Disclaimer: Possible offensive language to follow.
Are you familiar with Ruth Bourdain? The name is actually the Twitter handle (@RuthBourdain) of someone clever in the food world who decided to do a parody mash-up of the tweets of Ruth Reichl with the mind of Anthony Bourdain. More than 62,000 people follow Ruth Bourdain on Twitter. The fictional character has even won a real-life James Beard Award for humor in writing.
Ruth Bourdain also has a book, “Comfort Me with Offal” (the name itself is a parody of Ruth Reichl’s “Comfort Me with Apples”), and a blog of the same name. Today on the blog, Ruth Bourdain kept it no secret about how she (he?) feels about the ReviewerCard, a card that yesterday I said was new form of extortion. It’s a card that review writers can whip out when they’re at a business to let it be known that they had better get preferential treatment or they might write a bad review.
Ruth’s blog post today is titled Introducing the DoucheCard. Yes, the word “douche” is offensive, but it’s not nearly as offensive as the fact that the ReviewerCard exists and people are paying $100 for the privilege of having one so they can threaten businesses.
Ruth’s card is free for “aspiring amuse douches and douchebaguettes” and when you use it at your favorite eatery you can, among other things, “enjoy complimentary pee in your food courtesy of the chef.”
I love this. Please don’t tell my boys. Douche is not a word I allow them to use, and I’m honestly mystified as to how it has become such an accepted part of the vernacular in recent years. But in this instance, it’s the best word to use.
I love words, and I understand that there are times when offensive words are the right ones to use to convey exactly how you feel about something. I think this is one of those times. The self-importance that someone who uses a ReviewerCard has must elevate them to a certain level of jerkiness that can only adequately be described with the “d-word,” as my boys will say at the dinner table.
Thank you, Ruth Bourdain, for putting it so clearly.