked in hot sauce. The Cheesy Gordita Crunch is the clear standout item of the box, but everything was satisfying and actually fairly filling, even for a fat person such as myself. And I giggled the whole time I ate, which probably burns a few calories.

It was a successful Food Plus Beer mission, and I’d certainly do it again – but next time, they better have my (*#*(&@*#*@^ing box.

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