Tommy's Taco Thursday: Tales From the Bell

Taco BellI was standing by the side of the service road for Interstate 75 and Spur 366. My partner was in the car calling for back up. In the passenger floor board was a No. 6, a chicken taco salad, no rice, no shell, no red tortilla strips, a pintos and cheese, and extra hot sauce. At this point, we had had our food for 12 minutes. Duty had called and our food was on hold. On our route back from the Taco Bell, we happened upon a street fight. On either side of me were a drunken couple and a delirious Uber driver. The Uber driver had just been knocked out by his shirtless customer. The shirtless guy’s drunken girlfriend was screaming in my face that the Uber driver had hit her in her face. I’m sure my face was taking more abuse than her's had. Backup had not arrived. My partner was still in the car. If he had started eating, I would understand. If he touched my food, well, let’s just say I’d be in line for a new partner. At this point, we were a full 16 minutes from when we had received our order, and I was beginning to sweat.

The Uber driver was trying to get to his feet and kept face planting into the ground. His face was beginning to look like ground beef. And my mind kept pulling to that floor board. I commanded him to stay on the ground, but he stumbled out into traffic. He obviously planned to drive away. I pictured him, behind the wheel, trying to drive through the stars and birds that were obviously circling his head. What if he plowed into my partner’s car and damaged the Taco Bell? I had to act. I lunged into the passenger side of the car and wrenched the keys from the ignition. The stunned driver turned and followed me back onto the grass, away from the street. At this point, our food is 19 minutes old, and I’m pretty sure this was the longest I had ever possessed Taco bell without dining. I could feel my blood pressure rising.

The drunken couple stumbled off to sit under some trees nearby, but not after trying to bribe my partner and I into letting them go. Finally, my partner, Colten, arrived by my side. He seemed to have remained trustworthy. I did not see any evidence on his person that he had dipped into his fourth meal. I was filled with pride and admiration. We located the broken glasses of the Uber driver and finally our backup arrived. We are 26 minutes taco tardy at this point. I bite my tongue and refrain from taking out my take-out frustrations on the backup officers. (This is a good thing, because these guys were part of the personal camera pilot group here in Dallas. And my biting frustration would have instantly gone viral.)

By the time we had briefed and surrendered the case to our backup, Colten and I were over 30 minutes taco tardy. We scrapped our original plan to eat in the car, because we didn’t want our friends and family to be worried. By now our trip to the border had lasted 40 minutes longer than it should have. We arrived safely to our destination and were greeted by applause and fanfare. We were surrounded by people cheering and clapping for us. We looked at each other and shared a moment. A moment in which we appreciated the fact that they had no idea what had just taken place, and more importantly, we shared a moment where we decided we would eat first and then share with them our Tale from the Bell.

#fourthmeal #tacobell #uberintense #uberdrunk #uber #tommystacothursdays

Tommy Lee Brown teaches and performs at Dallas Comedy House. He is your man on the street, determined to eat. He is the belly of the city. No taco is too small or too commercial. He will eat it all, and tell you all about it. Direct taco related questions to

(Image: m01229/Creative Commons)