After a meeting, I stopped off at Burger King for a chocolate shake. I always get a chocolate shake after my meetings with editors. I look at it as a reward for putting on panty hose plus I think a shake helps my body replace the brain cells that explode pretending to pay attention to the new and exciting ideas my editors offer at these get togethers.
Anyway, I got my shake and a small salad. Okay, that is a lie. I ordered a whopper Jr. to go with my shake — and fries; there was in fact no salad at all except for the lettuce and tomato decorating the top of my burger, but it was the small-size fries, and I didn’t have breakfast so that was my justification. With food in hand, I slid into a booth and proceeded to take out my laptop . Since Burger King café professes to have wi-fi, I thought I would take the opportunity to check my email and social media accounts.
But a funny thing happened. As I typed Facebook.com, I got a message that said Burger King filters out this site. Well, what the hell good is it to have wi-fi for people to check all their Internet crap if you block one of the most common sites people visit? I thought at first I typed in the web address wrong, but no. It was blocked.
Aloud, I said, “What is this?” A woman who was there with her two kids, and who was obviously looking at my screen, volunteered this information: “Parents have asked places like Burger King to block sites like Facebook so that there is not too much information out there for kids if they are here unsupervised.”
To which I wanted to respond, “Well, if you have a child here unsupervised, how good a parent can you be? I don’t complain about the stupid playground being off limits for me. If I can’t go in that room for kids only, the least I can do is check my Facebook messages.”
But I didn’t say anything because I sensed that this woman was one of those holier-than-thou Supermoms. I have met them before during my tenure as a parent. They know everything from the best books to read to their kids to the best food to shove in their mouths, and they have no problem sharing their knowledge with those who they perceive to be not as good as parenting as they are. This woman had that air of maternal superiority, but since she was sitting in Burger King, scarfing down a double cheese burger, her mommy “street cred” dropped in value.
I don’t know if it’s all Burger Kings or just this franchise that banned Facebook, but when I typed in Twitter.com, that came right up. I was happy there was no filter, and while I love Twitter, I have to say, the same language that exists on Facebook exists on Twitter so what is the argument for banning one and not the other? And then I typed in my site, HumorOutcasts.com and saw that I was banned too. I was in the filter; I was a tad insulted.
For the record, I was at McDonald’s last week (yes, another meeting and another chocolate shake), and my Facebook and my website came up fine there. I looked around that fast food joint and there were laptops, iPads and iPhones all working without a hitch. Of course, I also got to see an old man spit into the corner of his booth which grossed out everyone in a five-table radius. This was not a sneaky spit either; this was a loud phlegm-filled loogie, and I couldn’t leave because it was pouring rain, and I had no umbrella and no way to get my laptop to the car without killing it. For a brief second, I thought my laptop was not as important as getting out of there because I felt the spit germs closing in on me, but I knew if I stopped and considered the situation, the health of the laptop was more vital.
I did tell the manager who went over and had a word with the man. She then sent her poor employees to clean it up, and that was awful, but even with all that going on, I still could update my site and Facebook – okay, I had no appetite because the loogie ruined that, but I had Facebook.
Do I have a point? I guess if I had to pick one it would be: Why can’t I have Facebook without gross loogies? I work hard; I go to these stupid meetings and come back with editorial ideas that require nothing short of miracles to turn them into articles, so all I ask for is a good chocolate shake and uncensored wi-fi. I am not asking for access to porn – just the normal social media.
So, to the Burger King franchisees who have decided to bow to the requests of the censoring Supermoms, I say this: Unfilter Facebook or I am going to fight dirty. I got the name of the Loogie man, and he is willing to go to your Burger King to let his magic spit fly.