If power stations could be run on entitled stupidity, Yelp is living proof that all of humanity would never need live in darkness again.
I knew going into this job that there was a level of dumb on Yelp that truly touched the profound, but I didn't realize just how deep the rot went. I have to say to my readers, WOW. You guys really stepped up, giving me far more reviews than I could use (including several I'm saving for later). If you like this series, keep them coming.
Once more into the horrible, narcissistic breach, my friends.
Max C., THE BATS, THE BATS, WHY DOES NO ONE SEE THE BATS
Pro-tip: if you're shouting about bats no one else can see, it's pretty likely the people around you aren't the ones with the issue. Also, check your driver's license: if it says "Dr. Gonzo," calm down! You're in a Johnny Depp movie, and things will be OK. Well, probably OK.
Here's the funniest part to me: after ranting about bats and complaining about terrible wine/champagne selection and dusty/stale candy at this liquor store, Max C. still gives it a 5-star review. What would it take for him to subtract stars? If a bat actually shapeshifted into Tom Cruise and feasted upon Max C.'s companion while extolling the virtues of Vampire Scientology, how many stars would Max C. give it? Can't be less than 3, right?
Elise P., Who is Confused by This Whole Star-Rating Nonsense
Do you…do you get how a numbered rating system works, Elise P.? If a place is good, you give it stars. If it's really good, you give it more stars. At no point are you supposed to boomerang back and start deducting stars because it crossed a goodness threshold. Your job is not to try to prove Einstein correct. Why is that a thing you would do.
Abe R., Who is Just a Tremendous Douchesocket
Remember Claire B. from the first one of these, whose entire review consisted of "could've used more vegan options?" I kind of want to make her and Abe R. live on a deserted island with no one but each other for company.
I love meat more than anyone I've ever met, and for good reason: meat is fucking delicious. But how much of a douchebag do you have to be to try to go into a Vegetarian restaurant, not eat anything, get a nice bartender to sell you stuff you know you won't order, and then go on Yelp and drag the restaurant's review average down purely because they don't serve what you want? That's pro-level douchetrolling, right there. I'm admittedly a terrible person, and even I wouldn't do something that shitty.*
Just do us all a favor and don't review anything ever again, Abe R.
Jessamine F., Veteran of at Least Three Creative Writing Courses
Her weird aversion to prohibition-era glassware notwithstanding, that last paragraph is where this really starts to shine. I'm trying to follow the logic train of the idea that a designer spending half their design budget on coke would make a better finished product. Do interior decorators react to coke the way Popeye reacts to spinach? I mean, it might explain some things.
But really, we're all here for that last sentence, and we know it. Here is a collection of phrases Jessamine F. used in a Yelp review:
- "clutches of nature"
- "falsely-flattered socialites"
- "illusory facade of neglect"
- "suspended in the clutches of vines and ferns"
We're very proud of you for getting a 4 on your AP English exam, Jessamine F., and we're glad you enjoyed The Great Gatsby so much, but there are places where allowing the poet in your soul to spread her wings in glorious technicolor just makes you look ridiculous. A Yelp review is all of those places. That is the most pretentious sentence I've ever heard, and I live in Shadyside, aka Pittsburgh's hipster ground zero.
Elihu B., the Human Wat
Wait, wait, lemme get this straight: Elihu B. thought the place had excellent service and enjoyed the food, describing it as both tasty and plentiful...and yet he gave the place a 1-star review. But why, do you ask? Because he "opened his eyes" at home. I feel like dining with a blindfold on would be a really difficult experience, particularly the part where you have to drive to the restaurant, but that's beside the point.
What did Elihu B. discover when he "opened his eyes"? That he had paid $11 (which is eminently reasonable for a dinner entree, it needs to be said) for a meal he enjoyed that had involved a lot of gravy. So much gravy. All the gravy. All the sweet, delicious gravy that you found filling enough to have leftovers from and for which you paid a good price.
"You've Been Warned." Yes, Elihu B., we have. That you're a fucking idiot.
Nathaniel M., Ohhhhh Boy, This Guy
Nathaniel M. is the reason I write this series. He is a glorious, putrid joy to be savored like the finest Italian Red (if the finest Italian Red also tasted vaguely of buzzard vomit). That first review might seem unhinged, but it gets so much better than that. Here's his review of Burger King, because reviewing fast food places on Yelp clearly isn't a desperate plea for help or anything:
Oh God. There's just so much to unpack with Nathaniel M. that I'm not entirely sure where to start. There's his random use of all-caps for things there's absolutely no reason to emphasize. There's his absurd interjections of Lolspeak. There's the fact that he keeps using the word "flip" as if it were a swearword (six times in that first review!). There's the part where he proudly boasts about "inspecting" the Burger King employees preparing his food and "smash[ing] it like gordon ramsey [sic]." There's where he proudly talks about eating nothing but Burger King for a month straight.**
Really, Nathaniel M. is just such a goddamn treasure that we should bask in the majesty of his reviews. Granted, he's a treasure chest filled with rancid gouda and old gym socks, but a treasure chest nonetheless.
* Dear anyone trying to make some ludicrous point about the similarities between this behavior and Foods That Should Not Exist: shut up. FSTNE is designed to be obviously absurd, and it doesn't directly impact the fate of local businesses. Yelp, meanwhile, is treated as a legitimate thing instead of the most asinine website that hasn't been officially endorsed by the Tea Party.
** Fair's fair: my freshman year of college, I decided to save money by trying to eat nothing but Top Ramen for a week straight. I made it to day three and was practically weeping tears of blood by the time I ate actual food.
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.