The Flat-bottomed Taco Shell


I thought I would reach back into the archives and share a post from when this blog started so many years ago. Keep in mind, this blog started as a place for all my writing, before I decided to focus on poetry. I hope you enjoy the throw back!


The Flat-Bottom Taco Shell…Really?!?


Don’t get me wrong, I love tacos. And I was certainly one of the first to wish I had made that huge leap of technology for my own economic benefit. In fact, I remember laughing with friends about the fact that in 1969 we could put a man on the moon with the computing power of one of today’s lesser cell phones, and yet it took us 40 more years to figure out we could put a flat bottom on a taco shell. It runs along the same lines of the person who twisted a small piece of wire into a paperclip. It seems such a simple and elegant solution to a common problem, but you have to be the first or your assumed genius will not materialize. That’s right, the 21st century has brought us the Large Hadron Collider, space tourism, the artificial heart, a map of the human genome……and the flat-bottom taco shell. I guess I am just flat out amazed it took us this long, that’s all.


But after some careful reflection (and those who know me, know this is the shit I sit around and think about), I realized that my amazement was not in the timing, but in the need. I am not against societal advancements or technology. Hell, I am writing on the fastest PC with the latest software to a global audience, many of which my parents would have needed the help of an international operator in order to call on the phone. To some countries that would not have existed back in the old days when our tacos kept falling over. I just can’t wrap my head around the need.


I understand the concept, but it skews from my agreed amateur knowledge of this significant snack consumption problem. I mean, every time I have ever made a taco, it was hard enough to get the fillings in with one hand and the quantities were such that using one hand did not seem to create a huge waiting time to the eating part. I am guessing, with one hand, I could throw and old balance-challenged taco together in less than 30 seconds. And I am positive I can eat it in half the time. That being said, I could then eat 5 tacos in 5 minutes. Did someone have a problem with this? Was there a general need to eat tacos at a much faster rate? Then I would understand the advantage of two hands to make your taco. Granted it would be more convenient to make a number of tacos at one time, but again, unless you are hoarding the tacos or planning an eating race, there seems no real benefit with advanced preparation. Or was the problem in being able to set your taco down? Again, my experience has been that in the time it takes for the 3 or 4 bites to eat a taco, my arms never got overly tired. If anything, you were already wrestling to keep your taco together after the first bite, and setting it down seemed like a definite losing option. Add to the fact you could not set food down in the house I grew up in. Hell, if you dropped a piece of food, you were lucky to ever see it again, much less make a tasty treat and purposely leave it laying around.  If I had ever set a taco down anywhere in my house, I’d be lucky to find a tell-tale trace of sauce on my dad or brother’s chin two seconds after my hand had cleared the shell. So, I am not sure the need stemmed from here either.


I will continue to stand proud as a citizen of the country that brought you the flat-bottom taco shell and before the hate mail starts, I am fully aware of the advantage they are for those with disabilities. I actively lobbied to have equal taco access included in the Disabilities Act. However, I am pretty sure this was not the main demographic this new technology was driven by. And, although I finish this with the same mysterious cloud hovering around exactly why we needed a flat-bottom taco shell, I do think I can help us move onto the next great step. Let’s get this genius to work on some of the other societal problems we have. Maybe a cure for Aids or the end of famine is only a twisted piece of wire or geometrically-shaped pressed corn meal shell away.


23 Responses to “The Flat-bottomed Taco Shell”
  1. beth says:

    glad you reran this, brad and I’m in total agreement )

  2. I appreciate the purpose of a flat-bottomed taco shell. Having said that, I buy tortilla chips and make my taco on top of them, using a fork and fingers to eat them and making sure I am not wearing any of it when I’m finished. I also like making a taco baked potato! I do agree that we spend millions of dollars on things not needed – like finding out if different types of fish have different rates of breathing – and yet cannot focus those dollars on something that could/will make a different to the people of this country, perhaps the entire world!

  3. yassy says:

    Taco Bell rings a bell. Good post , Brad.

  4. K.L. Hale says:

    In a taco shell you summed it all up (without any waste might I add),…we have much bigger fish to fry. I appreciate your wisdom and perspective on life! Your writing is spectacular.

  5. Although I don’t like tacos, I am with you on this one Brad! Good choice to bring back.

  6. I started eating taco salads so I could stuff the ingredients in easier.

  7. Jim Borden says:

    funny post, Brad. maybe this genius could work on COVID…

  8. petespringerauthor says:

    I’ll look for you at the next paper clip convention. Maybe we can go out for tacos.

  9. kristianw84 says:

    Hahaha!! I agree the we spend lots of money on things that are not needed, but I do have one question…

    With all the technology and advancements we have made, why the heck have cereal companies not thought to have ziplock bags in their boxes?!

    • Brad Osborne says:

      Oh, they thought about it. But if your cereal stays fresh longer, you will inevitably need to buy less. Your cereal eventually going stale is part of the sales cycle. Love you, Kristian!

  10. I love it but have to deconstruct as my hands don’t allow me to pick it up without the content falling out of the shell

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