Defeat at Del Taco: Shadesbreath vs. the Dreaded Number 15

Del Taco Portal of Doom.
Del Taco Portal of Doom.

I will simply begin by saying: For the love of God, what human, what mortal, could possibly eat a #15 value meal from Del Taco?

Today at lunch, I decided to hit the Del Taco near my work. I’m not a super regular customer of theirs, but I go two or three times a year. So, it was apparently my time again, and there I was in the drive-through contemplating their menu.

Most of the value-menu combos were like two items and a drink. “Two tacos and a drink” or “a Double-Del cheeseburger, fries and a drink.” Stuff like that. Just two things. Well, I’m a big fellow and possess an appetite of more prodigious girth than that sort of paltry two-piece offering can satisfy, so I kept looking down the long menu--so long that it actually included little carboard sections attached to the bottom of the drive-through menu sign... meals that innocuously seemed like afterthoughts. At last I got to combo #15, consisting of two half-pound bean-and-cheese burritos, chili-cheese fries and a drink.

Hah, thought I, TWO burritos. Half pounders! Plus fries—and not just regular, boring-ass fries but chili fries. With cheese. Three items, and with manly toppings. Clearly I’d found what I required to sate my appetite, so I ordered it.

Well, there I was, sitting in my truck enjoying my lunch. Obviously I started with the chili fries because anyone who knows anything about the fast-food culinary experience understands that you must always eat chili fries first, otherwise the chili gets cold, the ends of the fries sticking out from the chili get even colder, and then the whole thing goes from delicious gas-making excellence to disgusting tub of lard-textured goo. I, being a fast food gourmet, knew better, and therefore began this meal in the proper order. Needless to say, the chili fries were delicious, and I mopped up every last drop of chili sauce and melty cheese from the bottom of the vacuous cardboard trough. Mmmm.

Anatomy of a chilli-cheese fries
Anatomy of a chilli-cheese fries
... steamy fingers running through my nose hair ...
... steamy fingers running through my nose hair ...

So, on to the burritos. I pulled the first one out of the bag, and the scent of succulent beans and spicy green sauce worked like an olfactory lover, her steamy fingers running through my nose hair as she moaned in beany silence at me.

I carefully rolled the top of the bag down to preserve the heat of my second burrito and then peeled away the wax paper lingerie wrapped around the one I held. It was warm in my hand, soft like a lover’s bosom. My trembling fingers worked on the wrapper dexterously, exposing the pale white of its flour tortilla flesh as I undressed it. I gasped at its magnificence.

I was blissful as I ate and everything was wonderful. For a time. Until I got about halfway through. That’s when the mass of French fries and chili cheese finished its descent through my esophagus and landed like a sea anchor on the ocean floor of my stomach. As I sat chewing the most recent bite of my burrito, I felt that taterous wad hit, and thought, My God, I’m full.

I pulled my face away from the open end of the half-eaten tortilla tube of beans and stared into it blankly. Suddenly it no longer looked as sumptuous as it had only moments before. It was as if morning had come and my decision to be with this thing last night revealed itself to be a horrifying mistake. Egad! What was I to do?

 

Gendarme. Master. Champion.
Gendarme. Master. Champion.

I began to fear I could not finish it. Me. A master of the fast food arts. A champion of poor dietary decision making. A gendarme of gluttony. I felt the fear course through me, threatening the very underpinnings of my universe, but I pushed it back. Of course I could finish it. What kind of man do you think I am?

So I pressed on.

After a few more bites, I was nearly three-quarters done with it. Each bite was a chore. The once soft, succulent beans that had popped so delightfully in my mouth as I chewed were now beads of asphalt on a hot summer day, each one foul and eternally tactile. They fought me, tasting like gasoline and oily residue all the while. But I didn’t give up. There was still another burrito in the bag! I had to keep going.

I took another bite. It tried to kill me, swelling with an increasing mushiness that seemed to be trying to suffocate me. Chewing that mash was an agony. But what could I do? Still a quarter of this first burrito to go. There was no way I was going to waste all that food, all that money, and throw this crap away. No way. Not $5.99. So I had to be smart, find a strategic approach.

If my reptillian ancestors could do it, so can I.
If my reptillian ancestors could do it, so can I.

For a moment I considered unhinging my jaw. I knew that pythons and boa constrictors do that all the time; I have seen them on T.V. I also knew that humans shared a common ancestor with modern reptiles, a link dating way back to the time before time, an age where failure to eat when sustenance was available meant death. It meant that your genetic material would not be passed on through your offspring. Given this, given that my children’s very lives were at stake, I had to finish these burritos.

I reached inside of me, sought my primitive side and attempted to unhinge my jaw like my snake ancestors did, tried to open up my face and just wrap myself around the rest of my burrito in the noble python way.

But I could not.

It turns out unhinging your jaw is harder to do than those snakes in the documentaries make it look. No matter how hard I pried and contorted, I could not do it. I was just too distant from even my closest reptilian ancestor. I wept in fear for my sweet children.

