Not Quite Deleted Comments: Why Is Wonket Trying To Murder People With Allergies?
Poisson poison: It's no joke!
We know you all had a sad when your Deleted Comments column Sunday was preempted by breaking Celebrity Farts On Drug Lord News, so because we love you, here is a little something to tide you over. Message: We care.
Or maybe we don't care enough. It turns out that our Saturday recipe for linguine-n-clams had a really offensive headline, which was "Stop Being A Child About Seafood And Eat Linguine And Clams." Now, as regular Wonkers, you, the readers, may have become immune to the abuse that we regularly dish out to you, the readers. But at least some folks saw our Facebook post linking to the story and decided we were making light of the fact that some people are allergic to shellfish or seafood, which we would like to emphasize was not our intent, of course. We received a couple of mild rebukes which, had they been the only complaints, never would have made it to this column; we present them here only for the sake of contrast to what follows:
Ruth: Do shellfish allergies count as a reason to be a baby about this stuff? I worry that I'll just end up bloated and wheezing.
Nancy: I hate seafood and am not being a child. A former friend trying to trick once told me she made chicken stew. One bite had me running. Respect people's choices.
OK, sure, it was an imperative, but we'd also assume that very few people regard blog headlines as marching orders. Fine. We respect your choices. If you don't want to try the recipe, don't try it, but we're fairly certain it's not a microaggression (Note: Our entire mommyblog and recipe hub is nothing but micro- and macroaggressions).
Oh, but these were mere quibbles compared to the high dudgeon of a reader we'll only refer to as "Angela," since that is her name. She would have us know that our callous disregard for human life cannot be excused. How dare we accuse people with deadly allergies of being "childish"?! HOW. DARE. WE?!?! Stop being a child and eat linguine and clams? The nerve!
Unless you're allergic, in which case, this article is bullshit, the person who wrote it sucks dirty asshole for a living, and please don't die people who seafood can kill. Seriously, this article is stupid. The recipe is fucking disgusting. And anaphylactic shock is NOT funny. Seafood allergies are nothing like that bullshit gluten free nonsense.
We can assure you that nothing like that is a condition of employment at Wonkette, at least not since the site was spun off from the Gawker media empire. We thought maybe Angela's reaction was a tad overwrought, and noted that since "clams" feature prominently in the recipe, it was pretty unlikely that anyone would attempt to surreptitiously sneak clams-n-linguine to an unsuspecting friend:
Wonkette: I would think that anyone preparing linguine and clams would have already surveyed their guests on whether they're allergic to seafood. That's basic courtesy
This was not well-received, and became grist for another attack on our journalistic integrity:
Angela: Considering the heading for the terrible recipe is "Stop being a baby about seafood..." and there is no mention of pre-screening for allergies, you mean? Guess what? Even if someone isn't allergic, they may just not like fucking seafood. That doesn't make them a "baby".
Added bonus that this recipe is serious amateur hour. It's terrible. You could find better recipes on YouTube.
Other voices jumped in:
Nicole: seafood allergies are a rare and regrettable condition. The recipe listed here is delightful, and if Angela can't eat it I feel sorry for her peculiar pathology, a well as her lack of maturity
Angela: Nicole? I've worked in some of the best kitchens in New Orleans & for some of the best chefs. This recipe is crap.
Wonkette: We are sincerely sorry to have caused you so much agony.
Nicole: OK, Angela, then I'm sorry your mother never taught you basic manners, then. I'm sure she tried.
Maureen: Really, fellow Wonketters, not all of us with seafood allergies are this rude and angry. It's true that it makes life a little difficult (especially if you are allergic to things like nuts which can be hidden in a recipe). Also, my celiac sister-in-law would probably retort as rudely and angrily over the gluten comments.
Chris: Geez, it's not like Wonkette posted a recipe for spotted owl. Some perspective, please!
Angela turned the dudgeon up to eleven, and in what had to be our favorite part of the whole exchange, clarified that she was concern-trolling on behalf of wholly notional allergy sufferers who would surely be as angry as she if they had seen our rude headlines taunting them for being unable to consume our crappy, crappy recipes:
I don't have a seafood allergy. I also like seafood just fine, but I also think it's bullshit to condescend to people just because they don't like seafood and don't want to eat your crappy internet dish. And look whose being a big fucking baby about an insult to a nonsensical article calling people "babies" and "whiners" because they don't eat what you eat? Wonkette, that's who. As well as the little toadying Wonkette brown nosers defending the aforementioned bullshit article.
She also advised Chris that "A recipe for spotted owl would be preferable." At this point, we hopped in again, because sometimes it's fun to feed a troll (as long as you've made sure they're not allergic):
Wonkette: I'd just like to express my thanks for all the help with my regular Sunday column. -- Dok Zoom
Angela took all of two minutes to bang out a reply, and then added an afterthought:
Angela: Blah blah blah! Wonkette has a sad because I told them their headline was stupid and that their seafood pasta recipe was amateur & sucky. Awww! Wonkette can really dish it out, but calling them on their gastronomic inadequacies is THE LAST STRAW!!! Please cry me a river of wonky Wonkette tears and collect them in a bucket so I can laugh and laugh at how my not liking your headline or your recipe turns y'all & your readers into big ol' crybabies.
Angela: Canned clams.... Bitch, please!
Things quieted down for a while, but a few hours later, and even the next day, Angela was back, and her concern for the potential victims seems to have vanished, boiled away by a desire to prove that Wonkette recipes cannot be trusted. We've omitted the other comments in the dialogue, that her unadulterated rage may better shine forth:
Angela: CANNED CLAMS, people. Canned. The recipe is for shit. No self respecting eater of shellfish would eat clams from a can.
Angela: In Louisiana, there is no excuse for using canned seafood. It may even be an offense you'd get shot over. But you know, enjoy your fucking canned shit, brah. You probably think Vienna sausages are a delicacy. Sorry you're straight from the fucking trailer park.
Is it not ever thus with the concern troll? She started by pointing out our heartless indifference to the plight of those with allergies, and ended up with a casual slur of the poor (not to mention the noncoastal). Such classism, Angela! We thought you were better than that.
Also, too, we told Colin Pinkham, the borderline sociopath responsible for both the recipe and the headline, about Angela's concerns that he was trying to shame allergic people into eating something that would kill them, and also that he was pawning off sucky canned clams as being even remotely edible. His reply? "Fresh clams are for eating. Canned clams are for cooking." He truly is a monster, isn't he?
And finally, the best comment of the whole Facebook Foodie Fight, by "Kathy," who wins one internet, because she clearly knows how recipe posts work: "Stop telling me what to do. And NO BLUE CHEESE!"
How true this is. Yr Wonkette pledges to be more careful about our recipe headlines, and indeed our recipes, lest we start sounding too bossy.
Now give us money, you worms.
Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.