We read these absurd Valentine’s Day stories so you don’t have to
Say you’re the kind of unhappily single guy who prefers your boneless wings served by underpaid women in wing-sauce-colored hot pants. You know, the kind of guy who likes to spend Valentine’s Day at Hooters. Well, now you’ve got another V-day reason to visit your favorite neighborhood breastaraunt: the annual Shred Your Ex promotion. On Twitter: #shredyourex.
— Hooters (@Hooters) February 2, 2017
Here’s how it works. Throughout the day on the 14th, your local Hooters will be rocking an office-grade paper shredder. Bring a picture of someone who once loved you (or pretended to), destroy it, and get 10 boneless wings absolutely free. Go ahead, don’t be embarrassed. At Hooters, servers are required to acknowledge that the restaurant’s “concept is based on female sex appeal and the work environment is one in which joking and innuendo based on female sex appeal is commonplace.” (At least, according to an employee handbook leaked in 2006.) A bunch of guys mutilating photographs of women in exchange for free meat? It’s not going to do much to shake up the vibe.
But what if you don’t have an actual, physical picture? Oh, no worries. You can also shred your ex digitally at shredyourex.hooters.com. There, you’ll answer a few quick questions: how long ago did you break up? Did she break your heart in person, by phone or text, or did she simply ghost? The site then divines a destruction method for you: it will digitally shred your picture, burn it, bury it, or throw darts at it while you sit back and watch. The chicken coupon comes via email. “To redeem,” it says, “simply present the following coupon code to your Hooters Girl.
Now, we all know Hooters, Inc. has a thing for catharsis. But it’s only fair to point out that all this shredding isn’t entirely altruistic. You might be getting a few free tenders, but they’re getting something far more valuable: data. Your email, first of all. And also your location—based on the Hooters where you redeem the coupon for your V-day meal. They’ll also know that you’re the kind of person who doesn’t mind admitting in public that he’s got a vendetta against certain women in his past. (Slight chance that’s a defining characteristic of the target demographic.)
But you’re not just giving your data to Hooters. You’re also giving them a picture of your ex. And according to the company’s digital terms of service, it can do with that whatever it likes: “All remarks, comments, graphics, photos, or other information communicated to Hooters through this site or the HootClub application will forever be the property of Hooters,” the agreement reads. “Hooters will not be required to treat your submission as confidential, and will be entitled to use your submission for any commercial or other purposes whatsoever without compensation to you or any other person involved with your submission. Further, Hooters will have exclusive ownership of all present and future existing rights to your submission of every kind and nature everywhere.”
In other words, your relationship with your ex may not have been forever. But Hooters’ ownership of their image will be. And they can do with it whatever they like. With that in mind, remember that facial image recognition software is so good now that, based on a single photograph, it can identify basically anyone with a Facebook profile. So they’ll definitely know who your ex is, and they can use that information, you know, however.
Does that disturb you? Or does it make the payback even sweeter?
Happy shredding. —Joe Fassler
Wedding bell peppers. Why register for dinner plates when you can just register for dinner? Domino’s Pizza announced on Tuesday the launch of its new wedding registry. In what may be the biggest PR stretch we’ve seen in some time, the “recognized world leader in pizza delivery” has poised its registry as a solution to the prenuptial pricklies: “Choosing wedding gifts can be a daunting process, especially if couples can’t agree on what to register for. Our registry aims to bring couples together over their shared love of pizza,” said Jenny Fouracre, Domino’s spokesperson, in a press release. Registry items are themed—”cater the bachelorette party,” and “low-key date night,” for instance—but the actual gifts are delivered to recipients in the form of Domino’s eGift cards. That allows couples to freely use the gifts for any first-year occasion they choose: “appetizing annulment,” perhaps?
Subway romances its customers. In the UK and Ireland this Valentine’s Day, devotees of the world’s biggest fast food chain, Subway, can get six inches of free love (in any flavor) between the hours of 11am and 7pm with their purchase of a dispensed drink or bottle of water, the Mirror reports. For those in need of sweetness over size, customers who go to the company’s website and click to allow cookies can get a coupon for…a cookie. Money can’t buy love, but at least it can buy bottled water and a six inch.
Love and hashbrowns. Slather your sweetheart with syrup while sharing a romantic candlelight dinner at the Waffle House on February 14. If you like a little white linen with your waffles (and you live in one of 16 states where the promotion is valid), you’ll be tickled by Waff’s special Valentine’s Day offer. When you make a rezzy for dinner at the 24-hour joint, you can tempt each other with Texas biscuits, alcohol-free champagne, and “truckloads” of candles,according to Houston’s local news station, KHOU. Buttering up a lover has never been so…breakfast-themed.