Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Fine Print


The problem with the world is that the number of Zagat rated places is growing so rapidly, nothing isn’t Zagat rated anymore. Indifference plagues the streets as couples become so discombobulated as to what might actually taste good that they stand in the middle of the sidewalk trying to decide.

“Pam, hon? Sugar plum? How about Thai tonight? That sticker says Zagat rated it number one Thai in the city in 1987.”
“That sounds wonderful, Theodore. There was some really good Thai around in 1987, so it must be some of the best in the world.”
“Let’s not kid ourselves, honey bunch. If it’s Zagat rated, it is the best in the world.”

Of course, Theodore and Pam won’t realize until they’ve paid the five hundred dollar entry fee that the restaurant isn’t serving Thai food, but Thai child prostitutes.

“Excuse me, sir? Could I have the Pad Thai?”
“You want the Thai they call Pattie? Good choice. She just turned eleven.”
“Didn’t you have the number one Thai food in 1987?”
“No, sir. Read at the bottom of the Zagat survey sticker. Oh, sorry. Here. Use my magnifying glass. See? It says Number One Thai Prositutes. Plain as day.” He chuckles a little and checks out Pam’s cleavage. No thanks, puberty.

Yes, folks. It’s a little known fact that Zagat actually ran out of restaurants to rate in the early 2000’s so they moved on to other types of stores. When they ran out of clubs and bars in 2004, they turned to music venues and theatrical productions. But alas, these too were of finite numbers, so they decided to rate prostitution cirlces and drug dealers.

“Booger Shooger is quite a pleasant fellow, but you’re going to pay up to twenty dollars more than the Nosy Clam Man,” one review states. “But if you really want the most bang for your buck, Zagat always goes with Gator Tales. There’s a story behind every bag; plus, his meth and heroine are out of this world. Zagat lost three reviewers to overdoses before we found Gator.”

We can’t completely blame Zagat for the state of things these days, however. The problem inherent to Ratings Lists is that you can rate things relative to just about anything. You might be eating at a restaurant that appeared to claim to have the Number One Burgers in town, when, in fact, if you had read the fine print, you would know they actually served the Number One Greasiest Burgers in town. And the jokes on you because, not only will you not get a refund, for the next few days you’re going to be reminiscing about that time you spent in Mexico and you didn’t listen to Sheryl because you hate drinking hot soda and just had to add some ice cubes.

These Top Rated Lists have been an issue for thousands of years.

“Pontius?” the Hater from Rome asked.
“What is it?” Pontius Pilate barked, angry to be awoken from his nap.
“Sir, the Survey of Biblical Proportions just came out, and it ranked blasphemy above murder this year."
“Did it mention the number one way to kill offenders?”
“Let’s see… Yep, right here. Crucifixion.”

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