Clearly, I had to try another tactic. Fortunately, being a fan of all things renaissance and of its history and wars, I know a bit about old-world tactics and weaponry, including cannons. I decided my next approach would be more direct, more human-like, an act of war: I needed a ramrod. I knew that, by tilting my head back, I could use it to just jam what remained of the first burrito down like the cannon-ball mass it had become and then get the second one stuffed in behind it right after. Two down and call it a day.

A pen is a horrible ramrod.
A pen is a horrible ramrod.

But alas, I had no ramrod, so I had to do it with a pen. That didn’t work very well. The burrito just got all nasty as the tortilla was stabbed to death. It was messy and the taste of the ink only made things worse (plus, tonight I’m going to have to explain those marks to my wife).

In the end, I could only get the last quarter of the first burrito down. There was no hope for the second one. I had failed. It was an impossible task I’d set for myself. Herculean even. There was nothing more I could do but accept it.

So now here I sit, several hours later. The peristaltic ramifications of my work with the ramrod have passed, that cannon fired so to speak, and I have only the memory of that Del Taco #15 and its monstrous proportions. I have that memory and I have the shame.

I took the untouched burrito back to work with me, by the way, still steaming from the bag, and offered it up to any who might be interested in a free lunch. To my eternal disgrace, it was easily dispatched by a girl.

# # #

(For those who may be worried, my kids are fine. Turns out nothing happened to them as a consequence, so my genetic material lives on!)

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Comments 86 comments

Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K.

Shades, I was horrified to learn that another country has managed to upstage the British in the "dreadful things to eat at the risk of dying before one is twenty-one" stakes. When you were struggling to ingest that lovely meal, had it not occurred to you that you could have employed the method that our wicked French neighbours from Strasbourg employ in creating the basic ingredient of 'Pate de Foie Gras'?

A simple grinder would be forced down your willing throat by one of your little chums, and then the food (for want of a better word) would be poured into the funnel; the handle turned; the ground beans, chili, fries and all the rest of it directed straight at your stomach. You wouldn't even need it to touch the lips or the tongue on its journey southwards.

The end result (with Strasbourg geese), as you no doubt are aware, is a hideously distended and diseased liver inside the poor little chaps, but according to our Gallic friends, they love it. You too would, within a short while, emulate our feathered friends, and your dear offspring would be able to state, proudly (one would hope) that you had perished in the name of gastronomy.

Oh! By the way, great hub.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

You know, it had not occurred to me. Had I thought of that, I could have rushed over to Macy's and picked up a grinder and funnel and dispatched that meal straight off. (sigh). Yet another facet upon the gem of my dietary failure. Too bad too, because I really think that diseased livers get a bad rap. And I look simply divine in feathers. :D


mega1 profile image

mega1 5 years ago

I have no idea what happens to you, and others, after you get even halfway through a lunch like that. I assume you take along a roll of rolaids to buck you up about 2 or so and then an alka seltzer at 4, right before you go out for donuts. That's what I used to do before I found out about salads! You made me laugh, inwardly, because lately people are so grim, I'm afraid to disturb them with my belly laugh. Consider yourself belly-laughed-at! with! whatever.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Mega. I confess to some, um, penalties from that meal. However, I am made better by the thought of you belly laughing, making my belly trauma all worth it. (People are grim lately... levity and kindess are sorely needed these days. We must do our best to procure both for everyone we come in contact with!)


wingedcentaur profile image

wingedcentaur 5 years ago from That Great Primordial Smash UP of This and That Which Gave Rise To All Beings and All Things!

You, My Dear Shadesbreath, are like a combination Jerry Seinfeld and David Sedaris (you know who he is?) -- and the drawings....

I especially love the one with you pictured as a boa constrictor. You know, in addition to all of this hub's other virtues (I voted it up for funny) the story was actually suspenseful.

You made me care about the struggles of the main character, and I found myself on pins and needles wondering... hoping you would be able to manage that second burrito...

But it happens sometimes, doesn't it? Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomach, as they say.

Nice work!

Take it easy.


Cagsil profile image

Cagsil 5 years ago from USA or America

Hey Shades, that was too funny. Brought tears to my eyes. :P At least you didn't go hungry. :P :)It's always a pleasure to what your latest creation happens to be and for the most part you don't disappoint. :) Thank you very much for sharing your experience.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

Wow, I can't believe they advertise their offerings as "BIG FAT..." whatevers. Does that really make people line up at the drive-thru?

Good thing you didn't go for a fiber bar with that.

Loved the drawings too- beautiful ripple fries in the chili cheese, and a suspenseful rendition of the culinary challenge.


Scarlett My Dear profile image

Scarlett My Dear 5 years ago from Missouri

Shade, this sounds like a job for a Cyberwarrior bedpan series. The 'Del Taco 15' ought to do the trick! I have a feeling, if you put that thing on the market it would be an international bestseller. Now there's a spot I'd tune in to see on HSN! I'm assuming you've discussed this, obsession with the disrobing of faux mexican cuisine, with your therapist.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Wingedcentaur. Thanks for those comparisons... and I do know who Sedaris is. (sigh). I wish I had the earning power, but hey, maybe eventually these hubs will get me there, eh? lol. I'm happy to know you were engrossed in the drama of my burrito... uh... drama. It was very, well, dramatic. :D

Hi Cags. I know that you are a straighforward critic, and I appreciate your kind words a ton. I know that, will be blunt and honeset when you aren't amused, so if you are, well, that's great to hear. Thanks!

