Badly-packed burritos. It sounds like some kind of disgusting euphemism. I’m not sure what it would be a euphemism for, and I’m not sure I particularly want to think about it, but that’s kind of what it sounds like. Or else it sounds like a band name, perhaps the name of a comedy Mexican band – Krazy Karlos and the Badly-Packed Burritos. But no – this article is about actual burritos.

Badly-packed ones.

You see, there are few things in life more soul-destroying than a badly-packed burrito. You watch the burrista (is that what they’re called?) press a big tortilla in one of those metal press things until it’s all warm and soft and malleable, then you watch her scoop spoon after delicious spoon of rice, beans, salsa, cheese, guacamole and sauce onto it. You can practically taste it already. Only one thing left to do – wrap that damn thing up and be outta here.

But what have we here? The tortilla has developed a little tear. No big deal, thinks the burrista; I’ll press down on the wrap really hard, y’know, squish it all together. That stupid, unshaven, bespectacled, hunchbacked, bignosed prick will probably be too hungry to notice.

Guess what? I did notice. And I’m not happy. It’s too minor a misdemeanor to demand that the whole burrito-making process start again, but it’s enough to turn what should be an experience of unbridled joy into one of wet-fingered frustration. (Wet-Fingered Frustration – another band name?) Sauce inevitably seeps through the crack as you approach the end of your burrito, enmoistening the immediate environs of the tortilla, rendering the final quarter of the burrito as soggy as a wad of diarrhoea-soaked tissue.

It’s not pleasant. But in the kind of fairly high-end burrito establishment frequented by AFB, it is also fairly rare. It happens maybe one in four times. However, WOE BETIDE anyone who gets a ‘wrap’ from Pret (or similar). Such wraps are always badly-packed. And they are packaged top-to-tail, so you can’t extract them from the packet without spilling half the contents all over your lap. The wraps are often so badly-packed that you cannot tell which end is up and which is down, such is the extent to which the ingredients are open to the elements. Terrible, terrible times.

This has been a difficult essay to write. It has caused me to relive a multitude of past traumas. I only hope it can offer some crumbs of lightly spiced comfort next time you get pico de gallo on your crotch.


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