“Do you remember that review on Yelp a couple of months ago?” Tara asks Joanna.

“The one complaining about Mary Ann?” Joanna answers. Tonight, as she awaits Matt’s arrival, she is helping Tara prepare lemon twists.

“Yes,” Tara says.

“He called her Maleficent if I remember correctly.”

Tara laughs. “Yes, that’s right. I forgot that. And Steve chastised him in his response.”

“Such great customer service instincts that man has,” Joanna says.

“Well, anyway, I thought I’d check TripAdvisor to see if there are any recent reviews,” Tara says.


“I printed it out for you,” Tara says, handing her a piece of paper. “Read it out loud.”

“Oh, yay,” Joanna says. “This will be fun.” She puts her tiny knife aside and begins to read.

A friend of mine told me I should go to Stenny’s and order pizza. He said their other food is average and costs too much but the pizza is great. He said sit at the bar. Me and my girlfriend went in a couple of nights ago. The bartender, a guy, was fast and very friendly.

“Stephen. That’s nice,” Joanna says.

“Yes,” Tara says.

Joanna continues reading.

We ordered a large mushroom pizza. It took a long time to come. The bartender apologized and brought us free fries while we waited. That was very nice and the fries were ok. Finally some dude comes out from the kitchen with our pizza. It was lopsided and looked like it did not cook evenly but we thought ok, we’ll try it. The bartender was waiting on someone else at the time. We each took a slice. My girlfriend took a bite first and spits it out. Said it tasted like death. She’s dramatic sometimes so I took a bite. To me, it tasted more like evil than death, but it was really bad. I can’t even describe it. I’m not sure if my friend was just being an asshole by telling me it was good, or if something has changed, or if the pizza cook had a bad night, but we will never come back. Even though the bartender did the right thing and did not charge us.

“Wow,” Joanna says. “It’s because that twat Mary Ann fired Jordan.”

“Yep,” Tara says.

“Did Steve answer this one?


“Well, thank God for that,” Joanna says.

“Lenny answered instead.”

“Oh no! Do you have that printed out?”

“No, but I’ll read it to you.”

“Oh yes, please,” Joanna says as she starts cutting the lemon in front of her.

First off, the bartender, name of Stephen, should not have given you free fries and should not have taken the pizza off your bill. He will be disciplined. Second, it’s not helpful for you to say the pizza tasted evil or like death. Those things taste different to different people. You say you will never come in again. That is entirely up to you. But if you do come in, ask for me—I’m the co-owner Lenny. I’ll like you to explain yourself a little better.

“Jesus,” Joanna says.

“Exactly,” respond Tara. “And then he ends it with the same canned paragraph Steve used in his response to the Yelp guy.”

“Remind me.”

Tara reads:

Thank you very much for taking the time to share your feedback. It is very important to us, and it helps us make sure your future Stenny’s experiences are as excellent as they can be.

“Let me know if you hear about this guy coming in,” Joanna says.

“I will,” Tara says. “Oh, I can see Matt through the window.”

“Take the knife and this lemon. I don’t feel like having him mock me for helping you.”

“Your secret is safe with me. He’ll never know that you’re responsible for the perfect twist I’ll serve him with his Beefeater’s.”

They both smile and Joanna turns to greet Matt.


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