The Tunnel Monster is a myth? Say it ain’t so!


 

Have you been following the Tunnel Monster saga?  We last left off with a somewhat confusing email from Cryptid hunter Raptorguy14.  I can’t tell if Raptorguy14 thinks I’m being serious, or if he’s just messing with me.  It’s really strange.  I replied to his last email with this:

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 7, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>

Hello Raptorguy14,

Nice to “meet” you!  Sorry to hear that several of your people have become inactive.  Hopefully they haven’t all mysteriously disappeared while searching for cryptids.  Good luck in your quest to revive the group!

I understand that you’re not affiliated with MonsterQuest.  If I understand correctly, MonsterQuest isn’t even being made any more?  I find that to be such a shame.  I can only watch the Hatfields & McCoys or How The States Got Their Shapes so many times, but I could watch MonsterQuest or UFO Hunters all day long.

I’m not sure if the tunnel monster is a hoax, but if it does exist… it has special powers that slow down traffic in the morning, afternoon, and during concerts or sporting events.  I have more artist renderings attached if you’d like to tell me if they’re perhaps more accurate?

Have you heard about Tunnel Monsters out west, or anywhere else around the world?  I would like to see this one captured…so I can get to events on time.

Onward & Upward,
-Waldo

P.S. – Your parents are very forward-thinking.  Raptorguy is the coolest name ever, but to include a number like we’re in a science fiction novel?  That’s just awesome.

These photos were attached (thanks to my faithful readers…):

This was the reply:

From: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 14, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

No, they’re perfectly fine, they just haven’t been active. I still converse with them on occasion.

That’s right, MonsterQuest is no longer in production. TV networks often get rid of good quality shows for some reason, but I suppose that’s how it works.

Again, I must reiterate my opinion that the tunnel monster is a myth being used to make people drive more carefully in tunnels. Tunnels can be more difficult to drive through than conventional roadways, so one must be more careful. And the fact that the monster targets speeders and wrecked vehicles strengthens this opinion; it makes people think, “I don’t want to encounter this ‘beast’, so I should be more careful in the tunnel.” The likelihood that this creature is real is very low.

To my knowledge, no tunnel monsters (myth or otherwise) exist in the Western United States. I’m not sure about the rest of the world, though.

What?

We’ll find that tunnel monster someday, & prove Raptorguy14 wrong!

 

The Tunnel Monster may have eaten me by now…


Pittsburgh tunnel

Pittsburgh tunnel (Photo credit: glowingfish)

OK, so remember my post about the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster & the artist renderings?  Well, I just got this reply.  It came a little late, and it came from someone who couldn’t pick up on the fact that I was goofing around.  I mean, I don’t even know how I should respond to this.  Should I tell them, or keep it going?  Surely a quick Google search of my email address or “Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster” would have landed you here?  I kind of feel bad that this cat didn’t “get” it.

I poked around several forums and web pages until I found email addresses or forums or anywhere where I could post my goofiness.  They mostly all fell entirely flat (Fail 1/Fail 2/Fail 3).  This email eventually found someone, I guess.

Oh well, here’s the reply:

From: The Cryptid Hunters <thecryptidhunters@gmail.com>

Date: Fri, Aug 3, 2012
Subject: Re: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster
To: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>

Hello, and thank you for emailing The Cryptid Hunters.

Firstly, allow me to introduce myself. I’m Raptorguy14, currently the only active member of this group. We used to have several people, but they’ve since become inactive. I’ve been thinking many times about reviving this group, and I may do that soon, but for now I can only investigate reports of cryptids in the Western United States.

Secondly, I, nor anyone else in this group, do not represent MonsterQuest or anything/anyone affiliated with it. I understand that the link to our email is on the History Channel website, so I apologize for any confusion. We are simply a group of amateur cryptid hunters.

