There are certain perks that come with being a syndicated columnist. For example, just last month at the Oregon Plumbling Convention, I was honored with delivering the opening plunge in the Northwest Clogged Commode competition. In terms of prestige, this is like ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. At least in the competitive plumbing circuit. I have also been a guest judge at the Portland Freestyle Burping Contest and keynote speaker at the Nouns of Baskervilles writers conference. Yet in spite of my notariety, I was admittedly a little surprised when Taco Bell included me among its new “Mystery Box Menu Item” promotional ads for the Super Bowl.
If you haven’t see these commercials, sports stars like James Harden and other high-profile celebrities are given a plain green box representing Taco Bell’s new menu item, but aren’t told what the item is. That’s because thanks to marketing wizardry — and an unfortunate incident that resulted in 500,000 burned taco shells — the new item won’t be available to the general public until Feb. 8. But considering the release of the Waffle Taco last year, we can all agree anything is possible. Which could explain how I ended up with a “Mystery Box” in the first place. Continue reading