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The COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to a great many Wall Street traditions, among many other things (a million American hearts and counting, for instance). Some of these casualties, thankfully, were only temporary: Buffettstock. Davos. In-person internships (and, with them, the traditional river of sick otherwise known as Stone Street). Christmas parties. Three-martini lunches. Bonuses.

One of the truly great trading-floor customs, however, seemed like it might have gone down for good, like the Xerox-HP merger, or Kelly Loeffler’s political career: The eating challenge. The sight of Street subalterns scarfing the contents of the office vending machine, Chicken McNuggets alternated with Munchkins, a two-pound cupcake (otherwise known as a “cake”), 500 Starburst, 244 oysters, a Subway sandwich as long as the contestant is high, and, of course, some number of KFC Double Downs, was already in seemingly terminal decline (wokeness gone mad, if you ask us) before the offices closed and the interns/potential victims were sent home. Nor did the masked, socially-distanced, plexiglass-divided, hybrid environments of the (frankly insubstantial in number) reopened office seem conducive to a revival.

Now, however, nearly half of NYC’s offices are once again occupied—up from just over a third a month earlier—and almost all of the city’s jobs have returned. And, just in time, a suggestion for the first great food challenge of the post-pandemic, inflationary era. No, we’re not talking about the butter board like everyone else (although, now that we mention it…). Instead, we’re talking about Kingsview Wealth Management chief investment officer Scott Martin’s standard lunch.

Martin told Neil Cavuto about his midday eating habits on Fox Business yesterday. He was seeking to make a point about inflation. But that point was very much missed even by this audience primed to hear all about Bidenflation.

“I had a nice lunch at Taco Bell, cost me about $28 at Taco Bell for lunch,” he said, immediately stunning Cavuto on air.

“Wait a minute,” the host responds in puzzlement. “You spent $28 at Taco Bell for just yourself?”

“For lunch. Yeah, it’s true,” Martin said back.

“That’s a lot of chalupas,” fellow guest and hedge fund manager Jonathan Hoenig chimed in.

The Twitterverse quickly calculated that $28 buys about 4,000 calories at Taco Bell, even adjusted for inflation. In other words: A dozen tacos and four sodas. Or four double-steak grilled cheese burritos (3,680 calories). Or seven chalupas supreme (2,520 calories). Or 28 cheesy roll-ups (5,040 calories). All of which sound like fair challenges over 15 or 20 minutes.

Come on, people. Let’s celebrate our otherwise unhappy returns to the office with the return of this wonderful tradition. Live mas.

Fox Biz contributor and ‘legend’ shocks world with $28 Taco Bell lunch [N.Y. Post]
NYC’s office occupancy rates surge to post-pandemic high: report [N.Y. Post]
Core US Inflation Rises to 40-Year High, Securing Big Fed Hike [Bloomberg via Yahoo!]
Are butter boards genius or gross? Why some say the trend has gotten out of control. [Yahoo!]

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