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HOME & GARDEN Humour: The Fourth Meal Chris Russell


In my band The Lightyears, we love to eat. In fact, for us, an international tour is as much about sampling the local cuisine as it is about playing music. We’ve midnight- snacked on dried squid in Korea, feasted on freshly-caught langoustine in Thailand and filled up on enormous crocodile steaks in South Africa. Best of all, of course, is America.


Meal Chris Russell


Last time we were in the States, we took every available opportunity to visit our favourite Mexican fast-food outlet - Taco Bell. This hugely popular chain has never made it across the pond, which I suspect is because Taco Bell products so barely resemble actual food that the Department of Health would have the place shut down before anybody even had a chance to order a seven-layer burrito. Still, our loss is America’s gain. The Bell is absolutely fantastic. It’s basically just a ladle of hot slop in a wrap purporting to be cheese and/or meat, washed down with a bucket of garishly-coloured soda by the name of Marshmallow Fizz or Peachy Glug, all for the princely sum of about three dollars. I love the stuff. Mind you, unlike some Americans, I don’t live off it.


On entering a Taco Bell just off the New Jersey turnpike during our last tour, I remember being particularly struck by a new ad campaign that the company were running at the time. It was called ‘The Fourth Meal’. I’m going to repeat that - The Fourth Meal. Let’s just think about that for a moment. I mean, it’s one thing convincing a nation of people that they should eat bigger, fattier meals, but it’s another matter altogether to invent a whole new one! I love the idea of some portly chap wedged into a plastic chair in a Taco Bell restaurant in Connecticut, piles of empty food wrappers scattered before him, overcome with chagrin at having already scoffed his evening meal, suddenly glancing down at his enormous soda, spotting the phrase ‘The Fourth Meal’ and rolling cheerily out of his seat to waddle back over to the counter


Humour: The Fourth


In my band The Lightyears, we love to eat. In fact, for us, an international tour is as much about sampling the local cuisine as it is about playing music. We’ve midnight- snacked on dried squid in Korea, feasted on freshly-caught langoustine in Thailand and filled up on enormous crocodile steaks in South Africa. Best of all, of course, is Ameri- ca.


Last time we were in the States, we took


and collect his ‘between-dinner-and -breakfast’ feed. As if to rub salt into the distended bellies of its loyal customers, Taco Bell’s management had cunningly


every available opportunity to visit our favourite Mexican fast-food outlet - Taco Bell. This hugely popular chain has never made it across the pond, which I suspect is because Taco Bell products so barely re- semble actual food that the Department Of Health would have the place shut down be- fore anybody even had a chance to order a seven-layer burrito. Still, our loss is Ameri- ca’s gain. The Bell is absolutely fantastic. It’s basically just a ladle of hot slop in a wrap purporting to be cheese and/or meat, washed down with a bucket of garishly- coloured soda by the name of Marshmallow Fizz or Peachy Glug, all for the princely sum of about three dollars. I love the stuff. Mind you, unlike some Americans, I don’t live off it. On entering a Taco Bell just off the New


To advertise contact Ruth: E: ruth@allthingslocal.co.uk T: 01332 883140 M: 07545 261034


Jersey turnpike during our last tour, I remem- ber being particularly struck by a new ad campaign that the company were running at the time. It was called ‘The Fourth Meal’. I’m going to repeat that - The Fourth Meal. Let’s just think about that for a moment. I mean, it’s one thing convincing a nation of people that they should eat bigger, fattier meals, but it’s another matter altogether to invent a whole new one! I love the idea of some port- ly chap wedged into a plastic chair in a Taco Bell restaurant in Connecticut, piles of empty food wrappers scattered before him, over- come with chagrin at having already scoffed his evening meal, suddenly glancing down at his enormous soda, spotting the phrase ‘The Fourth Meal’ and rolling cheerily out of his seat to waddle back over to the counter and collect his ‘between-dinner-and-breakfast’


positioned a life-size cardboard cut-out of a stunningly attractive woman in her mid-30s next to the counter. She was holding a sign reading The Taco Bell Drive-Thru DietTM and grinning widely, no doubt at how pert her bottom was compared to that of the average patron. Is this really what three million years of human evolution have been marching towards? The ability to convince people that eating a cheesy, beefy, melty, oily, creamy wedge of bread and fat four times a day can actually be good for you...?


I do hope this doesn’t come across as America-bashing. America’s one of my favourite places in the world, and its people are about as charming, warm and hospitable as it is possible to be. But unless Taco Bell make a commitment to change their ways, or my band splits up soon, there’s a very good chance that in twenty-five years’ time I’m going to find myself riding around on a motorised scooter in an elasticated tracksuit lobbing nachos into my chubby, greasy face and belching at pigeons. And that ain’t no way to sell records.


Chris plays piano in South London power-pop band The Lightyears. The Lightyears, voted the UK’s BEST POP/ ROCK ACT at the Indy Awards, have played Wembley Stadium, toured across four continents, worked with Sting’s producer and starred in a T-Mobile advert. Chris is currently working on his first novel, “Mockstars”. Read more of Chris’ blogs and tour diaries at www.TheLightyears.com.


lies of its loyal customers, Taco’s Bell m agement had cunningly positioned a life cardboard cutout of a stunningly attracti woman in her mid-30s next to the count She was holding a sign reading The Tac Bell Drive-Thru Diet™and grinning wide no doubt at how pert her bottom was co pared to that of the average patron. Is th really what three million years of human lution have been marching towards? Th ability to convince people that eating a cheesy, beefy, melty, oily, creamy wedg bread and fat four times a day can actua be good for you...? I do hope this doesn’t come across a


America-bashing. America’s one of my f vourite places in the world, and its peop are about as charming, warm and hospi as it is possible to be. But unless Taco B make a commitment to change their wa my band splits up soon, there’s a very g chance that in twenty-five years’ time I’m going to find myself riding around on a m torised scooter in an elasticated tracksu lobbing nachos into my chubby, greasy and belching at pigeons. And that ain’t n way to sell records.


Chris plays piano in South London p er-pop band The Lightyears. The Lightyears, voted the UK’s BEST PO ROCK ACT at the Indy Awards, have played Wembley Stadium, toured ac four continents, worked with Sting’s ducer and starred in a T-Mobile adve Chris is currently working on his firs novel, “Mockstars”. Read more of Ch blogs and tour diaries at www.TheLightyears.com.


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