As we all know by now, social media and the internet is what you make it. Sometimes its awesome might can be used for evil — and sometimes it can be used for good. Brilliant, hilarious good.
Last week a story broke out of the small town of Pittsburg in East Texas that served as a reminder that A) not everyone actually lives in the year 2014, and B) Texas as a whole needs to decimated by a kinetic rod bombardment from a killer satellite called Odin floating high above the earth. Apparently, while visiting a restaurant called “Big Earl’s Bait House Cafe” a young gay couple from the area were chastised for their lifestyle by one of the servers. And by chastised, I mean they were told not to return because, according to this particular waitress, “we don’t serve fags here.”
Normally this might be a he-and-he-said/she-said sort of thing, except that the server copped to her bigotry almost immediately once the press got a hold of it. This is probably because she’s the daughter of the owner, “Big Earl” Cheney. He backed his kid’s comments and even pointed out that the gay couple should’ve known what they were in for given that there’s a sign in the window of the place that actually reads “Here at Big Earl’s we like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies.” One can only assume that “acting like a lady” entails being a raging shithead to a couple of guys who were just having lunch.
By the way, it should be noted that if you’re imagining Big Earl Cheney as the bastard son of Duck Dynasty‘s Phil Robertson, congratulations, you’re psychic.
Since the mildly publicized dust-up, social media has descended upon Big Earl’s Yelp page to offer a nonstop onslaught of helpful reviews for those unfamiliar with the place that’s apparently the best gay bar and bath house in Texas.
And the photos. Suffice to say they’re images of various penis-shaped foods and a headshot of Tom Selleck. Big Earl’s has also recently spawned a Facebook page, which is equally — descriptive.
Now sure, you can make the argument that some of the more direct comments engage in precisely the kind of ugly stereotyping and generalizing that Big Earl and his daughter do, but considering that Earl went on television and essentially blasted his bigotry to everybody, the humorous backlash just feels like a little harmless comeuppance. Besides, it’s not like anyone stopping off at Big Earl’s in Pittsburg, Texas is likely to consult Yelp beforehand. While Earl Cheney shouldn’t be able to discriminate against a potential customer based on his or her sexual orientation, turning something like this into a maelstrom of outrage feels like a waste of time. He’s an old asshole who runs a shitty restaurant in East Texas. The mockery is really the pitch-perfect reaction here.
But in that part of the world, make no mistake, this is likely to become the next mini-battleground in their never-ending war to keep it from turning 1960. To that end, let’s leave you with a comment on the matter from Cathie Adams, president of the “pro-family” group Texas Eagle Forum, who’s coming to the defense of Big Earl’s with a statement that’s actually the funniest thing anyone’s said in all of this.
“I think that for the homosexual community to be targeting a restaurant and good people is ugly, it is uncalled-for. They’re pushing an envelope and they want to not only have tolerance — they want to shove things down our collective throats.”
And with that, we roll credits.