Clueless -- Not Old -- People Writing on a Restaurant's Facebook Page

Tumblr has given us some great food-related bits of fascination recently. Locally, it's home to Fat City Houston, which keeps our 100 Favorite Dishes list honest. Nationally, it's given us gems like Fuck You, Yelper, showcasing frenzied Yelp reviews as beat-style poetry.

This week, it's Old People Writing on a Restaurant's Facebook Page, which showcases particularly angry or amusing Facebook posts from various chain restaurants' Facebook pages. Except that I have one problem with the title: These aren't "old" people posting stream-of-consciousness ramblings in all caps. These are just idiots. Leave the old people out of it.

Take, for example, a woman in Palo Alto who's very upset about...something...that went wrong at her local Buca di Beppo.

She's not old; she's just -- well -- clueless.

And apparently, just as pre-teens are drawn to making vapid remarks about not knowing the Titanic was a real ship that killed real people, there's something about that oh-so-American intersection of chain restaurants and Facebook that inspires clueless middle-aged to elderly people to leave inane comments about the fact that Jimmy John's had the audacity to be closed on Easter.

This weird sense of utter entitlement also seems pervasive at chain restaurants (blame Burger King's "Have It Your Way" ad campaign), where even when the restaurant -- or its social media person -- bends over backward to be polite, it's not enough for the prickly patrons.

They also verge on slightly racist, as with a woman who was upset that her table at the wholly authentic Benihana was not staffed by a "Japanese chef," but rather a "Latino" gentleman. After all, everyone knows that the real talent in Japan aspires to leave Tokyo for the exciting and dignified life of flipping shrimp into kids' mouths at a Benihana in Topeka, Kansas. And everyone knows that there's no way a "Latino" could be better at this demanding task than a Japanese person. P'shaw.

Still more baffling are those who simply don't seem to understand how Facebook works at all. How did they even set up an account? Did their children do it for them?

I'm sure The Cheesecake Factory was duly upset at this news.

On the other hand, Old People Writing on a Restaurant's Facebook Page does occasionally inspire a bit of hopefulness -- even if it's tinged with despair -- that there are decent (if still clueless) patrons in the world, as when a recent Burger King fan wanted to share her glee over finding a better salad at the new 'n' improved BK than at her old standby, Mickey D's.

We know; that new Burger King salad really is pretty good.

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Katharine Shilcutt