taco bell, and a small digression into bbq


Taco Bell is one of my dirty little secrets. It’s terrible for you, not very tasty, full of salt, and generally is just awful. But it reminds me of my childhood. Fast food was a rare treat with my mom, so with my grandparents, we did what any normal children would do and gorged ourselves. On the weekends we stayed with them, my grandmother, tired of my and my grandfather’s ham-fisted attempts at cooking (the chicken grease muffins are a story for a later date,) would send him out to get something for dinner. My sister and I, being about 7 and 9 at the time, alternated between Taco Bell and Pizza Hut (with an occasional McDonald’s cinnamon roll thrown in for breakfast on Sunday.)

I explained this to VT and he pointed out that when I get stressed or grumpy, I have a tendency to hit Taco Bell. Point taken. As a result, I limit my Taco Bell intake to once every three months.

I broke that rule last night.

Some time ago, I received an e-mail from VT:
“i trust you will be joining me at this event?”

with the following attached:

My response?
“holy shit! i am SO there. if this is a joke, I’m going to be pissed beyond belief.”

So, yesterday, I met VT outside of Cannon, and we walked with another one of his coworkers into the Rayburn cafeteria for free Taco Bell.

I have never worked on the Hill in the classic sense. I worked for a non-profit that’s located on the Hill, but I have never worked in a Senate, House or Committee office, and I have NO intention of ever doing so. Yesterday, i was dressed for work in a denim jacket, tank top, and bubble skirt. That is basically the highest level of formality my job requires. I was wearing flip flops, but in a concession to the occasion, switched to flats. Things like that don’t work on the Hill.

I do LOVE Hill receptions though, which is why I’m glad VT (for the time being) works there. Free beer. Free taco bell. Did I mention the free beer?


I got into an argument with one of VT’s coworkers, a Grade-A bullshitter who tried to convince me that barbecue had originated in Vermont. “We use artisanal pigs,” he said.

“You can use artisanal pigs for barbecue. It’s made from hogs,” I replied.

This led to a discussion of the major fault lines in barbecue- wet vs. dry, pork vs. beef, and most importantly, ketchup vs. vinegar. I, being from NC, come down on the wet, porky, vinegary side. I also might have referenced this map of SC barbecue.

I later resumed this discussion with a friend from Texas, who clearly came down on the exact oppossite side. Poor saps. They don’t know what they’re missing down there.

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