You Can't Mock Bad Restaurants In Australia How Is That Even Fair?
Right now, we are feeling pretty happy that we do not live in Australia, because apparently it is really costly to make fun of people if you live Down Under. Witness this epic restaurant review battle royale where some restaurant owners pursued their lawsuit for eleven years -- ELEVEN YEARS -- over a bad review from the Sydney Morning Herald. And they won! Jesus, can you imagine what Australia would do to us?
We're pretty sad about this whole thing, because this review sounds AWESOME and we're kinda jealous that we didn't write it.
[A] notorious critique which described the pork belly as “the porcine equal of a parched Weetbix [Weetabix]”
The 2003 review, by Matthew Evans, in the Sydney Morning Herald of plush waterside restaurant Coco Roco provided colourful descriptions of the “soggy blackberries”, “overcooked potatoes”, “outstandingly dull” roast chicken and limoncello oysters that “jangle like a car crash”, before warning readers – perhaps unnecessarily - to “stay home”.
Seriously, that is a thing of beauty. Oysters that jangle like a car crash? Gorgeous!
Maybe it's because we don't have Weetabix that we can't write such mellifluous insults of restaurants. Perhaps you need to be raised on a diet of really big and ascetic bricks of wheat to truly get your restaurant insult on.
Also, it appears that Australian restauranteurs are very very sensitive people, which is maybe why you can totally get fined lots of money for being mean to them.
One of the three restaurateurs, Ljiljana Gacic, a former Miss Adriatic beauty queen, told the New South Wales Supreme Court she gained nine stone and attempted suicide after the review; her sister and fellow restaurateur, Aleksandra Gacic, said she could not walk for half an hour after reading it.
OK. We actually understand the overeating thing, even though we did have to look up how much nine stone is in real 'Merican weights (126 pounds, in case you were wondering). But the thing where the person couldn't walk for half an hour? Like you were paralyzed with grief? Like you couldn't stop crying and were flailing on the ground? Like you were buried under the weight of your sadness? Bad reviews of your restaurant do not actually cause anyone physical harm in the immediate moment. True, the restaurant closed six months later, but that doesn't actually explain the whole not walking thing.
So you are probably saying to yourself "what the fuck, Australia? How is this even an actionable offense to say mean things to restaurant ladies?" Looks like if you're not clear about which part of the restaurant you think is terrible, you will have to pay up, sucka.
The newspaper eventually lost the case after a court ruled that the review failed to adequately point out that Coco Roco included two restaurants and that Evans had eaten at the upmarket Coco and was not reviewing the bistro-style Roco.
Ouch. The newspaper ended up being out over half a million dollars for failing to distinguish between the two and for the fact that the review stayed up online. Witness our solemn vow that when we start our restaurant review empire we will always make sure to be very clear about who we're insulting, even when they have stupidly similar names and are part of the same company. We don't have half a million dollars to throw around. Yet.