Rochelle... you know, that is the most amazing thing about that menu. Frankly, as shocking as it is to see "big fat" on there, I actually prefer the honesty to how McDonalds is now: since that movie, they have "outlawed" the use of "super-size" and when I say, "I want to super size my fries," they always reply with, "So, you want to get the large fries, sir?" I actually asked a manager once about that, and she told me they have been told not to use that term anymore. lol. America is so dumb on so many levels. (Glad you liked the drawings... I've been hitting that more and more lately; seems to be working.)

Scarlett, I think that the Del Taco 15, if actually finished, might make that Cyberwarrior 500 a shrapnel danger. But, well, I guess with the right legal disclaimer on it, probably be cool. Just take my money and not worry about the end user, especially since they are trolls. Frankly, I would be doing the community a service! WOW... that's actually a great idea (way to be way ahead of me!)


Mark Ewbie profile image

Mark Ewbie 5 years ago from Euroland

Hooked in by the "Defeat at Del Taco" headline, and kept reading through an interesting, and funny of course, story well told and illustrated. Beautifully realised feeling of anticipation at the deliciousness of the impending forbidden treat (wife's a cholesterol fascist) and the subsequent realisation that there's only so much junk an adult human can eat.

Shades, I don't read much stuff because it kind of depresses me from a competitive angle (how can I succeed out there against this stuff?) - which is silly because of course the internet is big enough for everybody to have a piece. But I'm glad I read this.


lightning john profile image

lightning john 5 years ago from Florida

A master of the fast food arts. A champion of poor dietary decision making.

I love this, very funny! Really like the way you describe your burrito like a hot lover. Hilarious!


Pcunix profile image

Pcunix 5 years ago from SE MA

Ow. I felt sympathy pain.

When I do have to eat fast food, I order the "Junior" stuff. Burger King Whopper Junior is plenty enough for me.

If my wife is with me, a sub shop is a good choice for us. We have them cut it into a 2/3 piece which I eat and she has the 1/3. We share a bottle of spring water and we are set.

A meal like you described WOULD kill me, I'm sure.

But I loved reading about it!


De Greek profile image

De Greek 5 years ago from UK

.

"the wax paper lingerie" ?????????????

KASHMAR!!! as my wife would say. She has this special word for anything that is intensely pleasurable, though the word itself means "terrible" :-)))

Anyway, I'll have two of those you wimp. You are a disgrace to fast food gourmands :-))

Oh, and by the way, please do leave my email with your wife, as I would like to come to your funeral to see you off properly, as long as it's not before next Tuesday :-)))


Austinstar profile image

Austinstar 5 years ago from Somewhere in the universe

Now you know why Texans don't put beans in their chili. It's just too much! Bean burritos should be outlawed in 49 states. We need one state to continue to produce natural gas, I'll pick New Jersey.

Very nice and funny hub, even if it does disparage the gourmet fast food industry.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 5 years ago from Bishop, Ca

You shameless tag-abuser, you. That aside, I will be forever impressed with your determination, no matter the outcome.

You are my gastrointestinal hero.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

Although I love your writing, I must say I'm bit queasy. I suppose you can take that as a compliment since powerfully descriptive prose compelling one to action is always highly applauded. Pardon me while I go offline for a spell. It was the image of a disgusting tub of lard-textured goo that did it.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Mark Ewbie, thanks for the very kinds words. Terribly sorry to hear you married one of those women who use their love against their man to try an keep them healthy all the time. Women are so selfish like that: they act like they are concerned for your health, but they really just don't want your fat ass to crush them during love making. As for success, I've read your humor hubs. You'll succeed (and are, btw) just fine. You will, like me, starve to death horribly if you rely on hubpage earnings, but hey, we can count each others ribs as we kick it pool side at the malnutrition ward. :)

Lightning John, thanks for reading and commenting. I think food is funny that way; it sort of is like sex in that the anticipation is often far more enjoyable than the experience. :) Maybe it's just me, though. lol

Hey PC. Sounds like you and your wife have a good system going. I gotta have my 44 ounces of soda though, so when you got to the sharing a water, I was like, "No way!" I mean, I might share a giant sub with my wife (if I was still hungry when my 2/3 was gone, I could just cannibalize her in a pinch), but I have cognitive energy that can only be fueled by copious amounts of empty sugar calories. I'm afraid I will not be able to try your strategy.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

All right De Greek, you are on. If you ever get out here and actually stop by, we'll off to Del Taco straight away and I'll watch you dismember what remains of my manhood on a pair of #15s. :P As for my funeral, I am counting on fantastic genetics to buttress me from the ill effects of fast food. Short of that, there is the always looming threat of exercise and diet, which, like a rotting, mold covered carrot dangles from the stick of horrors in my future.

Austinstar, I thought you guys didn't put beans in your chili because of how awesome the beef is. Why dilute the good stuff? As for the beans for fuel program, I think you are on to something, and, being that I am A) across the country and B) upwind from New Jersey, I second your motion. New Jersey it is.

