Sure, Valentine’s Day may not be the greatest day in the world for a lot of people. Restaurants like Potbelly’s and Hooters tried to make things better for single diners by offering them free cookies and wings. But Uproxx reports that Twitter prankster @baconflavoring, a.k.a. Steven, decided to take advantage of corporate goodwill by trying to extract a free steak from Outback Steakhouse by setting up the most pathetic Valentine’s Day possible.
As it unrolls on Twitter, his evening plays out like an elaborate grad-school performance art piece. Steven boasted that he actually wore a suit jacket and brought in the jumper cables from his car disguised as a present for his invisible beloved, who he named Katherine (fictitiously a consultant at Deloitte who lives in Arlington, Virginia). He then played the part of a guy getting stood up on Valentine’s Day: timing increasingly sad voicemail messages to when the server approached his table, setting up a glass of chardonnay for the date who would never arrive. Would the setup be pathetic enough for the Outback to offer Steve a free steak? More to the point, was all this effort really that much better than just paying for a goddamn steak?
While Outback didn’t cross off Steven’s bill, a generous couple at the bar paid for his meal, so his acting performance must have convinced them. He is quick to point out that while he took all the food home (not even touching his steak, although he did eat some mac-and-cheese, some after he’d dropped it on the floor), he donated the equivalent of the money the couple spent on his meal ($50) to the ACLU.
Once Outback got wind of the prank, they offered him a free meal anyway if he’d just come in with a real person.
Sure, @baconflavoring is now pretty pleased with himself. But what about the next guy who actually gets stood up at Outback on Valentine’s Day and is ignored because they’ll think he’s trying for another prank? We just can’t get behind this level of dishonesty, even if it is mildly clever. Final score: Humanity 2 (couple at bar and Outback corporation), Steven 0.