Thirdly, the photos definitely appear to be fake. I know that you said they are artist renderings, but I’m certain that it’s impossible for creatures that look like those “renderings” in the photos to exist. After some preliminary research online, I can conclude that the Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster is likely a hoax, an urban legend, as no solid evidence has turned up yet. As I said, I would be open to investigating, but at this time I can only investigate cryptid reports in the Western United States (specifically the Intermountain West). I will try to find somebody to investigate, but I find it unlikely that any evidence will turn up. More than likely it’s just a myth that makes drivers be more cautious in the tunnel, as tunnels can be very dangerous places if certain driving precautions are not taken.

~Raptorguy14

I guess I should write back.

Also, if I neglected to post your artist rendering, please send it again!  I was sitting on a few until I had another related post… wanna make sure I don’t miss any.  Here’s one from Valley of Steel‘s Eric Yano:

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano)

https://twitter.com/suburbsasquatch/status/195707700351479812?iid=am-85321533413354953266169787&nid=4+status_timestamp&uid=89820926

The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster gets national attention?


Well, sort of.  The buzz around town on the news & radio lately has been about a survey by a GPS data company called INRIX that calls the sweet spot from Greentree to the Fort Pitt tunnels on the Parkway West here in the ‘Burgh the worst traffic outside of New York or Los Angeles.  Read the Post-Gazette article for all the juicy details.  Here’s an excerpt…

According to INRIX, it takes an average of 13 minutes — nine more than it should — to traverse that stretch. That doesn’t count the time it takes to get there, as morning backups now routinely spill well down the back side of Green Tree Hill and sometimes past Carnegie.

At a delay of nine minutes a day, for a regular commuter that works out to about 36 hours a year down the rat hole, just for the morning rush. According to INRIX, drivers on the 10 worst U.S. corridors may squander up to 60 hours a year stuck in traffic.

Those who while away their mornings in the daily tangle might be inclined to dream of a wider Parkway West or new tunnels drilled through Mount Washington, but financial and topographic realities make that a bit like yearning for world peace.

105.9 WXDX-FM

105.9 WXDX-FM

The guys on the X were talking about it yesterday morning, so I sent Bob a link to my Tunnel Monster blog.  Bob posted it on their morning show blog & I’ve been getting mad hits today because if it.  Ha ha.  Thanks guys!

I do have to say though that the Steely McBeam tunnel monster image isn’t mine.  Someone named Angry Mongo posted it first.

I have one more “artist rendering” from Eric Yano (I’d still like to see more!):

Flying Tunnel Monster

Flying Tunnel Monster (by Eric Yano / Valley of Steel)

And here was the letter to MythBusters & Dirty Jobs, that didn’t get a reply from anyone…

From: Waldo Lunar <world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com>
Date: Mon, Feb 27, 2012
Subject: The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster (Mythbusters & Dirty Jobs team-up?)
To: jamie@m5industries.com, mythbusters@m5industries.com, adam@adamsavage.com, info@mikeroweworks.com, torybelleci@gmail.com, swift@buchwald.com
Cc: info@beyondaction.com.au

Dear Duke of Dirt and Sultans of Science (or Emperors of Explosions?),

I’m a big fan of both of your shows, I believe that I have been watching since the first season of each, and have seen almost all (if not all) of the collective episodes.  My wife & I enjoy the Saturday morning/afternoon marathon runs of each, sometimes they prevent us for doing anything productive (except learning while being entertained of course) for most of the day.  My favorite Dirty Jobs moment has to be an early one… where Mike was at the charcoal factory & asking the guy how you can burn it after it has already been burned and the guy either didn’t know the answer or comprehend the question and started to get irate.  It set the tone for the rest of the series!  Of course I love all the dirty gross stuff like expressing the anal glands during pet grooming… who knew?  Having worked an assembly line myself, I really appreciate that you manage to shed light on jobs that most people never even think about (or know existed).  With Mythbusters, I don’t know how to pick a favorite… I loved the ninja & pirate myths, the ancient mirror laser thing, all of the movie scene recreations (or attempted recreations), the many abuses of Buster, and for some odd reason… the car filled entirely with A/B foam.

If I’m not watching the Discovery Network, I’m over on the History Channel.  My wife likes to remind me that we have about 200 other channels.  I don’t need them, really.