Hiya Lorlie. I know, right? I'm so going to get busted one of these days on tag abuse. I should ask a moderator if the Mother Ship would blindly and mechanically blow up my account because of that, but, technically, it is in keeping with policy, because the hub is outrageous, and the tags must reflect content, right? We shall see.

Well, Green Lotus, I am absolutely certain that my writing has NEVER been given such a fine compliment as yours. To know that I have made you queasy is the highest order of satisfaction a writer can achieve, and you should know that I rejoice in your nausea. Thank you!


Frieda Babbley profile image

Frieda Babbley 5 years ago from Saint Louis, MO

Fantastic and hysterical!!! I know how you felt. It's sad to have to take on this type of defeat.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I know what you mean about the defeat, Frieda. I am going to have to go into training and get back into shape. When I was 17, I could have eaten this meal and then gone and got ice cream. It's sad how we decay with age. (sigh)


debbiesdailyviews profile image

debbiesdailyviews 5 years ago

Hahahaah, I immediately thought of nine and a half weeks reading this hahaha.

This is such a brilliant change. I'm so fed up with hearing about diet's and health !

Nothing wrong with belly busting lunches. And if ya gonna have one, only drive through counts, anything else counts as excersise.

Very cleverly written, and very ammusing.


mysterylady 89 profile image

mysterylady 89 5 years ago from Florida

Shadesbreath, you outdid yourself in your unbelievable description. Scent...worked like an olfactory lover, her steamy fingers running through my nose hair..."

"the pale white of its tortilla flesh as I unwrapped it"

"wrap myself around the rest of my burrito in the noble python way"

This time I also read your great tags.

I love this hub. My latest one is so bland by comparison. Oh, well.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Debbiesdailyviews, so kind of you to say. And you are right about the dieet and exercise mafia, just like all the rest of the guilt and gloom crowd infecting society with fear and negativity. Someone has to enjoy this world of ours. My god, in a 1000 years people are going to look back on this time like we look back at the British and Roman empires (and lots of others around the world and history) and think, "Man, it would have been cool to live in those times." Well, I live in those times and I'm going to like it, no matter how hard others want us to find ways to be miserable and hate ourselves.

Mysterylady, I have yet to read one thing of yours that is anything approaching bland, so I have every optimism that I will enjoy the heck out of it, which I will be doing soon :). I'm glad you like the tags, they are fun, and, well, if they don't get me banned, will continue to amuse me and the few others who happen to glance over at them. (And I had fun writing that over the top stuff lol. Overwrought is my middle name.)


Jewels profile image

Jewels 5 years ago from Australia

You never fail to make me laugh. I applaud your stamina and perseverance to go where many dare not venture - making light of lard.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

From someone who struggles to finish a simply McDonald's Quarter Pounder with Cheese, even without fries, I sincerely admire how far you got with your #15 Del Taco Value meal. Thanks so much for the many laughs I got reading of your experience Shades :D


Pam Roberson profile image

Pam Roberson 5 years ago from Virginia

Love it!! Your drawings really make this even more fabulous. You should think about hiring yourself out to illustrate for others. I'd hire you if you'd work for burritos. ;) Oh, and you have some nerve talking about how your writing hasn't been good lately. Pfft.


evvy_09 profile image

evvy_09 5 years ago from Athens, AL

So funny! I only eat once a day so sometimes I do get alot more than I can possibly eat (especially if we are at my favorite chinese restaurant) so I've had a similar experience.

Have you thought about rethinking your fast food strategy? :D


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Jewels, as a writer, I feel it is my duty to face the toughest and most intractable menaces of society, even lard. I am willing to risk it in the name of truth!

Misty, admitting that you struggle with the paltry portions of a simple 1/4 lbs-er with cheese only proves that you are, in fact, a girl, which is fine. Society respects your inability to eat like a man. Rejoice in your meeting expectations. It is I who must be ashamed, as I, being a man, am supposed to be undaunted by any challenge, even including the stupefying Del Taco #15.

Hi Pam. Glad you enjoyed the pics. I've begun to see people enjoy the pics, so, going that route more and more. What I really need is for people to share these things on FB and stuff if they like them so I can expand readership and make them stick if they really are actually any good. I've seen people on Blogspot or whatever it is with 49,000 fans. I fear I picked the wrong place to do this, but am hoping to bridge the gap with Facebook. Or else I'm just vain and narcissistic. But, it seems like people like this stuff. I am to the point where I need help if HP is going to be the forum of choice.

