Monday, October 08, 2001

Taco Bell Chooses New South Oakland Spokesman

After an extensive nationwide search, the fast food chain Taco Bell has selected Forbes Avenue "resident" and veritable Oakland legend, Lloyd Hamilton, better known to the Oakland community as "Sombrero Man," as the spokesperson for their newest ad campaign.

“He's a perfect choice,” said Bill Ross, director of marketing for Taco Bell. “These ads are aimed at a low-to-no income audience that craves sub-standard Mexican cuisine at a below poverty level price and quality. Sombrero Man epitomizes this criteria. Besides... he will work for food.”

Hamilton continues to redefine homeless high culture with his collection of silly hats. His unusual attire makes him a local point of interest and a fraternity scavenger hunt photo-op. He hopes to utilize the same creativity and professionalism while pedaling Gorditas, Quesadillas, and MexiMelts to a starving nation. He's even been brushing-up on his high school Spanish, blurting out “Yo quiero annnnnny pesos?” at passersby.

Now that he is poised on the brink of super stardom, Hamilton is letting his mind wander south of the border.

“I collect about $75,000 a year jingling this little Styrofoam coffee cup,” he said, “I'll stay in Oakland during the summer, sucker these gullible college kids into giving me money, then haul my chalupas down to Cancun in the off-season. I can't wait to hook-up with some tequila-tanked sorority girls at SeƱor Frog's! By the way, do you have annnnny change?”

Oakland residents are raising their margarita glasses high in honor of Sombrero Man's newfound fame.

“I always give that dude money,” Pitt student Amy Rotello said. “I know people say you shouldn't give money to street people ‘cause they just go buy booze with it, but, hey, if some random person just walked by and handed me a couple bucks, that's what I'd spend it on too.”

While Hamilton's fame has generated a wave of adulation and support, the recent hiring has some fast food consumers wondering, “What ever happened to that cute little dog that used to be in the commercials?”

“Well,” Sombrero Man slurred, “all I can say is don't eat the new Chihuahua Jalapeno Poppers.”

The commercials are scheduled to air nationwide on Cinco de Mayo. Until then, you can see Sombrero Man live everyday in front of the KenTacoHut on Bouquet Street. Visa, MasterCard, and annnnnny change accepted.

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