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Taco Bell returns to the UK

Taco Bell

Few will remember Taco Bells first stab at European domination, opening their Coventry Street store way back in 1986. Several more were opened nearby, but the British public weren’t too keen, and all were closed in the mid 90′s. Mexican food can be a hard sell for us Brits, and it’s not hard to understand why – most of it looks suspiciously similar to left overs from an episode of Fear Factor.  Also, many feel uncomfortable shoving an 8inch phallic monster in their gaping cake hole. But parent company Yum! Brands is looking to take advantage of a greater awareness of Mexican food in the UK and the recent recession (Laxatives are becoming more expensive, in hard times we’ll eat anything etc.) and has announced that the first new store will open at the Lakeside Shopping Centre at the end of June.

My first order will have to be the ‘Volcano Burrito’:

“A warm, soft flour tortilla that’s packed with a double portion of seasoned ground beef, seasoned rice, crunchy red tortilla strips, real cheddar cheese, cool reduced fat sour cream and cheesy molten hot lava sauce”.

Volcano Burrito - what volcanologist have been demanding for years

Who doesn’t want cheesy molten hot lava burning it’s way through their intestinal tract? The best thing about the ‘Volcano Burrito’? Only a measly 800 calories. Not that you’ll be digesting any of it. It’s not called the Volcano for nothing.

At least we’ll finally know what all the fuss was about in Demolition Man.

Daft Albert

Daft Albert

He’s more machine now than man; twisted and evil. The Vtech Little Singing Alfie didn’t stand a chance. I believe his last words were “I’m a happy bear -”. He then found my lack of faith disturbing…

According to Google Translate, his mutterings translate from Swedish to:

“I’ve been waiting for you, fat one. We meet again at last. The circle is now complete. When I left you I was but the learner. Now I am the master.”

Gulp. After what happened to poor Alfie, I’ve decided – I’m joining the Dark Side.

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Albert Versus Southend

Albert Versus Southend

On Saturday, Andrew and Sofia made their monthly pilgrimage to London, no doubt to either Greenwich or Borough Market – you don’t even have to ask where their going any more, chances are it’ll be one of those two. The mere suggestion of anywhere else would leave Sofia with a face so sour it could turn her organic milk. It was up to us to entertain young Albert, and rather than stay in, letting him run about the house like some mad chimp in a cage, we decided to take him out for the day, to Southend-on-Sea.

Andrew’s new turbo charged Saab 9-5 Aero HOT was quickly chosen as our method of transport so as to better blend in with the ‘boy racers’ cruising down the front in their modified Focus ST and Saxo chav chariots. After half an hour, Dad finally found first gear, and we were off, Albert happily chirping away in the back, smearing melted white chocolate over the the clean upholstery while I helpfully pointed out all the areas he had missed. Things were looking good – the sun was out, Albert was behaving, gear changes were down to 5 seconds accompanied with only a smattering of swearing. The traffic was God awful, as usual, and I feared we were doomed to spend the day searching for that mythical perfect parking space, but Albert was becoming grizzly and we parked wherever we could.

As soon as Albert had more sun cream than an Aussie cricketer, we strapped him in the pushchair and went in search of some Rossi ice cream. It was Albert’s first time using the high end ‘Mamas and Papas’ pushchair which Dad found cheap in a charity shop, and compared to the old buggy it was a Godsend, and I highly recommend it to those who have the funds (or if you’re my Aunt, just steal one). Reaching the front, avoiding the vomit, syringes, beer cans, half eaten fish ‘n’ chips and inebriated chavs which littered the pavements, the search was on for the cheapest ice cream Southend could offer. There was little chance of Dad spending two pounds on a cornet only to watch it hit the ground in a cold dirty startling splat that thumps one right on the heart, sounding as loud as it feels. Luckily, we soon found a ‘Pensioners Cornet’ for 75p, and Dad was happier than Albert. There was no question of age, the ice cream man assuming Dad was on day release from some local care home. Becoming increasingly confused by the sight of an ice cream cone being shoved in his face, this new concept of dining was initially beyond Albert. Dad had the bright idea of snapping the end off the cone and dipping it in the ice cream, creating a miniature ice cream cornet, which Albert quickly licked at with delight, later gnashing on the crunchy wafer cone with his razor-sharp armour piercing teeth.

Albert approached the beach with the same trepidation an adult would feel stepping onto the surface of the moon for the first time. He enjoyed his time on the beach, taking in the new surroundings, busy discovering a whole new world. It was soon time to go, but before returning to the car, we stopped at an overcrowded playground, where Albert had a go on the slide, with some help from his Nan.

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Albert Versus Nando’s

Albert Versus Nando's

Crayons were provided to help distract the beast, which Albert imagined to be spears, and used as such. After all spears, sorry, ‘crayons’, had been launched, a Nando’s kids meal was offered up as a sacrifice.

I mused that Bertie’s feeding wasn’t too far removed from that of a killer whale at Seaworld; both needed “you will get wet if you sit here” warnings. We, and most other diners were well within the “Soak Zone”. Now was the time to cover all electronic equipment and adorn waterproof poncho.

Andrew, the poor sod on caretaker duties and I watched intently as the pincer like hand snatched greedily at the chicken and mash. The first mouthful was a roller coaster of emotions. At first surprise, moving quickly to disgust, replaced by awe, leading to loathing and contempt only to end in a sudden burst of ecstasy. A collective sigh of relief echoed throughout the restaurant, alas, short-lived. Albert’s crane like arm lowered, hands scooping at the mash, raised to his gaping mouth, razor sharp teeth at the ready. And then… Continue reading »

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