I first attempted this (intentionally humorous) pitch to the people over at history with MonsterQuest or MysteryQuest in my sights.  I had assumed I’d receive some sort of “Yeah, whatever goofball” type of reply.  Sadly I have not received any reply at all.

The more I thought about it, I feel that this is a serious subject.  It would work for Mythbusters… not sure how you could word the myth… but basically your task would be to get to the bottom of seemingly inexplicable tunnel traffic/congestion.  You could look at how people slow down when approaching, how throwing a roadside distraction (like a car accident) in there would effect things?

As for Mr. Rowe, I’m sure that working in a tunnel is a dirty job.  There are nightly cleanings/work in the Liberty tubes some times… and someone sets out traffic cones every day for the changing of a lane’s direction when going into/coming out of the tunnel.  I’m also guessing that being a Mythbuster (or one of their crew) is a dirty job.  Pittsburgh is a little Hollywood lately, why not capitalize on it by coming to check out our little town?  I know Grant & Tori were at the Zabmelli firework factory in New Castle once!

Did you see the incredibly forced Pawn Stars/American Pickers/American Restoration crossover?  You guys could do way better than that, and it would be unscripted.

Here’s the meat of my original email…

I believe that we have a monster in the Pittsburgh area that you may want to check out.  It’s affectionately referred to as the Tunnel Monster.  People in the southwestern Pennsylvania area live in a great fear of the Tunnel Monster.  Many yinzer drivers slow down as they approach any area tunnel… but most especially the Fort Pitt Tunnels, Liberty “Tubes”, and the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.  I’ve heard theories that the tunnel monster also perhaps takes shelter in one or all of the three rivers when not lurking in the tunnel.

Fear seems to increase in times of rain, snow, and (perhaps strangely) before sporting events, holiday festivities, and large concerts.  I believe we have weekday tunnel anxiety between 7:00am & 9:00am, and again from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at all tunnels.  I’ve never heard a first-hand account of an actual sighting, but it’s clear that there is something strange happening at these locations.  There are also spikes of Tunnel Monster fear when traffic accidents happen nearby.  Perhaps the tunnel monster feeds on broken down cars, flat tires, or the corpses left in the wake of fatal accidents?  Rubberneckers seem to be ripe for the picking also.

I have personally seen 18-wheelers get to the entrance of a tunnel and turn completely around, most likely out of fear of the tunnel monster perhaps lurking within the yellow-hued florescent-lit man made caverns.  Some people go through the entire length of a tunnel holding their breath so the tunnel monster doesn’t steal it, or honking their horn the entire way to scare it off.  I’ve seen motorcycles and ambulances go right down the center line at accelerated speeds, no doubt trying to avoid a tragic end.  I’ve even heard of people tapping the roof of their car when spotting a Padiddle to ward off the evil tunnel monster.  The theory perhaps being that the tunnel monster is on the hood of the other car, and its webbed fin (a paddle or “padiddle”) is blocking one headlight.

I have seen strange markings on the inside of they Liberty Tunnels, but they have since been covered-over.  They were strange numbers and hieroglyphic-like symbols that appeared right before a construction project.  Do you think the crews working in the tunnel are in any danger?  Perhaps it’s a conspiracy?  Are they in there hunting for the tunnel monster under the guise of construction efforts while they cover up the monster’s cave paintings?  Could the monster be some sort of Neanderthal, or perhaps a supernatural being, or some sort of demon?

There are countless videos on YouTube documenting fearless drives through the Fort Pitt Tunnels, but I don’t believe that any concrete video evidence has been recorded.  I have attached some artist renderings of the Tunnel Monster that I have found on the internet.  Perhaps you would like your experts to interview the area residents and come up with your own?

I really would like someone to get to the bottom of this Tunnel Monster thing, and I believe that Monster Quest is perfectly suited for the job!  Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon!

So, now you know where my thought process has gone, & how it has developed.  I’d love your consideration for this idea.  Please don’t make me turn to TV shows that I don’t watch like Billy the Exterminator or Dog the Bounty Hunter.

Thank you for your time, I look forward to hearing from you!

Not afraid of the Tunnel Monster,
-Waldo Lunar

I tried message boards, email addresses, all kinds of outlets… all to no avail.  Party poopers.

