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 4thof 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. “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 4th of July?” Chamber of Commerce director Bonnie Bradbury said in an interview.
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.
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.