Hi Evvy. And, to answer your question, "No. I have not thought of rethinking my strategy." I will just have to train harder, eat more, and be more committed. It becomes an issue of male identity or something. :)... I love Chinese food, btw, maybe I can hit Panda Express (semi-Chinese) and do a follow up to this one? :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL, I bow down and admit I am a mere female who simply can't cope with the vast amounts of food the male 'hunter gatherer' can ;)


Winsome profile image

Winsome 5 years ago from Southern California by way of Texas

Shades, fellow cyberwarrior, do not falter in the face of such a blatant throw-down of the fast food gauntlet. The "Big Fat", like the Black Knight in Monty's Grail is all bluff and brandishing its armless, legless mass as if it were still a match for you will not work. Peristaltic ramrod ramifications notwithstanding, you are more than a match and I urge you to get in, not on your Charger, and with a much more substantial ramrod, have a go a-la Don Quixote at the bugger. Peruse the photos on my "5 Guys vs...." for inspiration and do us all proud. Take the girl from the office as your second though as we all know "behind every great man is a woman laughing her head off." Loved the snake drawing and the pre-ingestion culinary porn fantasy. (Those last two words ought to get your adsense a few more hits. heh heh) =:)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 5 years ago from St. Louis

Ha, ha! Del Taco is indeed a special, manly place. Due to my blasted low salt requirements, I forbid myself all fast food, yet the call of Del Taco drifts towards me as a Siren calls a sailor to his watery, turbulent grave. Finally, several months ago, I foolishly heeded the call. After greedily consuming 8 tacos (an even mix of hard and soft) and one burrito, I was immediately racked with grief...that I had not ordered more.

Now, thanks to you, I will know next time to go for the #15. Whether I will thank you or curse you, I cannot yet say, but I can thank you for a hysterical hub!


Christopher Price profile image

Christopher Price 5 years ago from Vermont, USA

Bowed by a bountiful burrito. Sad...for me!

Living in Vermont there probably isn't a Del Taco for a thousand miles. It's 2 A.M. and about 5 degrees Fahrenheit outside and now I want chili fries...great! 35 years ago I'd be thinkin' "road trip".

Anyhow, this was good, and the illustrations are better with each hub. I'm glad they're monotone though or I might be reaching for the car keys and my parka! :{)

CP


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Misty, you, like Nelly in _Wuthering Heights_ only gain power by accepting the seeming loss of it. :)

LOL Winsome, that's so funny, the "culinary porn fantasy" thing. Man. The Internet is so lame and predictable all at once, ain't it? So, thanks for the SEO power of that remark, and quite despite the noise HP makes about being opposed to such things. :D As far as Monty Python and the Black Knight, all you have done is proven you are the awesome fellow geek I thought you were and it totally explains why I enjoy reading your stuff (admittedly, when I shake off my massively selfish focus on writing and spend some time participating in the community I so totally enjoy).

Christoph... what's the worst that could happen if you ate this stuff? A heart attack? Dude, big deal. Be a man. Real men like Charlemagne and Ron Jeramy, willing risked heart attacks in the course of their physical assertion and quest for glory. Man up!

Christopher Price, glad you enjoyed the fun. THis is sort of like a Harold and Kumar go to Whitecastle ain't it? lol. As for the pics... it is something that seems to be amusing folks. So, very cool, you know?


drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

Your future is assured, Shades. You can make a very nice living writing funny tags for other less inspired writers. My agent's fee is a paltry 10%.

BTW, very funny Del Taco tale. But don't open your door to any suits waving legal documents.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hah, for sure, Drbj. You set em up, I'll knock down the absurd tags. :)

And you know, I would hope the suits would be amused. But you never know, do ya? Probably good advice. I'll have my wife screen our visitors.


MPG Narratives profile image

MPG Narratives 5 years ago from Sydney, Australia

I could not imagine devouring so much junk! And all that cheese, oh my stomach is churning just at the thought! Shades a wonderful tale and as always beautifully (and hilariously) written. Great illustrations too, is there no end to your talent?

I'm enthralled by your tags as well, they seem to get better with every hub. Thanks for the laughs, Marie.


pam 5 years ago

Ha! I was feeling it fer sure. When I was in my twenties I could eat and drink like a guy. Now my dog gets half of every cheeseburger, not because I want to give it to him, but because I can't finish a whole cheeseburger. It's very sad.

(I wish I had one of those self-portraits of you. They will be worth millions someday.)


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Yet another trip down Hysteria Lane! Someday I'll learn to 'water the lilies,' 'walk the dog,' 'see a man about a horse,' etc. BEFORE reading your hubs!

Still laughing!

Don't know if there are/were any Farrell's Ice Cream Parlors in your neck of the woods...when my kids were young there was one in our area. They had this concoction called a "pig trough," which was 2 banana splits in one dish.

If you ate it by yourself, you got stood up in front of the restaurant amid undue commotion, while you were pinned with a ribbon reading, "I made a pig of myself at Farrell's."

I admit to having had about 5 such ribbons...but as you say, the old gastro-intestinal tract would not be up to the challenge these days!

Cheers..and on to the next gourmand adventure!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi MPG, thanks for that. I am having more and more fun with the drawings and the tags. It's content that slows me down. I need trauma or near trauma of the sort that much cheese and beans can bring to inspire me. :)

Pam, I WISH! Most of the drawings I just crank out on the back of sheets of stuff I've printed to edit, drawn between the Pepsi can rings and beer condensation warping LOL. I need to get a lot more readers before those things will be worth a buck first, but I love your optimism.

