Of all the wonderful and fascinating things the internet has done for humanity, there might not be anything more magical than its capacity for shining a light on the most captivating examples possible of human self-absorption and absurdity. Nowhere is this more evident than Yelp.
People have asked me why I don't theme these posts, and all I can say: could you theme a rainbow, or the passage of time? I have no fucking idea, but I wouldn't be surprised at this point to see a Yelper actually ask that question. That might actually make more sense than some of what you're about to read.
Strap in and let's do this.
We all need to take a moment to truly absorb the knowledge that Harmony legit docked this restaurant a star because their food was too flavorful. That's like docking points from an orgasm because it felt too good.
I'm all for people expressing themselves, but if you only like bland foods by your own admission, you should not ever review anything food-related. That's like if I decided to review cars despite the fact that my knowledge and ability to care about them is limited to knowing that red ones go faster.*
What the actual fuck, Larry.
Actually, it's about ethics in seafoodism.
Ed is basically your Uncle who tells the same longwinded, pointless, rambling-ass story at every family gathering. It took five screenshots to capture this magic, which shatters the previous record. Even Trevor from the last edition only took three.
In high school, we used to call stories like Ed's bowl of cereal stories, after one friend who would, in the inevitable silence that greeting their telling, break the tension by saying "and then I had a bowl of cereal." If you can distill the story you are telling down to "they told me it was blue crab but I guess the company selling it could have mislabeled the product," grab yourself a carton of 2%, because that's a big-ass bowl of cereal story.
This fucking logic, man. This is the same bullshit logic used by high school teachers or college professors who refuse to give out A's because "no one should get 100%," or Baseball Hall of Fame voters who won't vote for first-timers "because Joe DiMaggio didn't get elected his first year." It's patronizing and nonsensical in those cases and it doesn't get any less stupid here. If you ever find yourself utilizing this line of reasoning, you no longer deserve to be able to make any decision that might impact the welfare of another human being. Just agree to go sit in a dark room somewhere you can no longer fuck things up for the rest of us.
OK, prepare yourselves for the next one, because I don't want you getting blindsided. This guy is one of the douchiest human beings you will ever encounter — he is, it is fair to say, the Omega Douche, whose douchery shines so brightly and with such potent douche gravity I would fear to stand too close to him lest he spontaneously create a douche singularity. Also don't stand too close to him because he's a douche, unless you're only there so you can kick him in the dangly bits. Believe me, you'd be doing the world a favor.
You ready for this? Alright, here we go.
Boy, Jim, I sure can't figure out why the bouncer would be deliberately trying to keep you from coming back in. Could it be because, as previously mentioned, you are a fucking douche? Nah, surely not. Also, I'm willing to bet the manager is only verbally abusive to human beings whose very existence makes a strong case for the importance of safe and easy access to abortion services.
I wish I could say Jim's was the only screwed-up, misogynist submission I got this time. I also wish my sock drawer magically dispensed delicious tacos whenever I desired them. We do not always get what we wish for.
The first paragraph there is actually a pretty good review, containing interesting information about fish collar/cheeks that you don't usually see. So good job there, Cesar! That's actually useful information. You were off to a great start.
Aaaaaand then you got to the second paragraph, where you can't shut up about how beautiful the server was. Just...no. Why? Do we need to keep explaining why this isn't appropriate? I mean, come the fuck on.
OK, so a lot of readers who don't get the nuance behind human interactions are thinking Cesar is generally harmless if a bit weird and slightly (we're being as generous as possible, remember) creepy. After all, he's not nearly as bad as Jim (which is why, as you'll note, I haven't resorted to referring to him as Douchius VIII, Supreme Lord and Master of Doucheopolis). Except that sort of review isn't unique for Cesar.
Still feel like defending Cesar? Tell you what: you do that while I go see if I can figure out a way to scrub my brain clean with bleach.
Ugh, we need a lighthearted palate-cleanser after dealing with those human skidmarks. Happily, Yelp provides.
There's a lot to talk about with Matthew. The pretension would be funny enough under normal circumstances (describing the tempura batter as "inefficient" with a straight face might be my favorite linguistic flourish), but it gets doubly funny when you consider Matthew is reviewing a goddamned Benihana. I actually really like Benihana (we used to go there for my birthday as a kid), but if their food was ever "the best in town," that's a phenomenally depressing town.
As many things to laugh at as there are, though, that last paragraph deserves special mention. It's bizarre enough to criticize a restaurant for a mall parking lot situation, but it gets far weirder when you realize he's not reviewing the Santa Anita mall Benihana in Arcadia, CA, he's reviewing the one in City Industry, CA.
"No big deal," you might be thinking. "He must've just made a mistake with the address." That's what I thought, too…until I realized he clearly mentions it as the City Industry Benihana in his first sentence. This means that in the last paragraph of his review, he knowingly switches gears to talk about how annoying it is to find mall parking a half-hour away from the restaurant.
I would say I'm baffled, but I'm not 100% sure anything on Yelp could surprise me any more.
You're probably wondering why I included this one. That review looks totally normal, right? Nothing weird about it at all...until you see the GM's response:
Now, reviewing the wrong restaurant would be a funny enough mistake on its own, but a lot of people are probably thinking "hey, that's not fair to criticize him for an honest mistake!" And you're right! We all make mistakes from time to time, and that's totally unfair to criticize him for it.
It is fair, however, to criticize him for the fact that he wrote this review in April and it's still up without even any addendums or clarifications. This means Edwin, despite being told about his mistake, is either too dumb, too inattentive, or too callous to give a crap about it.
Nice, Edwin. Real nice.
Can anyone explain what's happening here? Why is Deniz? What drugs is Deniz on?** Who would ever hire him that he might tell them to go and "f..k" themselves? Does Deniz think Yelp is Livejournal? Why does he care about a "silent t?" What the hell is a "mecca for suzuki?" Is a "crab park" an amusement park for crustaceans?
I feel like I just got a glimpse into the heart of true madness, and I'm having trouble processing it. My mind, now altered, shall forever dream of tiny shells riding tiny roller coasters.***
* KIDDING! Just kidding. I know blue ones go faster.
** Since it's Vancouver, we might actually be able to answer this one.
*** If you're trying to tell me you wouldn't pay to see a crab tilt-a-whirl, you are a fucking liar.
Do you know of any dumb/insane Yelp reviews you'd like to see mocked? Feel free to email them to WilyUbertrout@gmail.com, or find me on Twitter @EyePatchGuy.