The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

October 30, 2007

Mike Pound: Why take one free taco when you can get eight?

By Mike Pound

Globe columnist

It was a plan devised by young men with the sort of determination and guile that made this country what it is today.

It was daring, yet simple. Devious, yet harmless. Tricky, yet obvious.

The four Webb City High School students’ plan was rooted in your basic teenage constant need for fast food on a budget. The guys, who figured it was better that their names not be used, were on a mission to garner as many free Taco Bell tacos as they could.

I mentioned in this column Tuesday that as part of a World Series promotion, Taco Bell would be giving away a crunchy beef taco between 2 and 5 p.m. Tuesday to anyone who wanted one.

The taco giveaway was well under way when I visited the four Joplin-area Taco Bells. All four restaurants were doing a pretty brisk free-taco business. It wasn’t overwhelming, but it wasn’t underwhelming. Folks starting showing up for their free tacos right at 2 p.m. One guy behind the counter at the Taco Bell at 2315 W. Seventh St. said a few folks showed up before 2 p.m. When the guy told the folks that they had to wait until 2 for their tacos, they went and sat in their cars and waited.

I also mentioned Tuesday that several people had speculated that it might be possible for people to visit multiple Taco Bell locations and score multiple free tacos, if they were so inclined.

Consider the four Webb City kids so inclined.

What the four, who said I could call them “Taco Bell: Sticking it to the Man,” or TBSM, planned was to visit all four Joplin-area Taco Bells. When I caught up with them, they were sitting in the Taco Bell at 1706 S. Madison St. in Webb City. They were getting on the outside of their first free tacos. One of the TBSM guys was also eating a burrito. He and another kid were drinking sodas; the other two guys were drinking water.

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