Maybe this will get a reply:

Should I try PennDOT or the city of Pittburgh next?

Fort Pitt Tunnel

The Monster’s Lair | Fort Pitt Tunnel (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In search of the Tunnel Monster…


We have all heard talk of the Pittsburgh tunnel monster.  There are other sites that talk about it and claim that it’s not real, simply poor planning by the engineers that designed the traffic flow in & around the city, or my favorite… that it’s simply Pittsburgh drivers slowing down for absolutely no reason!  I mean, how crazy is that?  Slowing down for no discernible reason?  That’s just insane, my friends.

Obviously there is something to the tunnel monster rumors.  I have discovered a few artists’ renderings online.  (I’d like to see more! I decided to call in the big guns from the History Channel to investigate…

Hello Heads of Historical Heavy-Hitting!

I’m a big fan of all of your shows, I’m always watching Pawn Stars, Swamp People, American Restoration, American Pickers, Ancient Aliens, or one of your many informative yet incredibly entertaining offerings.  One of my favorites is Monster Quest.  I’m always intrigued by new evidence of cryptids, and am captivated by new Bigfoot or yeti sounds, hairs, tracks, eyewitness accounts, theories, and the like.  I enjoy thought-provoking television where I’m able to learn some things or open my mind to new possibilities.

I believe that we have a monster in the Pittsburgh area that you may want to check out.  It’s affectionately referred to as the Tunnel Monster.  People in the southwestern Pennsylvania area live in a great fear of the Tunnel Monster.  Many yinzer drivers slow down as they approach any area tunnel… but most especially the Fort Pitt Tunnels, Liberty “Tubes”, and the Squirrel Hill Tunnels.  I’ve heard theories that the tunnel monster also perhaps takes shelter in one or all of the three rivers when not lurking in the tunnel.

Fear seems to increase in times of rain, snow, and (perhaps strangely) before sporting events, holiday festivities, and large concerts.  I believe we have weekday tunnel anxiety between 7:00am & 9:00am, and again from 2:00pm to 7:00pm at all tunnels.  I’ve never heard a first-hand account of an actual sighting, but it’s clear that there is something strange happening at these locations.  There are also spikes of Tunnel Monster fear when traffic accidents happen nearby.  Perhaps the tunnel monster feeds on broken down cars, flat tires, or the corpses left in the wake of fatal accidents?  Rubberneckers seem to be ripe for the picking also.

I have personally seen 18-wheelers get to the entrance of a tunnel and turn completely around, most likely out of fear of the tunnel monster perhaps lurking within the yellow-hued florescent-lit man made caverns.  Some people go through the entire length of a tunnel holding their breath so the tunnel monster doesn’t steal it, or honking their horn the entire way to scare it off.  I’ve seen motorcycles and ambulances go right down the center line at accelerated speeds, no doubt trying to avoid a tragic end.  I’ve even heard of people tapping the roof of their car when spotting a Padiddle to ward off the evil tunnel monster.  The theory perhaps being that the tunnel monster is on the hood of the other car, and its webbed fin (a paddle or “padiddle”) is blocking one headlight.

I have seen strange markings on the inside of they Liberty Tunnels, but they have since been covered-over.  They were strange numbers and hieroglyphic-like symbols that appeared right before a construction project.  Do you think the crews working in the tunnel are in any danger?  Perhaps it’s a conspiracy?  Are they in there hunting for the tunnel monster under the guise of construction efforts while they cover up the monster’s cave paintings?  Could the monster be some sort of Neanderthal, or perhaps a supernatural being, or some sort of demon?

There are countless videos on YouTube documenting fearless drives through the Fort Pitt Tunnels, but I don’t believe that any concrete video evidence has been recorded.  I have attached some artist renderings of the Tunnel Monster that I have found on the internet.  Perhaps you would like your experts to interview the area residents and come up with your own?

I really would like someone to get to the bottom of this Tunnel Monster thing, and I believe that Monster Quest is perfectly suited for the job!  Thank you for your time, I hope to hear from you soon!

