‘Yelp.com,’ a website dedicated to helping people everywhere find a convenient, quality spot for anything ranging from Thai food, to haircuts, to cheap rug warehouses has recently assisted a user in another way — by showcasing his talents for the written word and helping him sign his first book deal. Bill H., most notably known by his user tag as “DipnStyx087,” is in talks to write his first memoir, “Five Star Stories: Diary of a Yelpist.”
It all started in 2009, when Bill was only 41 years old. He had been perusing the internet for a “nice Italian joint” when he came across a link for a wing place he frequented. There, in the corner, a recent two-star review had caught his eye. Curious to see who could have possibly found fault at “Bone Thugz N’ Barbecue,” a local, family-style wing joint with great atmosphere and free peanuts, he clicked on through to the review.
“Sauce was weak. Service was weak. Shit was weak.” – Chad M., Rockville Centre.
Bill was aghast. “I knew I had to say something, you know? Bone Thugz N’ Barbecue is one of the best wing places I’ve ever eaten at. They use good ingredients and offer good prices for the whole family, you know? I know the owner, Martin, personally, and he’s never been anything short of fantastic. Great guy. His kids go to school with my kids.”
And so, Bill spent 45 minutes crafting a response to hopefully restore faith in the infamous, family-owned eatery, and restore Martin’s good name.
“Look,” starts the five-star review, “I know Martin personally. When my family and I first moved into the neighborhood from Brooklyn twelve years ago, we didn’t know anybody or anything. Sometimes, I feel like I still don’t. One dark and stormy night (all nights are dark though, aren’t they?) the kids, my wife Julia and I got caught in the rain on the way back from seeing Nanny McPhee. Great film for kids, by the way. We took cover underneath an overhang, huddled together for warmth, fighting to stay dry…and that’s when I noticed the flickering light of the letter “B” above me. At first I thought, “B, like as in ‘Bill’,” but then I saw the rest of the sign, “Bone Thugz N’ Barbecue,” and upon glancing inside, I was instantly drawn in by the wooden interior, neon décor, and broken arcade machines. Gives it a real retro look. We went in, sat down, and Martin himself came out to greet us. We got to talking, found out his kids would be going to school with my kids, and the rest is history. Food was pretty good too. ”
The blurb has been praised as one of the most creatively articulated review in Yelp history, leading to an array of commentary by writers around the country.
A senior editor for The Huffington Post claims, “Brilliant. Descriptive, but never reveals too much.”
A writer for Diner Weekly writes, “This is what more food reviews need. More about the experience of eating the food rather than the food itself.”
Author Nicholas Sparks stated, “Gripping. I kept thinking his wife was going to get cancer, or maybe one of his kids. But when they made it safely to the restaurant without any car accidents or drafts to the war, I thought, this is what writing is all about.”
Not everyone was as impressed with the review, however.
Fellow Yelpist “Jerry D.” from Hauppauge replied with his own three-star review, “But the wings were still mediocre. I’ve had better sauce from a jar.”
The user could not be reached for further comment, but when we notified Bill of this most recent Yelptastrophe, he simply replied, “I guess there’s a sequel in the works, then.”
The book is expected to hit stores Spring 2013.