A Taco Was Never Like This

Thirty-Five Years Ago
In general, I avoid eating at places with the words “jolly” or “happy.” Not because I am a misanthrope, but because the chain that calls itself the Jolly Ox serves little to give us the jollies. French restaurants, employing even one French word, such as chez, immediately have it made, whereas Mexican ones, beginning with Azteca House and ending with Su Casa, conjure up the inevitable combination plate — tacos, enchiladas, refried beans.
“A TACO WAS NEVER LIKE THIS,” Eleanor Widmer, May 15, 1975

Thirty Years Ago
There is a certain sense of frustration and fear that accompanies even the smallest outbreak of exotic Newcastle disease. And thus it was ominous that a microbiologist isolated the disease three weeks ago in four smuggled parrots that died suddenly in Spring Valley.

This most recent report of Newcastle is the first in San Diego County since a 1977 flare-up of the disease caused the destruction of 4308 birds, most of them expensive tropical varieties.
CITY LIGHTS: “SICK AS A BIRD,” Mark Orwoll, May 15, 1980

Twenty-Five Years Ago
There’s a certain time in midmorning when a retired man’s home becomes his prison. He’s had his coffee, cleared his lungs of phlegm, smoked a cigarette or two, and had the routine quarrel with his wife over who left the thermostat on all night and who

didn’t let the dogs out. The thought of watching the missus fuss over her dried-weed collection one more time, or worse, listening to her get on the phone and fret over her ailments, becomes intolerable, and he knows he has to get out of the house or he’ll lose his mind.
“THE ONLY HONEST GAME IN TOWN,”Steve Sorensen, May 16, 1985

Twenty Years Ago
There is a kind of irony about having a week so slow in movie houses around town that I am prompted to turn to Twin Peaks for something to write about. For if this TV show — a critic’s choice — par excellence — has done anything at all for me, it’s to make me thankful my beat is movies and not television.

Rule of narrative thumb: if you don’t want to solve a mystery, don’t pose one in the first place.
“VALLEYS,” Duncan Shepherd, May 17, 1990

Fifteen Years Ago
My husband, Jack, asked me what I wanted to do for Mother’s Day.

“I don’t want to do anything. I don’t want to wash a single dish or do any laundry. I don’t want to have to get anyone dressed and out of the house by a certain time. I want to sleep in until eight, drink a cup of coffee while it’s still hot, and read the entire Sunday paper without anyone asking me for juice.” Jack’s eyes got big. I knew I was asking a lot.
KID STUFF: “PIZZA PEDDLER OR SUPER MOM?” Anne Albright, May 11, 1995

Ten Years Ago
“They were throwing up on the boat, and no one was there to clean it up,” said one employee of the Clear Channel radio group about a “Ships and Salsa” promotion. Clear Channel’s 91X heavily promoted the one-day cruise to Rosarito Beach, which featured gambling and alcohol.

When it was over, Ships and Salsa was rechristened as the Vomit Cruise by some who took the voyage.

“People got seasick. People were hurling all over. Half the people who were throwing up were chain-reaction vomiting.”
BLURT, Ken Leighton, May 11, 2000

Five Years Ago
“I drive a big car with a big name,” he says. “A 1959 Cadillac Series 60 Special Fleetwood. It was one of the lowest production numbers of all the 1959 Cadillacs. I hear stories of guys driving them off the cliffs in Mexico. Surfers from La Jolla saying, ‘Oh, man, me and a bunch of buddies one time...’”

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