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The Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chip Isn’t as bad as you think it is

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Welcome to, “We ate it, so you don’t have to.”

The Taco Bell Naked Chicken Chip isn’t as bad as you think it is. It’s worse. Maybe not.

Before the neighborhood got its first taqueria, taco truck or elote cart, we had two restaurants. An independent drive-thru greasy spoon called Mr. Tom’s and Taco Bell. I grew up in what is now labeled a “food desert,” and Mr. Tom’s and Taco Bell was your only option. If it was passed 6PM, Taco Bell was your only option. The drive-thru at our Taco Bell had a bulletproof partition that would suspiciously jut out and wait stationary while you tried to simultaneously pass the blunt, dig out your change from the ashtray and place your change in the weird metal coin catcher. You had to take a gamble at this Taco Bell and many of us beat the odds. Most of us just took the beating, praying to the porcelain god for the remainder of the night.

I couldn’t tell you the last time I went to a Taco Bell. Probably some time in 2004, when I first moved to 15th and Valencia across the street from what was a hole in the ground and now sits Valencia Gardens. I wandered over to the combo KFC/Taco Bell and wept from homesickness. Today’s outcome was no different.

I only went in to try the new Naked Chicken Chips. But, at some point I responded, “uhhh…yes!” when they asked if I’d like to get the Naked Chicken Chip Box, a $6 box that came with the chicken chips, a crunchy taco, a burrito supreme and a soda. And while I was already on a roulette roll, I went ahead and made that soda a fucking Mountain Dew. I sat under a tree and took a bite of the chicken chips, do you know what they taste like? It tastes like the old-school taco-flavored Dorito had a baby with a chicken nugget, gave birth in the back of a liquor store and then wrapped it in a warm nacho cheese blanket. If you sandwiched a chicken nugget between two taco-flavored Doritos, that’s what you’re gonna get. I happily dipped those triangle nuggets into that warm plastic cup of faux-cheese over and over until I had moved on to the burrito without even noticing. For some god given reason, the burrito had shredded iceberg lettuce inside. And it’s like, dude…why? That shit is now wilted and sad, therefore making me extra sad. Like, was it necessary? Was it some way to kind of add something “fresh” in hopes that it would be the ingredient to resuscitate my heart if it gave out?

After washing it all down with a Mountain Dew, heart palpitations started to set in. Was it the food, or the Mountain Dew? I regretted all of it. Now I know how most men feel after they have sex with someone they really didn’t want to have sex with. But, the boner controlled every motion and then right after they nut, you can see the look of shame and regret on their face.


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