Taco Bell’s Big Alaskan Airlift
Travel Blog • Eva Holland • 07.15.12 | 7:00 PM ET
Last month, when I heard that residents of Bethel, Alaska, had been tricked—by a still-anonymous hoax-ster—into believing a Taco Bell franchise was coming to town, I felt a serious twinge of sympathy for my fellow Northerners. Sure, sites like Gawker had a field day with the story (“Parents looked in from bedroom doorways on their sleeping children and smiled,” they wrote at the time. “A silent prayer of thanks that sons and daughters would never know a life devoid of local fast food offerings.”) but it’s easy to snark when you’re sitting in an office in lower Manhattan, with your every heart’s desire just the swish of an iPhone away.
Geographical isolation produces strange cravings, and things that seem pedestrian, elsewhere, take on a bizarre importance. Here in Whitehorse, Canada, we’re counting down to the return of our KFC and Dairy Queen franchises—both closed several years ago—and even the healthiest of health nuts can’t wait for the grand re-openings. It’s about the injection of something new, something—anything—different into a well-worn routine. In that way, I suppose you can compare the arrival of a fast food franchise in a remote small town to the act of travel itself: Good or bad, it always shakes things up.
Anyway, Bethel’s story ends happily. Taco Bell airlifted 10,000 Doritos Locos Tacos into town to soothe the sting of the hoax, and the end result of the whole saga is this promo spot: