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Programming Note re: Henry the Puffy Taco

May 24, 2012, 5:58 AM EDT

Ballapeno and Henry

Hello friends. And That Happened is coming this morning, but it will be a bit delayed. The reason: those two to the right.  For those who don’t know, the green fellow is Ballapeno, the mascot of the San Antonio Missions of the Texas League.  The other fellow is the unfortunately named Henry the Puffy Taco. He’s like a secondary mascot. Or tertiary. There’s a big bag of groceries mascot too. Don’t ask.

Point is, I’m in San Antonio, Texas and last night I took in the Springfield Cardinals vs. San Antonio Missions game. It was sweet, even if the Missions lost. And after it was over we stopped at a taco truck because Texas is awesome like that.  And it was a somewhat late night and I’m now on Central Time for the next few days, so the usual 5:58 AM And That Happened will be a bit delayed.

The rest of the day will be normal. Well, except for the fact that you can’t get Henry the Puffy Taco out of your head now. And you never, ever will be able to.

Oh, and I bought Mookie and Carlo a stuffed Ballapeno. I didn’t dare buy them a stuffed Henry the Puffy Taco.

  1. Tim's Neighbor - May 24, 2012 at 6:30 AM

    I’m not even sure how to react. I’m equal parts disgusted and curious with a dash of arousal.

    • Alex K - May 24, 2012 at 8:51 AM

      Nex step: Sex

  2. recoveringcubsfan - May 24, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Other than the obvious reference to food, what is a puffy taco?

  3. paperlions - May 24, 2012 at 7:17 AM

    I picture a stuffed Ballapeno as a large jalepeno, gutted, stuffed with cheese and herbs and wrapped in bacon.

    • bigleagues - May 24, 2012 at 9:54 AM

      Strange . . . because I’m picturing that big strong Ballapeno stuffed inside a Puffy Taco.

      But that’s just me.

      • cltjump - May 24, 2012 at 10:17 AM

        Oh Jesus…

      • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 10:28 AM

        He can’t help you here…

  4. proudlycanadian - May 24, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    I get heartburn just looking at that picture.

  5. 4d3fect - May 24, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    Disturbing B & D cosplay there, Craig. You had to go all the way to a Texas minor league park for that kind of kink?

    *ponders*

    Wonder what the RT airfare from Cali is this weekend?

  6. mj1818 - May 24, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    This APP has only been getting worst for me, I have to keep switching the order of PHT above the college football talk it’s annoying and not all my comments get posted…

  7. charlutes - May 24, 2012 at 8:00 AM

    well that was a waste of time

  8. heyblueyoustink - May 24, 2012 at 8:03 AM

    The Chernobyl Diaries left this fella out. Speaking of which, we had a women’s groundskeeper article this week, shame on baseball for having enough mascots! Well, except for Minka’s little run.

  9. roadwearyaaron - May 24, 2012 at 8:11 AM

    Craig, please tell me you’re aware that Columbus has some outstanding taco trucks as well. Los Guachos has been rated as some of the best tacos in the nation. It’s absolutely delicious.

    • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      After this story, “Taco Truck” has a whole new meaning.

  10. stex52 - May 24, 2012 at 8:19 AM

    Normally I like a week end in San Antonio. But that is just bizarre.

    • cur68 - May 24, 2012 at 10:03 AM

      I’m holding you and your people responsible for this, Tex. My dog, man, what goes on in Texas?

      • stex52 - May 24, 2012 at 10:24 AM

        This’ll get me some “thumbs downs”. Go for the barbeque first in the San Antonio/Austin area.

        Mexican food is better in far west Texas / New Mexico.

      • stex52 - May 24, 2012 at 11:04 AM

        I’m going to blame the picture on the fact that they are a farm club for the Seattle Mariners.

        It looks like PBS meets soft core.

  11. wlschneider09 - May 24, 2012 at 8:27 AM

    I suspect Craig actually thought Henry was an equipment bag and couldn’t help himself, so he took a picture. Only later did he realize his error.

  12. JB (the original) - May 24, 2012 at 8:29 AM

    Are you sure you just weren’t up late nailing “Trampy the Puffy Taco”?

  13. Jonny 5 - May 24, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I’m just going to keep the 500 or so puffy taco jokes my mind is creating seemingly against my own will to myself.

    • paperlions - May 24, 2012 at 8:35 AM

      You are not alone.

      • stex52 - May 24, 2012 at 8:51 AM

        Thank God the people in PR had the presence of mind not to give a puffy taco a female name.

  14. Chipmaker - May 24, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    Henry the Puffy Taco has been around much longer (at least early 1990s) than that Ballapeno thing.

  15. nyetjones - May 24, 2012 at 9:31 AM

    I grew up in San Antonio, living there from ’78-’96. By far the most fun thing about the Puffy Taco is an in-game stunt they used to do – a little kid would run the bases starting at home plate, and the Puffy Taco would start at second. It was a “race” to home plate, but of course the Puffy Taco would lope along waving to the crowd and such. What was awesome was that the kid’s goal was not to beat the Taco to home plate, but to tackle Henry before he got to home plate. So night after night, happy Henry would be jogging home, just about to cross the plate…

    … only to get blown up at knee level by an exuberant eight year old. Leaving him exactly in the crumpled pile of mess as depicted above. If I remember correctly, if the kid tackled the taco, everyone got a coupon for a free taco from Taco Cabana or wherever after the game. So the crowd was severely biased against Henry, adding to the roar that erupted when he inevitable got crushed.

    Like Wile E. Coyote and Charlie Brown and a multitude of other characters with a goal they will tragically never achieve, Henry the Puffy Taco will never get to touch home plate. And now he’s a secondary mascot? Puffy life is a cruel, cruel thing.

    • Craig Calcaterra - May 24, 2012 at 9:34 AM

      They still do that. Last night the kids was only like 5, and when he tackled Henry, he dropped, like, five Dusty Rhodes elbow smashes on him. The coupon, alas, was to the little food bar inside a gas station, so it wasn’t so glamorous. But it was the same schtick.

      • cleverbob - May 24, 2012 at 11:12 AM

        What’s not glamorous about gas station food bars?

      • thomas655 - May 24, 2012 at 4:06 PM

        Welcome to San Antonio, Craig. Did you realize that the San Antonio team is the oldest franchise by far in the Texas League, with it’s start in 1884?

        San Antonio needs a major league franchise, can you see what you can do about that?

    • Alex K - May 24, 2012 at 10:09 AM

      I will not make a spearing the puffy taco joke, I will not make a spearing the puffy taco joke, I will not make a spearing the puffy taco joke. Shit. By not making a spearing the puffy taco joke I am making a spearing the puffy taco joke.

      • cur68 - May 24, 2012 at 10:43 AM

        No one blames you. It takes a heart of stone to leave the obvious “Puffy Taco got speared” joke alone. I have been able to forebear only because I posses an iron will, nerves of steel, and a brain of solid lard (ie. everyone else beat me to it ’cause I got up late).

      • Alex K - May 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

        I didn’t want to, but it was right there. How could I not knock the bottom out of it?

        I’ll stop now.

    • thomas655 - May 24, 2012 at 3:45 PM

      Henry the Puffy Taco has been a mascot of the San Antonio Missions/Dodgers at least since the early 80’s. I used to watch the SA Dodgers when Fernando Valenzuela, Steve Sax, Mike Scioscia, Mike Piazza and others were here, and Henry was there as well. He is an advertisement for Henry’s Puffy Tacos, a restaurant here in San Antonio, Texas.

      I also remember one night back in the 80’s watching the Dodgers play the team from Midland, Texas, which was a minor league team for the Mets at that time. This skinny kid came up to the plate and hit two screaming home runs over the scoreboard, which was monumental task. I remember thinking that I had better remember this guy’s name because he will be in the big leagues someday. Oh, that name should be easy to remember, Strawberry!!!!

  16. mybrunoblog - May 24, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    Once a man gets involved with a good puffy taco it is really hard to break away. Just mentioning….hey, we’ve all been there….

  17. azvikefan - May 24, 2012 at 9:36 AM

    Columbus has some of the best taco’s in the country? Rated by who, Canadians?
    Come to AZ for the best Mexican food boys.

    • roadwearyaaron - May 24, 2012 at 10:49 AM

      I was mostly just trying to inform Craig of the excellent taco truck scene in Columbus. You are aware that there are Mexican Americans outside of the southwest, yes? I’m sure AZ has much better Mexican food overall, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only place to get some incredible tacos all pastor.

      • azvikefan - May 24, 2012 at 1:02 PM

        Are they all mexican americans? Not one illegal? Lucky Columbus!
        Lots of them here are illegal.

      • Reflex - May 24, 2012 at 11:39 PM

        Mexico is part of the continent named “America” as well….

  18. bigleagues - May 24, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    Can we just talk for a moment about just how unimaginative the name “Ballopeno” is?

    Batopeno makes far more sense on multiple levels. You can make a bat that looks like a jalopeno . . . but a ball? I mean I know cherry peppers are closely related to jalopenos, but still ballopeno is way off the mark. Kind of awful, actually.

    Now Henry the Puffy Taco? That’s got to be some kind of accidental genius. Why would anyone name a Taco mascot “Henry”?

    I mean, yeah in hindsight, instead you might have considered naming it “Virginia” the Puffy Taco and expanded on the theme with secondary characters such as Ricardo the Blue Corn Ball and Bob the Bulging Burrito

    But hey, it could be worse. Thankfully there wasn’t a Tanya the Spicy Tartilla, Tony the Limp Tamale, Persefone the Split Ripe Plantain or everyone’s favorite Susie the Sloppy Taco.

    • bigleagues - May 24, 2012 at 10:31 AM

      *sic jalapenos – SEE! Ballopeno even makes you forget how to spell jalapeno! And ‘batapeno’ for that matter!

  19. spudatx - May 24, 2012 at 10:37 AM

    What the heck, man?! You’re watching Puffy Tacos in San Antonio while Manny Ramirez is in Austin?

  20. mrwillie - May 24, 2012 at 10:52 AM

    As a public service announcement I would like to point out that you should always stay away from green puffy tacos. I will stop there.

    • b7p19 - May 24, 2012 at 11:03 AM

      “The more you knooooowwwww”

  21. foreverchipper10 - May 24, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    This makes me miss the Taco Lou’s truck in Philly.

    • cleverbob - May 24, 2012 at 11:53 AM

      Oh man, now you’re speaking my language.

    • cleverbob - May 25, 2012 at 7:45 AM

      Who dares thumb down Taco Lou’s!?!

  22. seahawkref - May 24, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    I would think that mascot and name is more appropreiate for Hugh Hefner and the aftemath of one of his parties.

  23. thomas655 - May 24, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    The “big bag of groceries” mascot is advertising for the Texas grocery chain, H.E.B.

  24. ndnut - May 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    I’m gonna stay away from a dining establishment named “Henry’s Puffy Tacos” thank you very much.

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