In a development strongly suggesting that fast food may once have been widely available elsewhere in the universe, NASA astronomers announced Thursday that they had discovered a crumbling and long-abandoned Taco Bell restaurant on a planet in a galaxy neighboring the Milky Way.
The astronomers said that high-resolution images taken by the Hubble Space Telescope showed not only the restaurant itself but also the moldy and scattered remnants of menu items such as Nachos Bellgrande, 7-Layer Burritos, and Quesadilla Combos—as well as dozens of hard and soft tacos, some of them Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos.
The alien Taco Bell is on a planet in the galaxy Cetus Dwarf, roughly 2.5 million light-years from Earth. NASA scientists immediately dubbed the planet a “Mexi-orb,” a term now referring to any celestial body capable of harboring Mexican food.
Thus far, little is known about who owned and operated the Taco Bell, and whether they had a strategy for shoring up in-store sales against rising drive-thru traffic. Even less is known about who worked there, who ate there, and who avoided it.
“At this point we’re trying to construct a profile based on faint images of cash-register receipts, employee pay stubs, and uncompleted customer surveys,” said Maria Carrigan, NASA’s lead investigator in the search for fast food beyond the Earth’s solar system. “Our initial hunch is that these were a Gordita people who belonged to the once-thriving Chalupa civilization.”
“The only certainty,” continued Dr. Carrigan, “is that the civilization collapsed and the people died out. As for the cause of the extinction, our research is focused on a diet that was heavily reliant on Double Decker Taco Supremes, Spicy Triple Double Crunch-Wraps, Caramel Apple Empanadas, and Mountain Dew Baja Blast Freeze drinks.”