Early in June, residents of the Southwest Alaska hub village of Bethel were hoodwinked by a particularly cruel joke.
Yellow fliers posted around town announcing the grand opening of a Taco Bell chain were widely believed to be true ... at first. The fliers, calling for interested applicants to submit their credentials and boasting the Bell's grand opening, turned out to be someone's idea of a practical joke.
By the time KYUK in Bethel reported the flyers to be hoax, it was too late. The hearts of an estimated 6,000 residents, once brimming with anticipation, were suddenly broken. True, it took more than a week for Bethelites to uncover the tragic truth, but that one week was one of true elation for many.
So who done it? According to The Associated Press, "The flyers announcing the chain's arrival (which went up in June) were a hoax -- the result, police say, of a feud between two residents." The number listed on the flyers apparently belonged to the targeted person.
Even though some annoyance may remain, residents have largely moved on.
And then this happened: KYUK in Bethel reports, "It appears the top brass at one of America’s largest fast food chains has heard the reports of the fake restaurant. The company is sending 10,000 free tacos to the community."
That's right. 10,000 tacos are set to descend on Bethel: free tacos. 10,000 free tacos! There are not even 10,000 people in Bethel (at the moment). Who's going to eat all the tacos?
Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed, who is responsible for the commission and distribution of said tacos, simply told KYUK staff, no big deal, we'll have a party ... er, a ceremony, but either way it will be for real.
The unassembled taco makings will be supplied by an Anchorage franchise, and flown into town accompanied by Creed. Then the tacos will be assembled on site and distributed to the eager masses. No word yet on which Anchorage franchise is set to help in the process.
The ceremonious party is to be held Sunday July 1 at the Cultural Center from noon to 5 p.m. KYUK plans to be present and will broadcast on the event on Friday's midday newscast.