Dear People Who Write Online Reviews:

I wanted to take a moment to acknowledge you, for you are the unsung hero, an untapped and nearly flooding reservoir of knowledge. You, sir (ahem, or madam) who donate time out from your obviously tight schedule to provide me with in-depth and virtually error-free accounts of your recent “disappointing” dining experience at Applebee’s, the “soul-sucking” nature of your latest visit to Best Buy, and such a crisp account of your most recent hotel stay, I can practically feel the ‘sandpapery towels’ against my cheeks.

Your no-holds-barred account of Frankenweenie was breathtaking. Six paragraphs of perfection. I may not have noticed the play of light and shadow “so characteristic of Burton” if not for your Ebertian eye. You make all experiences feel like the very first time.

Without you, I would not have been aware that the wings from the Chinese takeout place are not separated, “leaving fingers sticky and exhausted”. Or that “the pool is rather refreshing once the peeing children retire for the evening”. What would I do without your wise words? What, pray tell? I shudder to think.

Your summation of your last hibachi dinner was without parallel. Not only did you provide me with solid imagery of the decor, but you also reminded me that one should always question the state of agedness of the beef. And I completely agree. What type of barbarian would guard the secret of whether the beef was wet- or dry-aged? Heathens. I’m definitely not going there now.

I was truly hypnotized by the way your juxtaposed the Mayan-temple themed hotel you patronized to the actual Mayan temple you visited a few years ago. I simply cannot fathom that the historical details were so blatantly disregarded. I’ve actually lost sleep as well about the built-in waterslide not facing North, a detail upon which the Mayans would have absolutely insisted. It is a travesty and it should be torn down.

If it weren’t for you, I certainly would not have steered clear of Taco Bell’s Limeade Blast or the restroom at the Mobil station on Route 37. Your one-star account of that connecting flight into JFK brought me to tears. So intense. And thank you, sincerely, for saving me from the trainwreck that is Ke$ha’s most recent album. I truly have no room in my life for a “cacophony of laboring sheep.”

I just want to let you know that when I see your screenname, and consider the 6,384 reviews you’ve been gracious enough to contribute over your formidable career, I get chills. Chills.

So, let me tell you this once, sir, in person: Yes, yes this review helped. Tremendously.

I don’t know what I would do without you.



A Humble Consumer



  1. Love it. Was this all from one person or just from a sea of many assholes? It reminds me of the Budweiser commercials where they thank people like “Mr. Giant Foam Finger Maker.”

    I salute him. Or her. Or them.


    Great post!

  2. Ha! This is great! People want to ruin everything. I guess I do too since I read the stupid things. If you want to see some funny ones look up the banana slice on amazon and the binder. There are truly some creative, funny reviewers out there. This post should be picked up by every outlet possible!

  3. Ha! I appreciate online reviews, actually. But I kind of want them to be one paragraph or less. I don’t know how people find the time to write such in depth masterpieces. Then again, how do I find time to keep a blog? So…. touche’?

  4. I am so glad I came back to this! I had been wanting to read it since it posted. So worth it. Loved every word of it!

  5. I KNOW this is tongue in cheek, I do, and I enjoyed myself a good bit reading it. Until…. I started to worry. Because I write serious book reviewers. And sometimes film reviews. Most of which, I know for a fact, might be read by one person. Two if you count my mother. Am I, therefore, to be considered in the same basket as the towel-reviewers (who at the very least get significantly more traffic)?

    But then I thought, well, what about the Wikipedia stalwarts, at least I’m not one of them, right? Those guys religiously track “their” pages, defending them from anonymous would-be anarchists intent on giving false information about the mechanisms involved in thermosetting adhesives (aka post-it notes). No, seriously, there’s a freak out there who, upon receiving notification that their page has been pranked, will STOP whatever they are doing, whether it be getting married/burying their mother/having sex, in order to put things right in the world. So that people like us will never know the inconvenience and/or embarrassment of fact-checking on Wikipedia at the precise moment when some funny guy has succeeded in fiddling the dates of the moon landing. Or described David Beckham as a Chinese Footballer from the 18th Century. Or informed us that the Morgan Freeman is dead.

    What I fear is that the same gene that propels some people to write towel reviews, is the same gene that propels others to provide really useful, factually accurate, to-the-minute-information about stuff that actually matters.

    Which can only mean that, for the book reviewers doing something that is neither hilariously ridiculous or significantly useful, we’re the ones who need worry….

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