BOWLING GREEN, OH—After a series of delays, Josh Brooks, 29, reportedly informed his two roommates Monday evening that he was going to Taco Bell with or without them.
"I'm going," said Brooks, a distribution manager for the Bowling Green Sentinel-Tribune. "You guys don't have to come. But if you want to, I'm going, like, now. I'm grabbing my keys, then I'm out of here."
Brooks first proposed a trip to the Taco Bell restaurant on East Wooster St. at 6:13 p.m., echoing the popular ad campaign of the Mexican fast-food giant with his suggestion that the three friends "make a run for the border."
"Look, I don't have all night," Brooks said. "But if you guys want to come with me... to get some delicious hot Mexican food..."
Roommates Tony Solomon, 26, and Ron Alexander, 25, reportedly expressed lukewarm interest in the excursion.
"Yeah, manI guess I could go for a Steak Soft Taco or something," Solomon said, without looking up from the television. "Yeah, I guess I'll go."
Alexander's interest in the meal was coupled with serious reservations.
"I should get out of the house for a while, but I'm pretty broke," he said, walking to his bedroom. "I'll go look for some change."
After several minutes of watching his roommates' preparations, Brooks said again that he was in no mood to wait.
"Tone, you don't need the jacket," Brooks told Solomon, who had begun to search the floor around the couch for clothing. "Let's just go. It's 10 minutes away. We'll be in the car the whole time. Round trip'll take 30 minutes, tops. C'mon."
"You don't need your warm-ups, Beckham," Brooks added, sighing. "Listen, I'm out of here in two minutes whether you guys are with me or not."
Gathering his wallet and keys, Brooks relocated to the area by the front door.
"Ronnie, I'll buy you a taco if you want," Brooks said, calling into the back bedroom. "I'm getting old here. I'm not going to bring anything back, so if you want it, you gotta come. Now."
Continued Brooks: "Or not. Whatever. I just thought we'd talked about how we all wanted to go. Just make up your minds, kids, 'cause the train's leaving the station."
"Okay!" Brooks said, clapping his hands as Alexander emerged from the bedroom. "It's TB time."
In spite of the announcement, the group did not leave.
"Just a sec," Solomon said, finally rising from the couch. "I gotta clean up, then we can go."
According to Brooks, this is not the first time Solomon has further delayed the group by wasting time he could have been using to get ready.
"He just sits there and does nothing," Brooks said to Alexander. "Just lays on his ass until I make him move. If it weren't for me, that guy would never leave the house. I can't spend my day just waiting for him. If he isn't out here in two minutes, we're leaving without him."
In spite of the pronouncement, Brooks rarely, if ever, leaves the apartment alone after such a threat. According to Solomon, Brooks feels the need to "decide every last thing we do."
"It's like last month, when we were throwing this party," Solomon said later. "He begged me to go with him to the store to buy the beer. We got there, and before I knew it he was standing at the register with two cases of MGD in cans. He was like, 'Look, man, we're getting MGD cans. That's all there is to it.'"
Added Solomon: "I mean, I like MGD, but he didn't have to be a dick about it."
Dr. Janice Shoreham, a psychiatrist and adjunct professor at Bowling Green State University, said Brooks' behavior is characteristic of an altruistic dominant male in a household of twentysomethings.
"[Brooks] sees himself as the lighthouse, and his less-motivated friends as ill-fated ships, cruising toward the rocks," Shoreham said. "If he doesn't lead them to safety, or in this case a delicious Seven Layer Burrito, he feels he has let them down."
"I really don't care if you guys come or not," Brooks said, opening the front door. "That's itI'm heading out. I'm vapor. I've been ready, and I'm leaving."
Added Brooks: "I'm not kidding. I'm leaving now. Are you guys coming or what?"