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  • Writer's pictureFred

Taco Bell is Hell

Earlier this week, there was an interesting article that speculated what happens in the brain when you die: Groundbreaking Study First to Record Brain Activity During Death

In short, the study believes that when you die, that your life actually flashes before your eyes. Being an eternal pessimist, I find that news distressing. Why? Let me tell you a story.

About 2 years ago, I was talking to my friend and current co-worker Anthony. He's about 10 years younger than me and is a hard worker and a good mechanic. I was complaining about all the nightmares that I was having that were hurting my sleep schedule and he stopped me cold "you still have nightmares?"

Yeah, don't you have nightmares?

"Uh no, I'm not 12."

So we bickered a little, and then we called some more co-workers into the discussion. I was still the only one who had nightmares.....

Now he asked about the content of my recurring nightmares and I replied that they all have to do with Taco Bell, (my former employer.) They all laughed really hard.

Here's some recurring themes:

I am running a Taco Bell with no employees, but the District Manager won't let me close.

I am running a Taco Bell with only people who hate me.

I am running a Taco Bell and only certain limited ingredients are available to serve.

I am running a Taco Bell while customers pelt me with debris.

I am running a Taco Bell at the gates of hell.

You get the gist.

So back to the death story at the beginning of the article. I was thinking, just last night, if I died tomorrow, I would hope that I flashed back to happy memories in my youth, maybe Christmases with my family or a day at Cedar Point or Wildwood. I went to sleep reminiscing of the good times. When my subconscious took over.....

I drempt that I was running a high volume Taco Bell. There were a dozen co-workers, all working at a high rate of speed. I was working at about half the speed I currently occupy in real life. As my co-workers berated me, I worked slower and slower, which resulted in more and more ridicule. I was stuck in slow motion.

When I woke up, I was struck with the concept: What if there is no heaven or hell? What if heaven or hell is simply the process of your brain shutting down?

If that's the case, I am so, so screwed.

The author, both in 1989 and, probably, in a post-apocalyptic hellscape.


One day, when I was in college, I had the flu. It was the pre-Covid days when your employer still made you go to work sick. I remember not being able to get warm and, on my break, I took all the tacos and shelves out of the heating cabinet and sat there until I stopped shivering and got up to temperature.

If there is no hell, my brain tortures me.

If there is a hell, guess where I'm probably waking up.

Or maybe, just maybe, I am being tormented, like Saint Teresa, because I am so good.


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