Dear Taco Bell:
Good day. I just wanted to drop you a note and let you know about my most recent experience with your products and services. I have lots of observations to share and questions to ask, so let's jump right in, shall we?
I have just finished enjoying my two Baja Chalupas, sans the promised pepper jack sauce. The only reason I even get anything called, "Baja" on your menu is for the luscious spicy warmth that is that sauce. That was pretty much a huge disappointment. At least I'm no longer hungry. I won't be, for at least another 30 minutes or so, since your products are not so much "food" as they are "packing material." I do appreciate your help in leveling out my blood sugar, though.
Additionally, and I hate to nitpick, but what the hell, Taco Bell? How do you mistake something called a "Carmel Apple Empanada" for "Cheesy Tater Tots"? If I wanted a deep-fried diabetic coma, I would have ordered one. Man, that was disgusting! All gooey and weirdly textured. I admit to having a sensitive gag-reflex aggravated by the textures of certain foods, but those empanadas were Sweet JESUS Unholy. When you market tested them, did you have difficulty finding an adequate number of participants who had damaged their taste buds in unfortunate industrial accidents that involved licking a hot-press line? Did you merely round up the local hobos around your corporate headquarters? Was the focus group comprised mainly of members of The Hemlock Society? I'm really curious as to how those things ended up on your menu. Nasty -- those things are nas-tee! I may never get the taste of the plastic tasting apple swimming in chemically-enhanced "caramel" sauce out of my mouth.
And I really just wanted my Cheesy Fucking Tater Tots. Those are crispy, greasy, golden goodness and they work so well with the Chalupas. It's a marriage of Yum, and I get very sad when a wedding is called off; especially when I was so looking forward to it.
I realize it is probably difficult to get people who want to work at the Ken-Taco-Hut here in Kansas. I understand that it's not necessarily a glamorous or well paying job. However, every time I visit your establishment (whether dine-in, drive-thru or carry out,) it's a culinary crapshoot. I will say, it does keep me on my toes. Will I get anything even vaguely similar to what I ordered? Is there anything here that can be improved by a drowning in Fire Sauce? How do "tater tots" fit into Mexican cuisine, anyway?
So, there you have it, Taco Bell. I'd threaten to never darken your door again, but you know me and my drinking habits. Often, you're the only place open by the time that I've finished punishing my liver for its mere existence. Well, there's IHOP, but that involves a lot more pomp and circumstance than I can often summon up at 2 AM.
Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Disgruntled and Defeated Consumer
Dear Target Corporation:
I am not one of those people who insists on tarting your stores up by pronouncing them in a pseudo-French way. That is an honor and a privilege I save for JC Penney, but no matter. I'm just trying to illustrate that I am not one of those wack-jobs. I wanted to let you know about my most recent shopping experience at one of your locations in Kansas. I think you'll find it most informative.
Let me begin by saying that I appreciate the convenience and proximity of your Super-Target to me. I also delight that I can buy tampons at the same place I have my passport picture taken, and then can pick up some ridiculously cheap Spaghetti-Os and a purse. Genius! You also do something I admire almost too much when you mark your merchandise down for clearance: you use these bright, flourescent red tags that draw my eye in quicker than I can say, "royalty check," and I end up buying things I had no idea I even needed. But I'm sure, someday, that I will have occassion to wear a pair of not-quite-beige boots with four-inch heels and a zebra pattern on the top cuff that are really a half-size too small to be comfortable. I will invent an occassion if necessary because, for $4.98, they were too good of a bargain to pass up.
Last week, when my daughter and I realized we were running low on both socks and Oreos, we decided to visit your fine store. Oh, we were having jolly fun trying on hats when we couldn't help but notice the new spring line of tramp earrings. We didn't have an issue so much with the size of said earrings; we were just a tad disconcerted by the shininess of them. And the presence of fruit. Was this a trend we should be aware of? We raced over to magazines and checked both Seventeen and Cosmopolitian. We could find no mention of enormous strawberries-as-fashion in either one. We would have checked Vogue, but as Stanley, the helpful employee we flagged down explained, "If it's not there, we don't have it." I think hiring Stanley was probably one of the smarter moves your company ever made; he's a credit to his little red smock.
So, in closing, I just thought I'd tell you, "Good Job, Target-with-a-hard-G." You truly have it all -- from frozen seafood products to Halo:III. I appreciate letting you have an obscene amount of my money. Keep up the good work.
Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Satisfied Customer
Dear Kansas City Star:
You are a fine newspaper. I know this, because your constant emails and masthead remind me of this. I am a former subscriber, only because Ghalik, my former paperboy, developed an odd little idiosyncrasy of hiding my newspaper on my patio. I had a couple of issues with this, namely why he thought it was perfectly acceptable to crawl over the wall surrounding my patio in order to play this little game of his. I think we've been over this, and I see no reason to rehash the incident, but I would like to remind you that I am the same Joy M. Cranky-Pants that once left your Delivery Department an hysterical voicemail explaining why I found it creepy and probably actionable that one of your employees was inviting himself onto my porch every morning at 6:45 AM. I was truly grateful that we got all of that cleared up -- especially as it explained the sudden appearance of half-smoked cigars in my outdoor ashtray, and I no longer worried that I was being stalked by Columbo.
The reason for my letter to you today is just as touchy. According to the regulations governing telemarketing, because you and I have a "former relationship," you can call me and attempt to re-establish our "relationship." I understand that and while I'm not "okay" with it, I'm okay with it. However -- and that is, indeed, a loaded "however" -- I'd just like to say this:
This is my last ditch effort to get you to please put me on your "Do Not Call" List.
I honestly don't get it. Do you think I'm kidding when I tell you I do not want to re-subscribe? Do you think I'm playing hard to get? Being coquette-ish? Or, do you think you'll just wear me down, sort of like how my date kept bringing up sex on Prom night, hoping I'd put out? Is the bitter and acrid taste of my rejection too much for you to bear, thus your refusal to take "no" for an answer?
Really, harrassment is never an answer or an effective means of getting your way. Calling me faithfully, daily, at 2:30 PM and 6:15 PM will get you no where. My mind is made up. We aren't good for each other, and this sort of whiny pestering only works for really adorable four year olds. Even then, it rarely works with me. I'm hard-ass that way.
Wouldn't it be better to just be civil to each other? Couldn't we just say, "Hey, we tried but it didn't work out" and let it go at that? You know, you do your thing, I'll do mine. No contact between us, a "cooling off period" of sorts. We'll be civil if we happen to run into each other. We might even wistfully think of what might have been. But, for now, could you please just leave me alone?
Joy M. Cranky-Pants, Literate Yet Lying ABout It.