Flashback Friday Moment of The Week: 10/8/2021

by Just Juan
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This past Tuesday, I was doing a facilities walkthrough. It was around 1pm and the lunch period was winding down. It being Tuesday and all, the cuisine of choice was tacos. As I was walking in one of the hallways, there was a woman and a small child sitting on a bench outside of an office and they were eating tacos that they no doubt purchased from the food truck that services the embassy. As I passed them, I noticed one of the names on the placard outside of the office was “William”, which is almost always shortened to Bill. A little bit of a wry smile came over me as I continued my walk down the hall. They were literally eating tacos outside of Bill’s office. That brings me to this week’s moment in the Flashback Friday series: the AT&T “Taco Party” commercial.

How I first came across this moment? I first came across the commercial while watching an episode of The Defenders in December 2010.

What it meant to me then? In the moment, it was fantastic comedy. The guy walking up to a scene where everybody is enjoying tacos and sodas while he’s standing there with his vending machine sandwich was a perfect example of being left out of the loop. It also showed how being left out could also conjure up hard feelings like his revelation of the party’s host being creeped out by Eric. As I was the owner of an Apple iPod Touch (WiFi version) at the time, I totally understood getting last-minute notifications on stuff that came through when I wasn’t connected to the Internet. It was a great laugh then and it actually ended up being runner-up for Best Laugh in the Best of 2010 Awards in the old blog, Life: The Juan Thomas Story. Back when I was in the 11th Civil Engineer Customer Service Office at Joint Base Andrews, my colleagues and I playfully re-enacted the commercial with our own twist. I had brought in some bagels from Einstein Bros. Bagels for the enjoyment of my colleagues and the HVAC Superintendent had come in and seen us all enjoying the bagels. His words were, “Gosh, you guys got bagels. I like bagels”. After he left without a bagel, we all bust out with “I like bagels”, referencing the commercial.

What it means to me now? Some 11 years later, that commercial is still one of my favorites all-time. Aside from the 3 months I spent as an AT&T U-verse TV customer prior to my move to DC to take the Interior job, I’ve never had any allegiances to AT&T so it wasn’t about pride in that brand or anything. I just genuinely liked the combination of comedy and realism in the commercial. All of these years later, I still admire Eric’s resolve in continuing to enjoy the tacos despite being outed as a creep. Back when I was in Foreign Service Orientation, I was part of a skit group called Follies. Had COVID-19 not made it a completely virtual course, I actually had a commercial written out to somewhat mimic the AT&T “Taco Party” commercial with a Foreign Service twist. Maybe I’ll save that for another time. Anyway, that commercial is still a great, quality laugh.

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12 comments

Stephanie October 9, 2021 - 1:43 pm

It’s funny, I know exactly which commercial you’re talking about. I love that the smallest things can bring such a smile to our faces in remembrance of something years ago.

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Stacey Peters October 9, 2021 - 5:53 pm

First of all — thank you for your service. It’s always a pleasure to interact with my fellow military community because it’s so small. It’s funny how our memories can be triggered by such a little thing as a commercial. And yes, if it made you laugh then and now, you should use your take on it one day in the future.

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Sabina Green October 11, 2021 - 5:26 am

This is such a sweet story, I really enjoyed reading it. Thanks for sharing your moments.

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Laura le Roux October 11, 2021 - 8:42 am

Sign of a great ad if you remember it well after is has stopped airing 🙂

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Glass Mosaic Tiles October 11, 2021 - 11:04 am

Cool story, i love it!!! Keep them coming please, they’re awesome!!!

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Lavanda Michelle October 11, 2021 - 1:16 pm

Thank you for your service and I’ve been seeing so many nostalgic commercials recently. It’s a sign to watch some of my fav childhood movies. Thanks for sharing!

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Risa Lopez October 11, 2021 - 1:17 pm

I would like to thank you for your service. This is a sweet story, I watched it and I love it, too.

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Sondra Barker October 11, 2021 - 1:19 pm

Great commercial! My favorite advertisements are the types which are both relatable and humorous.

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Rhian Westbury October 11, 2021 - 3:33 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this ad before, but it’s the sign of a good advert if you remember it x

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Jupiter Hadley October 12, 2021 - 4:13 am

It is so nice to be reminded of something you enjoyed previously! Also, I totally want to eat some tacos now.

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Lily October 13, 2021 - 7:38 pm

I think I remember this commercial. Eric was a champ and just ate his taco in stride!

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Amber October 14, 2021 - 1:33 pm

I remember this commercial. Its funny what we remember years later and how our perspective on it changes.

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