I'm at Taco Bell headquarters in Irvine, California, in a room called the Innovation Forum. It's set up like a small college lecture hall, with a few rows of stadium-style seating at the back and a long counter lined with stools at the front. I'm hunched over said counter with not one, but two Taco Bell public relations envoys, eyeballing a tray of bizarre foodstuffs. I'm running my mouth at top speed, asking all kinds of questions about these things in front of me, when publicist Alec Boyle, a slim, attractive woman with brown hair and a blindingly white smile, cuts me off gently.
"Before we go any further, I think you should try it," she says.
Up close, the Naked Chicken Chalupa, Taco Bell's latest stunt food, looks like a jumbo breaded clam stuffed with lawn clippings, but, as I cram it into my cram-hole, I find it's surprisingly light and crispy. Rob Poetsch, Taco Bell's director of public relations, sits two chairs away from me, typing intently on his laptop. It's unclear if this typing has anything to do with my presence here, my reaction to the Naked Chicken Chalupa, or the avocado-ranch sauce smeared across my face.