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Cruel Taco Bell hoax leaves town reeling

 
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madoka



Joined: 27 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2012 6:44 am    Post subject: Cruel Taco Bell hoax leaves town reeling Reply with quote

I think long-time NETs can understand the pain and mental cruelty involved:

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-taco-bell-alaska-20120614,0,688755.story

In what has been described as an evil hoax, the town of Bethel, Alaska, has learned it is not getting a Taco Bell. Not now. Not ever.

“I repeat: Bethel is NOT getting a Taco Bell,” the local radio station, KYUK, broadcast this week in an attempt to dash the greased-up expectations — not to mention dozens of phone calls — sparked by the fake fliers posted around town promising gorditas in time for the 4th of July.

Bethel may be the largest town in bush Alaska, but it still barely tops 6,000 people; it’s reachable only by boat or plane; and Subway is as close as it’s ever managed to come to fast food.

It was some unique form of tundra humor at work, apparently, that led to the fliers posted on various local bulletin boards, promising an opening in time for Bethel’s annual Independence Day parade and offering employment.

“We got excited, because we don’t have any fast food chains out here, and the idea of Taco Bell coming in? And they were going to be here for the 4thof July?” Chamber of Commerce director Bonnie Bradbury said in an interview.

“You bring a McDonald’s or a KFC, people will go crazy out here,” said Tatiana Dotdot, who works at the local AC store, the rambling supermarket that sells everything from diapers to all-terrain vehicles, as long as it can be brought in on a barge or a plane.

On the flier, interested parties were directed to a fake website and a telephone number belonging to a local resident who told callers he had no intention of opening a Taco Bell.

“I called it, too. They said, ‘Of course this is not Taco Bell,’” Bradbury recounted in an interview. “Then he kept getting phone calls, and he asked me if there was any way to stop the phone calls, they would appreciate it.”

KYUK called up the company in Anchorage that operates Alaska’s Taco Bells, and what the Anchorage Daily News newspaper described as “an evil hoax” was confirmed. The perpetrator remains, for the moment at least, unknown.

Still, spring in the tundra is an optimistic time, and Bradbury’s thinking that all the phone calls and attention may wake somebody up to the fact that Bethel is in fact yearning for fast food.

“Maybe now they’ll think about it,” she said.
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2012 7:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That hoax got folks excited up- and downriver, too. We weren't pleased to learn the truth.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“You bring a McDonald’s or a KFC, people will go crazy out here,”

A testament to how people can become conditioned by advertisement.

I strongly doubt there aren't any local diners or takeout restaurants whose menus surpass McDonald's or KFC's.
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
“You bring a McDonald’s or a KFC, people will go crazy out here,”

A testament to how people can become conditioned by advertisement.

I strongly doubt there aren't any local diners or takeout restaurants whose menus surpass McDonald's or KFC's.


It isn't the advertising - it's that most folks there have, for one reason or another, had opportunity to get in to Anchorage and experience something different. Here in the bush, (just about) anything different is good.
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yodanole



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: La Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At 6,000 people, it has 20% more people than my hometown, which does have a Taco Bell. ( and Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardee's, Zaxby's, KFC, Popeye's, Sonic, Subway, Pizza Hut and Captain D's) That my hometown is on Interstate 10 may be the mitigating factor. I'm just sad that there isn't a Church's Fried Chicken....And I sometimes wish there were Long John Silver's or Arthur Treacher's here in Korea. (Is Arthur still even in business back in the USA?). I can cook my own fish, but fast food IS fast.

Last edited by yodanole on Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:34 pm; edited 1 time in total
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yodanole wrote:
At 6,000 people, it has 20% more people than my hometown, which does have a Taco Bell. ( and Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardee's, Zaxby's, KFC, Popeye's, Sonic, Subway, Pizza Hut and Captain D's) That my hometown is on Interstate 10 may be the mitigating factor. I'm just sad that there isn't a Church's Fried Chicken....And I sometimes there were Long John Silver's or Arthur Treacher's here in Korea. (Is Arthur still even in business back in the USA?). I can cook my own fish, but fast food IS fast.


You're killing me. I haven't seen a fast food joint in a year.

We cook our own fish, too - and it's world-class salmon we pull out of this river. Still, a bucket of KFC would do nicely from time to time.
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yodanole



Joined: 02 Mar 2003
Location: La Florida

PostPosted: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I didn't eat at those places very often....still, I know what you mean.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReeseDog wrote:
yodanole wrote:
At 6,000 people, it has 20% more people than my hometown, which does have a Taco Bell. ( and Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardee's, Zaxby's, KFC, Popeye's, Sonic, Subway, Pizza Hut and Captain D's) That my hometown is on Interstate 10 may be the mitigating factor. I'm just sad that there isn't a Church's Fried Chicken....And I sometimes there were Long John Silver's or Arthur Treacher's here in Korea. (Is Arthur still even in business back in the USA?). I can cook my own fish, but fast food IS fast.


You're killing me. I haven't seen a fast food joint in a year.

We cook our own fish, too - and it's world-class salmon we pull out of this river. Still, a bucket of KFC would do nicely from time to time.


Well, I'm envious that you can have deer and moose sausages and buffalo burgers. I guess it's all about perspective.
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

12ax7 wrote:
ReeseDog wrote:
yodanole wrote:
At 6,000 people, it has 20% more people than my hometown, which does have a Taco Bell. ( and Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardee's, Zaxby's, KFC, Popeye's, Sonic, Subway, Pizza Hut and Captain D's) That my hometown is on Interstate 10 may be the mitigating factor. I'm just sad that there isn't a Church's Fried Chicken....And I sometimes there were Long John Silver's or Arthur Treacher's here in Korea. (Is Arthur still even in business back in the USA?). I can cook my own fish, but fast food IS fast.


