Tag Archives: letter

Which letter would you choose?

If some sort of a wizard appeared in your house one day, and he said to you, “I’m going to remove one letter from your vocabulary. You get to pick which one. Once it’s gone, you won’t be able to say that letter anymore,” which one would you choose?


My immediate choice would be the letter C, seeing as how you can get away with using K or S. Would I still be able to write with the letter C? Would I be able to recognize it in the outside world? “Don’t try to get clever,” the wizard would say, “C doesn’t count. You have to pick another letter. Something with some serious consequences.”

And I don’t know. Maybe I’d choose the letter T. I think that I have a pretty decent shot at still talking somewhat fluidly without relying on the letter T. And yeah, my voice would be markedly different, but it wouldn’t be a handicap. If anything, I’d sound British. Maybe. I guess it depends on where the T is in a word. If it’s in the middle, I could get away with it. For example, “sitting” would turn into “si’ing,” which, yeah, I guess that’s an awkward way to write it down, but use your imagination. Doesn’t that sound like one of those magical chimneysweeps from Mary Poppins?

But if the T starts out the word, that’s where I think things would get confusing. Like, say, “tacos” would become “acos,” and that doesn’t really sound British. It doesn’t sound anything. “Tennessee,” “Texas,” “Tacoma,” are hardly the recognizable places they are without the T right up front. And what about T when it’s used with H? Isn’t TH its own unique sound? If I choose to lose my Ts, would I have to rely solely on the H?

I think I’d go with Z. Yeah, I think I could get away with replacing all of my Zs with Ss. I’m sitting here right now and saying all of these Z words out loud: “zoo,” “zip,” “Zanzibar,” and yeah, I think the confusion would be minimal, as long as I talk really fast. Nobody is going to say anything.

But maybe the wizard wouldn’t like that trick either. “Sorry, that’s the same as the C rule, it’s too close.” At which point I’d be like, “Well, why didn’t you say something earlier? What kind of a wizard are you? And what do you get out of taking a letter away from me?”

I probably shouldn’t be that aggressive in the unlikely event that I do find myself confronted with a powerful wizard actually capable of removing individual letters from a person’s vocabulary. But for real, is this a punishment? Did I do something wrong?

And maybe he’d be like, “Yeah, it’s a punishment. I’m an evil wizard. This is what I do. And I gave you the chance to choose, but since you want to stand around and be argumentative, I’m going to choose for you. It’s G. You can’t say G anymore.” And he’d snap his fingers and then, poof, he’d vanish.

And I’d be screwed. Because how do you say words like “orange” or “grapefruit” anymore? And all of those words that end with –ing, I’m going to sound like I’m from the south or somethin’. What happens if I’m ever vacationing in Japan and a giant dinosaur emerges from the ocean and starts destroying the city? What am I going to scream when I point to the sky in terror? Even in the general panic, people are going to stop and look at me and say, what’s wrong with that guy? Why’s he talking so weird?

Dear Taco Bell:

Dear Taco Bell:

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Last night my wife and I planned a taco night for dinner. It wasn’t Tuesday, but honestly, I’m feeling a little over the whole Taco Tuesday thing. Why should tacos be limited to just one day of the week? Is it really that important that taco and Tuesday both start with a T? And Tuesday kind of sucks anyway, as a day, it’s probably the worst day out of the whole week. The previous weekend and all the fun that came along with it is by now a distant memory, and the only thing you really have to look forward to is Wednesday, itself only celebrated for marking the halfway point of another miserable workweek.

I’m off topic already. I went to the grocery store for some taco supplies: ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, I haven’t made tacos in a while, but I didn’t want anything too Mexican. American tacos were my goal here, crunchy yellow shells, shredded yellow cheese, you know, Taco Bell style tacos.

And wouldn’t you know it, I made a turn right down the “ethnic” aisle at the grocery store and right there, right next to the giant bags of Tostitos chips and jars of Del Monte salsa, I found a box, a Taco Bell box. It said, “Taco Dinner Kit.” Bingo. That’s what I thought at least, bingo, here’s a one-stop Taco Bell taco shopping experience.

I looked at the instructions: “Just add ground beef and toppings.” And I kind of felt a little deflated. Because what is a taco without meat and toppings? It’s apparently the contents of your “Taco Dinner Kit” box, it’s some shells, a couple of packets of Taco Bell sauce, and a spice packet. It’s nothing.

And to make matters worse, I looked at the instructions printed on the side of the box, you’re telling me I need eight ounces of Kraft shredded cheddar cheese, one container of Breakstone’s sour cream. I’m sorry, Taco Bell, but if you’re not going to provide me with the tools I need to get the job done, you’ve ceded any position in which you’re going to tell me what brands I should buy to make my own tacos.

Look, I’m not suggesting you try to make your product something it’s not. I’m trying to imagine the logistical hurdles of including shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, grated cheese and sour cream to your box. You’d have to keep some of the ingredients refrigerated, and would the corn tortillas lose their crunch in the fridge? Like I said, it sounds like a lot of work.

But to call what you sold me a kit, it just comes across as disingenuous. How about just calling it, “Taco Shells.” The sauce? Don’t bother. You give that stuff away for free by the fistful every time I visit a Taco Bell location, and so there are always some spare Milds or Hots floating around my kitchen somewhere. The taco seasoning, what is it really, salt? Cumin? Just throw it in for free and don’t mention it.

And I get it, you put everything in a big box, you make it look really official. I just feel a little duped, is all. I can’t see inside, and so how can I tell if my crunchy hard taco shells are intact inside of that box? These particular shells actually made it to my house OK, but that’s not the point. How was I to know? I had to take a leap of faith, just kind of taking your word for it that the shells had made it in one piece from production to my kitchen, and I really don’t need that type of low-level stress when all I’m trying to do is prepare a really casual Taco Thursday.

In closing, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way. I’m a Taco Bell guy through and through, I stand by your products and, in the future, if I’m ever thinking about making tacos again, I want to let you know that Taco Bell brand taco products are still on my short list of preferred purchases. Having said that, I see plenty of opportunities for improvement. Get rid of the whole misleading “Taco Kit” verbiage. Maybe make the shells a little bigger. Maybe offer me some Doritos Locos taco shells. That would be awesome.

Taco Bell, I love you, your restaurants stand as a model for what American fast food strives to be. Your grocery store offering, however, well … just think about it, this is just something to consider, is all.


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Rob G.