Avarice, Lent & Microwaving Burritos


Even though I am not a Catholic, I soooo wanted to give up Googling for Lent. The thought – remember those? – being I might reconnect with my brain via a neuron and/or God by way of prayer. “Figure stuff out” like they used to in the old days. Put one’s faith in a higher power (though we kind of do when prostrate before Father Google) or if that fails at the very least a real live human being. Seek fantasy baseball guidance from a Mayan shaman. Talk to a barista about the foam futures. Haggle with a librarian over overdue fines. Ask a gas station attendant for directions to Wrigley Field. Get a tip on a racehorse from the shoeshine man. Man, am I starting to sound like an old fart or what? (Google: “Old fart”, yep, that’s yo.)


So novel a Lenten undertaking lasted a whole three hours. I blame the devil: my iPhone. Look no further than this dastardly device Father.

(And then forgive me, gracias).

Steve Jobs confounded invention neglected to remind me to grab my nightly burrito before bicycling workward on Ash Wednesday. (yeah, I know this was like three months ago but I get a lot lost online with my fantasy baseball waiver wire wanderings. I still eat pretty much the same stuff daily which is the point entire). And since Madison Avenue regularly adds a tentacle here a forked tongue there to the ever-colonizing tattoo of Taco Bell cravings (viva almuerzo!) en ye olde frontal temporal lobe, come break time, I rocketed West to inhale a trio of Taco Supremes (hard shell/ground beef/yum) and nick a few dozen hot sauces for future reference.

The only Loop TB serves only lunch. Or at least that’s what Google once told me. Google must have. Must have been why I forgot. Google never forgets. I do. I think. I think I forget. I forget therefore I am not Google. I think it Must have been why I ended up rattling the 10’ foot high steel gate separating me from a Run To The Border instead chowing down on PepsiCo Mexi-versimilitude….


We interrupt this blog to post a conversation overheard on the Red Line Elevated Train yesterday around suppertime, a testament of sorts to the power of the T-Bell:

Kid 1: Isn’t Wrigleyvile at Addison?

Kid 2: Yeah, you ever been there?

(NOTE: At the corner of Addison and Clark, larger than the Saturn, rises from the concrete one Wrigley Field, international temple to recreational day drinking and oh yes, home to those loveable losers The Chicago Cubs.)

Kid 1: Is there a Taco Bell there?

Kid 2: Yep.

Kid 1: Yeah, I walked to that Taco Bell once.

Kid 2: Cool.

Back to our regularly scheduled blather:

Though I do recall this episode now without the aid Google. I think. But is this my memory or is it Google’s? Won’t Google please pay David Byrne to re-record Once In A Lifetime with accompanying video and replace the lyric “My Google, what have I done?” Because even though eerily silent – not unlike A God – the sound I always imagined Google makes while Googling is something akin Eno’s digital burbling chimes that open one of a few tracks God most certainly had a hand in recording:

Blog to Blogger: “Where exactly the fck are you going with this?”

Taco Bell fue cerrado. Mi Corazon fue triste. My break lasts only an hour. The walk from my Mies Van Der Rohe work container to some other smug Modern architect’s steel and glass terrarium that is the Thompson Center takes eats up a quarter of that time: 15 minutes, if my math is correct.


In a bit of a state, all Burt Lancastery at the end of The Swimmer – though dry & clothed – I tried God real quick, as in, “God expletive, where the expletive is an open Taco Bell?” When he/she didn’t answer I turned to the devil (iPhone Google app cuz  Siri has been about as helpful to me as an STD) and paid dearly for my transgression (even though I’m not a Catholic).


No matter how many times ways or means I turn, rotate, wrap, and yes, even gently Kobe beef massage a nuked burrito (any variation: frozen or fridged)/machine, Mexican or homemade), upon inhalation, I somehow always manage to melt off several layers of inner-mouth flesh, blister tongue and gums and yet eventually bite into a gag-reflex flexing 60-30 degree Fahrenheit kernel of blech.

With the nearest Taco Bell being in Wrigleyville (about a 30 minute bike each way), time running out I settled for a quick fix at the 7-11.

7-11s in the Loop, and possibly Chicagoland, to deter either theft or microwaveable crystal meth cook ups, keep their microwaves behind the counter. Patron palates are victims of the culinary skills of 7-11 employees. True to stereotypes and The Simpsons, these Loop convenience stores are manned by men from India and/or Pakistan. (I suppose you could throw Trinidad into the mix too.) The point being, expectations for something piping hot and delicious cooked by such capable hands (Indian food (naan not fry bread) nips at the heels of Mexican food on the race to my mouth for eating bliss) were running high when said Michigan Avenue 7-11 Counter Man (his nametag hung blank) dispatched my dinner. Heck, MA7-11CM was forward thinking enough to bag said gut bomb, noting how obsessively I took to checking the time, before handing it over.


Cut to: Divine Intervention: Here the Gods make me pay for poking fun at Lent, cursing them for closing Taco Bell, thinking for a second they are above Googling, my cultural insensitively, and being a smart ass at meal time when I should be grateful simply to have something to eat not dropped from plane, a pachyderm’s anus, and/or made of millet and/or dirt.

We covered the Donner party (as in chili con cousins not celebration con Kool and The Gang) here once already.


As unappetizing a subject as they are for a faux-food blog I need to rear their ugly heads up again because the first bite of my quite room temperature dinner, both in tortilla texture and filling flavor suggested nothing less than forearm. I spit the limb chunk onto the sidewalk and with even less time to complete dinner returned to MA7-11CM requesting he throw the limb back in the nuker for another 2 minutes. MA7-11CM  happily agreed, not catching the arm joke – or maybe he did and took offense. (Take note germo-phobes: dbl nuking; though something tells me nuclear rays sanitize thoroughly evertying.)


Round two/bite two*


Gods: 2

Nedduh: 0

(*Like being French Kissed by Gene Simmons)

Lesson learned: don’t mess with the Gods, MA7-11CM, rock stars on fire, and never trust a microwave. So until Google innovates a way to cook using gamma rays beaming out of Google Glasses I am going native. From this day forward I will re-heat burros over open flames, er, on our Weber. (During regularly scheduled work hours will prove trickier.  Just have to burn that bridge when I get to it.)

unnamed 1

Parties interested in the open flame/conventional oven technique should know, time permitting, this may be the most thorough and by far sabrosa way to heat up burros. Es muy facil: Set grill to medium or oven to 350, wrap burro in aluminum foil and cook for about 10 minutes. Toaster ovens rock the re-heated burro tambien.


Here’s a Chi-Mexi-Ski burro (refrieds, raw onions, pre-shredded cheddar, grilled kielbasa, fresh NM green) fresh off the grill:

unnamedHere’s a tasty polka to go with it:


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