You're killing me. I haven't seen a fast food joint in a year.

We cook our own fish, too - and it's world-class salmon we pull out of this river. Still, a bucket of KFC would do nicely from time to time.


Well, I'm envious that you can have deer and moose sausages and buffalo burgers. I guess it's all about perspective.


I guess. No deer or buffalo around here, but there are moose all over the place, and if you pay attention to the herd movement, you can score a couple of caribou in season. The ducks and geese darken the sky at times, and you can take a walk down any trail and bag grouse and rabbits. There are a few grizzlies around (taste like fish), and scads of berry-fed black bears (great steaks). On the hill you can harvest all the blueberries you can carry, and on the tundra grow several other berry varieties. The tundra also yields huge flocks of ptarmigan. Five species of salmon make their runs up this river, and when the salmon aren't running, whitefish and pike are to be had year-round, even through the ice. There's plenty to eat around here, and most of it is really good.

I'd still like a bucket of extra-crispy every now and again.
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12ax7



Joined: 07 Nov 2009

PostPosted: Tue Jun 26, 2012 7:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ReeseDog wrote:
12ax7 wrote:
ReeseDog wrote:
yodanole wrote:
At 6,000 people, it has 20% more people than my hometown, which does have a Taco Bell. ( and Arby's, Burger King, McDonald's, Wendy's, Hardee's, Zaxby's, KFC, Popeye's, Sonic, Subway, Pizza Hut and Captain D's) That my hometown is on Interstate 10 may be the mitigating factor. I'm just sad that there isn't a Church's Fried Chicken....And I sometimes there were Long John Silver's or Arthur Treacher's here in Korea. (Is Arthur still even in business back in the USA?). I can cook my own fish, but fast food IS fast.


You're killing me. I haven't seen a fast food joint in a year.

We cook our own fish, too - and it's world-class salmon we pull out of this river. Still, a bucket of KFC would do nicely from time to time.


Well, I'm envious that you can have deer and moose sausages and buffalo burgers. I guess it's all about perspective.


I guess. No deer or buffalo around here, but there are moose all over the place, and if you pay attention to the herd movement, you can score a couple of caribou in season. The ducks and geese darken the sky at times, and you can take a walk down any trail and bag grouse and rabbits. There are a few grizzlies around (taste like fish), and scads of berry-fed black bears (great steaks). On the hill you can harvest all the blueberries you can carry, and on the tundra grow several other berry varieties. The tundra also yields huge flocks of ptarmigan. Five species of salmon make their runs up this river, and when the salmon aren't running, whitefish and pike are to be had year-round, even through the ice. There's plenty to eat around here, and most of it is really good.

I'd still like a bucket of extra-crispy every now and again.


You've got blueberries? Well, then, I take it back. I don't know why you're complaining. Wink
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madoka



Joined: 27 Mar 2008

PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2012 9:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Residents of Bethel, Alaska, know from cable TV ads what the major fast-food chains offer: chicken at KFC, burgers at McDonald's and tacos at Taco Bell.

They just haven't been able to get any of it.

The city of 6,200 people is about 40 miles inland from the Bering Sea in far western Alaska, and the closest fast food other than a Subway sandwich shop is in Anchorage, 400 miles and a $500 round-trip plane ticket away.

So they were elated to learn that Taco Bell was soon going to open a restaurant.

The joy, however, turned into disappointment. The flyers announcing the chain's arrival were a hoax — the result, police say, of a feud between two residents.

But all was not lost.

Taco Bell executives learned of the mix-up and arranged an enormous feast for Sunday. They plan to fly enough ingredients in from Anchorage to make 10,000 tacos.

"It'll be a big event for our community," Mayor Joe Klejka said.

Taco Bell will offer its fare for free. There will be 950 pounds of seasoned beef, 300 pounds of lettuce, 150 pounds of cheddar cheese, 500 pounds of reduced fat sour cream and 300 pounds of tomatoes.

The chain is accustomed to feeding large groups of people in far-flung places.

"If we can feed people in Afghanistan and Iraq, we can feed people in Bethel," company CEO Greg Creed said, declining to discuss the cost of the feast.

The community-wide event comes at the right time.

Since it is the start of the Fourth of July holiday, the population is expected to rise, up to 10,000, as people from outlying villages arrive for the week.

Police Sgt. Chris Salyers said the hoax appeared to be the result of one resident retaliating against another.

Flyers went up in June, announcing the opening and including a phone number to call to inquire about a job at the new restaurant. The number belonged to the targeted person.

Bethel has a large transient population, with people moving from the Lower 48 to work in the hub city. The city has no bars, and will soon have its first movie theater, said Angela Denning-Barnes, news director at radio station KYUK.

There are a dozen or so restaurants, most with similar menus. A couple of restaurants offer some Mexican food, but the price is prohibitive — $15 for a burrito and rice.

The Subway is quite popular, but getting a taco means flying to Anchorage.

"It's kind of an expensive taco," said Sam Blankenship, who works for the city.
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They must be keeping it quiet in Bethel. Nobody around here is talking about this. Then again, the king run is on and the subsistence harvest window is open, so everyone and his sister is catching and cutting fish right now. They're all way too focused on getting their fish for the year to think about much else.
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ReeseDog



Joined: 05 Apr 2008
Location: Classified

PostPosted: Sun Dec 27, 2015 3:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

...and now they're finally getting a fast-food tex-mex place in Bethel. It's not a Taco Bell, but it's about the same thing. Residents will be pleased.
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