Hiya DzyMsLizzy. We DID have a Farrells when I was growing up. I don't remember the Pig Trough, but I do remember the Zoo and I remember the ruckus and people standing up on the seat being "lauded" for their achievments. It's funny how those places are all gone now. Too bad. They were fun. I'm glad you got a kick out of this article, and sorry about the dog, or the, uh, horse, etc. A little advanced planning next time, then, eh? lol.


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

Shadesbreath--Your illustrations are outstanding! They're funny and perfect for the tone you set in the article. Love the captions, too.

Great hub. I laughed out loud a few times, which doesn't happen often when I'm reading online.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

That is very cool of you to say, Shogan. Thank you. I'm glad you enjoyed it. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Hey shogan, you should read some of Shades older stuff too they are equally as funny and more than enough for major 'out loud laughter'. He is truly one of my top favourite hubbers :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

:) Thanks, Misty. I'm actually starting to consider pulling everything down and trying a blog platform; I think I can put together a year or two out of the best stuff with drawings added and new content and maybe find a syndicate deal. (Yes, optimistic and egotistical). But, it seems like people respond pretty well to this stuff, but HP just can't pull and keep readers. It's all output with no concern for audience. That is always a recipe for failure in the end, at least for people trying to write for readers rather than clicks and cash.

I've known it for a while, nobody has made a secret out of it, not even HP, they're the first to admit it in not-so-many words, but I'm reluctant to run off... like, somehow as soon as I finally give up, they'll fix it or something and readers will matter. The internet is changing and just raping people's computer screens for cash is unraveling pretty fast, just not sure if fast enough--or if it will matter here. (sigh) lol. I hate being indecisive. I really like HP, and I don't want to give up on it (and I refuse to believe it's because I'm not good enough/funny enough. LOL. Pride before the fall. :D)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Oh Shades, we would all miss the laughs big time if you go elsewhere, although I do understand why you might get a wider audience if you went it alone. I really hope (selfishly) that you hang around, although of course, if you left to branch out alone I and many others would surely follow your work all the same.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Well, that's kind of my thinking. If there are folks who really enjoy the goofy drawings and satire, they'll read it wherever it posts. I'm looking into the blogging sites; trying to figure out how they get found. I've run across people with 50,000 readers on the blogging sites. I'm not sure that is possible here. But this is based on my assumption that people join or participate in the blogging sites to read at least in equal measure as write. And from that assumption is where I am forming the idea that the grass is greener on that side of the fence rather than at HP. You think that's true, or is it really just green grass? Maybe I'll ask this in forums and see what people say.


DzyMsLizzy profile image

DzyMsLizzy 5 years ago from Oakley, CA

Oh, my! This is horrible news first thing in the morning!

Seriously, Shades...you will be missed if you leave. I have not found the blogging community as loyal as the Hubbers for reciprocal reading/commenting...at least not in my case.

I have 4 blogs and a contributor spot on another. I have no way to track my visits, as Google Analytics does not seem to work on their own blogger platform!!! Pooey!

Ergo, the only way I have of tracking readers is if they leave comments, and very few do. I'm lucky if I get a single comment or two per blog article. The hilarious exception to that seems to be my purely nonsense blog, written as part of The Cat Blogosphere (http://www.blog.catblogosphere.com/), in the voice and style of my cats. Most of it is goofy stuff about daily antics of the kitties, their "complaints" at being chased from no-no perches, etc. The CB folks are very loyal followers and avid commenters.

My serious blogs, on my crafts and social commentary--nada. Rarely, I get a single comment. As a writer, it is disheartening to feel no one is reading your 'stuff.'

While I'm not making much at all here on HP (I may not live long enough to see the Google payout threshold), it is a fun community. In some ways, perhaps we hubbers are little more than a mutual admiration society--which in one sense is ok, because it functions as a support group. But getting that outside "organic" traffic is no easier here than on my blogs.

I certainly wish you well, and if you decide to pull the plug, I'm sure you'll have followers follow you from here...I would be one of them.

Best wishes whatever you decide.

Cheers...Liz


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

That's really sweet, Liz (may I call you that?). And I'm not running off just yet; I've just begun to look into it. I read that fabulously hilarious blog about the lady moving her dogs, saw how great the following she has is, poked around some of her other articles, some of which are great but some very average, and thought, "Hey!" You know? That's all. In theory, HP should be as good a platform as blogger if people actually share good stuff with friends. In theory.

I think it's interesting that your cat blog does better than your other stuff--clearly you are the same writer on all of them. There's something about pet people that seems to make that subject fertile soil, as I've had unfathomable longevity on a cat hub that shouldn't for any other reason do as well as it does.

Thanks for your kind words, and for your support. I have these little dreams that somehow I might be able to get a tiny taste of Dave Barry's world if I could get some readers. .. speaking of which, I'm going to go check out your catblogsphere. I know some cat people who will appreciate any cat-related finds I can come across for them. :)

Speaking of which, if you like cats, if you haven't seen this yet, here's a laugh for you: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CULU09VCu14

And here's that blog about the dog moves I mentioned, also hilarious:

http://hyperboleandahalf.blogspot.com/2010/11/dogs...


SilentReed profile image

SilentReed 5 years ago from Philippines

Del taco should offer a promo to help alleviate world hunger and feed the millions of children who are undernourished. "get one #15 value meal for the price of two,feed a child"...less indigestion and heartburn. Feel better too.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

You know, I thought that same thing. It's like, dude, if I can't eat all that, like, as in physically can't freaking finish it, then they should reduce the thing and send the other burrito to someone who needs it. (Which would piss everyone off; they would call it a socialist tax--which it is, but only proves how fat and greedy we are: "NO I WILL NOT PAY TO FEED SOME POOR UNWORTHY SLOB BECAUSE I AM OPPOSED TO TAXATION, HOWEVER I AM NOT OPPOSED TO WASTING $2.00 AND THROWING FOOD AWAY THAT I CAN'T MANAGE TO JAM IN MY FAT MOUTH HOLE. JUST DONN'T GIVE THAT MONEY TO THE GOVERNMENT! WOOT, AMERICA!!!"


sueroy333 profile image

sueroy333 5 years ago from Indiana

Shadesbreath- You are awesome, so, of course, I, like many others, will follow you no matter where you choose to blog! (please let us know)

I loved this, although I became alternately turned on,hungry and then turned off and feeling a bit ill, leading me to question my attachment to food, but not your gift for writing.

Thank you for the ride. Except for the part where I turned a little green, I enjoyed it very much!


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Just wonderful! I'm salivating on my computer, and I'm on a bloody diet, ahhhggg! Thank you for a hilarious post! lilyfly


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

My advice Shades, would be that frequently the 'grass on the other side of the street' may look greener, but when you get there it only looks better because it is astro-turf. However there are of course exceptions. I reckon your safest bet is not to move everything from Hubpages to another site all at once, but try writing some of your humorous articles on another site first and see how they do. If it goes well, move a few articles over, wait, see how they go... repeat if going well, and so on. You can still use backlinks on both sites to get traffic going to your articles whichever site they are on.

I still hope you stay though ;)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Sueroy, that is so sweet of you to say. I'll probably be too lazy to do anything more than go look, but, as Misty is suggesting, maybe I'll use some old ones. I have some that I put up really quickly that could use illustrations and get a new life. I really do appreciate the support. (And isn't it funny how closely our senses of lust, hunger and nausea are wired near one another? lol)

Lilyfly, you might want to get one of those plastic keyboard covers then. Or maybe wrap your face in paper towels or something before you read this kind of stuff. Just a safey precaution so you don't short something out or get shocked, you know? :)

Misty, you're right. An experiment would be the right way to go. I actually wrote a hub about Lowe's customer service one night on one of my 30 minute hub challenge binges that turned out pretty funny. It needs to be revised and tightened up, but I think it would be funny as hell with pictures. Maybe I'll start with that one. I was kicking around republishing it with images anyway, so mabye I'll do Blogspot with that one anyway. I wonder if illustrations will make it not be "duplicate content" after revisions are done. Be curious to find out. As always, though, thanks for your support.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 5 years ago from Ohio, USA

Evidently Adam Richman has little to fear from you. We lack Del Taco stores in my hometown. Can I substitute Taco Bell or would that be some sort of heresy?


lilyfly profile image

lilyfly 5 years ago from Wasilla, Alaska

Well, Shadesbreath, my computer is not working well, but I just had to say that your work tastes great, and is less filling. Thanks for such a hilarious fast food saga!lilyfly


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Nicomp, you can if you can, but the thing that Del Taco does to compete is be much cheaper. Taco Bell is the Ritz Carlton of shitty, psuedo Mexican food where Del Taco is the McDonalds of the same.

Lilyfly, thanks for your support of this sort of humorous enterprise. It really does serve to encourage.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 5 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I think I recall that Hub on Lowes Customer Service Shades, it was hilarious, and definitely a good one to start with I reckon.


SirDent 5 years ago

At least now you know your limits. A fun read that brought a little laughter. Maybe you can try again at a later date. I believe you can do it!!!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Thanks, Misty. :) I think I will do that one.

Hi SirDent. It's a pleasure to see you here. As for trying again, well, I am man enough to admit when I have been bested. The #15 is beyond my eating. Alas, I must face my limitations and be at one with them as they are me.


C.J. Wright 5 years ago

Your culinary genius is only exceded by your literary genius! Love your style!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

That's what I keep telling all the agents and publishers I submit to. I'm having trouble convincing anyone in lofty positions. Perhaps you could get yourself in a key publishing position at some major house and help me out? lol.

Thanks for the read and kind words. :)


C.J. Wright 5 years ago

DON'T GIVE UP! I just read all the comments and was unhappy to hear your thinking of leaving. Sounds like your struggling with the idea of being an internet marketeer when you are realy a hard core writer. Your a great writer. You will find your niche. Hope you can continue with HP!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi C.J., that's very cool of you to say. I suppose I am too lazy to do anything drastic right away. I mostly just write because I love it. And I can't help it. This stuff just comes out. But it is frustrating to be unable to make even a paltry living out of it. A wall papered with rejection slips and the occasional hundred bucks from Google to buy beer with is well, ... just frustrating.


Genna East profile image

Genna East 5 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

Your story made e laugh! thank you.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Your comment made me smile. Thank you. :)


saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 5 years ago

Shades I hope you had one of your special model 300 Cybercrap pans attached to your rear end after forcing that mush down your gullet. I sure you would have needed it in a hurry.

Yikes how can one eat that crap the chili fries alone would have been sufficient without chasing it down with bean burritos. I loved the drawings, especially that of you as a boa with your specs on, he he.

Taco Bell is being sued for putting more Oats and less beef in their Burritos, do you think you were fed mushy oats? lol..no wonder they had a hard time sliding down.

Great write Shades you had this old Saddlerider falling out of the saddle with laughter, thank you very much:0))


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

More oats and less beef is probably a very good thing-- and the whole lawsuit thing is probably GREAT for your hubtraffic. Good timing on this, Shades!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Saddlerider, glad you enjoyed my wrap up of my burrito experience. :D As far as the oats thing, that kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it? You know, I heard somewhere, maybe John Steward (? so probably bullsh!t), but that one of the ingredients in that "mush" was some fancy two word thing that, in layman's terms is "sand." LOLOLOL. Can you imagine if they are actually weighting the taco meat with SAND? I've actually read starving people eat sand. Hmmm, maybe there's a hub in that.

Speaking of which, hi Rochelle. I have to say, most of the fatties waddling out of Taco Bell seem to sport waistlines that suggest the oats aren't making much of an impact on fitness :) As far as the traffic goes, I haven't seen any really, maybe I should put a tag in there just in case (except that, then it would mess up all my baloney ones. I rebel against legitimacy when it comes to SEO tactics).


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 5 years ago from California Gold Country

I understand, Shadesbreath, your tags are priceless in every sense of the word.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

LOL, yeah, they are. Hahah. That's funny. I love clever people.


Mrs. J. B. profile image

Mrs. J. B. 5 years ago from Southern California

I LAUGHED THE ENTIRE TIME..... I really really enjoyed your Del Taco Experience.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I'm glad you enjoyed my Del Taco experience. FOr me, it was like giving birth in reverse. Through my mouth. Or something. :D


lrohner profile image

lrohner 5 years ago from USA

So now I'm stuck with this visual of you (or at least the brain/spinal cord you) shoving a burrito into your mouth with a Bic. Priceless!!!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hey, sounds like a dreamy vision to carry around with you in my opinion. :D


Peter Owen profile image

Peter Owen 5 years ago from West Hempstead, NY

Never been there since they aren't in NY. but after reading your post I'll make a point of it next time travelling


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

They are awesome, you will love them. It's just good, greasy, fatty, beany yum. :)


poetvix profile image

poetvix 5 years ago from Gone from Texas but still in the south. Surrounded by God's country.

This took me from dying for Del Taco to bloated all in one read. It was hilarious and I am now really in need of a fast food fix!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Yeah, that's pretty much the experience I have every time I go there except for the reading part.


MsHollyAnn profile image

MsHollyAnn 5 years ago

Your Del Taco story was /is super funny! Question,Do you have tinted windows? Or did your windows get steamed up?Have you ever thought about writing romance novels,what a great sense of humor you have. I'm impressed, write on.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Hi MsHollyAnn. Thanks for reading. I don't have tinted windows, but I imagine the windows may have steamed up. It's hard to be sure, though. You know how it is in those moments, so rapt in the sensory experience of the object of desire, noting trivial things like whether or not the windows are steamed or if a tyrannosaurus rex is rampaging through the parking lot devouring shoppers can easily go unnoticed. So I don't know. I just remember my food. :D

As for romance, I haven't written any specifically, but I do write novels (or attempt to) and I try to work in some steamy scenes here and there. It is fun. I'm too satirically minded to write romance, I'm certain any attempt to do so would turn into comedy (like, for example, my Washboard Vlad hub. You might get a kick out of it, actually).


ningateen profile image

ningateen 5 years ago from Suburbia, US...jk bout the suburbia part

So funny! you're an awsum artist peron, whatever they call that...oh, ya, an artist :P. lol


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

Heh heh, thanks, ningateen. Your an awsum comment person. :)


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 5 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Hahaha! I had to scroll through so many comments, I'm sure SOMEONE had to mention "Man vs. Food" - you have to get into fighting shape for that, and I'm not sure implements like pens are allowed to assist with the effort. All of a sudden, Mexican doesn't sound that great for dinner....


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

I'm definitely not man enough for Man vs. Food (I'm thinking that's one of the cable shows my wife watches sometimes). If so, that is some serious eating that I have not the constitution for. I can't even fathom how those guys do that. Just, wow.


izettl profile image

izettl 5 years ago from The Great Northwest

According to obesity statistics at least 30% of America could master the #15. I think you had the right idea because something about Mexican food makes people naturally pig out- me included. Something else about Mexican, nobody thinks (or cares) about the after effects while they are eating it. It is so good! I commend you for your efforts.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California Author

That's a frightening statistic, Izettl. But if America ever gets in a tug-of-war to the death with some other country, we will destroy them! And, yeah, I know what you mean about the the pig-out factor. What is that anyway?

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