Not afraid of the Tunnel Monster,
-Waldo Lunar
World (and Lunar) Domination

These were the attached pictures:

The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster (as presented by Boring Pittsburgh)

The Pittsburgh Tunnel Monster (as presented by Boring Pittsburgh)

Steely McTunnelMonster

PENNDOT Uses Magic Eight Ball To Determine Travel Time on Parkway East (by Angry Mongo)

Sadly, my emails have fallen upon deaf ears/blind eyes.   I have tweeted at the History Channel, used their contact forms (submit a ticket & submit feedback), and dug up emails for the MonsterQuest production company.

When I learned that MonsterQuest was no longer in production, I moved on to the people behind MysteryQuest.  I wrote to their production company too… again to no avail (so far, anyway).

This must be investigated.  I refuse to be ignored!

I submitted the following (again via stupid contact form) to the people behind one of my favorite History shows, Ancient Aliens:

Shalom Science Soul-mates,

I recently had a show idea for MonsterQuest, to find that they are no longer in production… and I haven’t had any replies from their production company, the History Channel, A&E, or even from any of the people involved with MysteryQuest.  Perhaps you can take a look at my attached letter, and somehow tie these mysterious happenings into extraterrestrials or ancient astronauts?  Who built the first tunnels?  Was it aliens?  Were horses & chariots ever afraid of tunnels?  Did this only happen since the invention of the automobile?  Was Henry Ford working with alien technology?

I cannot wait to hear from you.  I can’t contain my excitement.  The original letter attached…

[Message from above included here.]

Since I can’t attach something in a contact form, here are links to the aforementioned photos:

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/Pittsburgh%20Tunnel%20Monster/ThePittsburghTunnelMonster.jpg

http://i127.photobucket.com/albums/p139/worldandlunardomination/Pittsburgh%20Tunnel%20Monster/TunnelMonster.jpg

Thank you for your time & assistance!

Live long and prosper, and may the force be with you!
-Waldo Lunar
World (and Lunar) Domination

I'm not saying it was aliens... but it was aliens.

Giorgio A. Tsoukalos (Ancient Aliens)

Perhaps they will be able to help?  I don’t like being ignored.  I hope the Tunnel Monster isn’t somehow able to monitor my transmissions and stop anyone from replying.  (Looks like the Tunnel Monster is on Facebook & Twitter – so it may be more technologically advanced than we thought.)

I’m sure the phenomenon isn’t isolated to the Steel City.  I bet it happens with tunnels all over the world.  Is there just one tunnel monster?  Are there many?

Perhaps I will need to put together my own team to investigate.  I’m guessing that since the local news has never touched upon this, that they’re scared of losing a reporter or a cameraman?

The Mythfits

The Mythfits

I’m thinking of also contacting Mythbusters and Dirty Jobs.  I’m a huge fan of both of those Discovery Channel shows.  Mike Rowe is clearly not afraid of anything, maybe he could team up with Adam, Jamie, & the Mythfits.  I hope I don’t have to reach out to Billy the Exterminator or Dog the Bounty Hunter.  If we tell Andrew Zimmern that he can eat the tunnel monster (or at least its eyeballs & testicles) maybe he’ll come investigate?

Is there anyone else that you feel I should reach out to?  Please, send me your suggestions!

Also, I would love it if you would send me your own artist renderings of the tunnel monster.  You can find plenty of photos of the Squirrel Hill Tunnel, The Fort Pitt Tunnel, The Liberty Tunnel, or even the Wabash (or any other local) tunnel online to start with… or you can start from scratch!

You can email submissions to me at world.and.lunar.domination@gmail.com or post them in the comments below!

View inside the southbound/westbound half of t...

This is the monster's tunnel, we're just passing through...

Locksley is a class act.


Last night Ernie and the Berts had the opportunity to share the stage with D.I.Y. wizards, Locksley.  First off, these cats exude cool.  They look like they just walked out of the studio at Sun Records, or belonged on the Chess Records roster in the late 50’s.  In full confidence of all my manhood, I can say that if I were a woman, and into dudes, my panties would have been thrown onto the stage last night.  The best part is that they lack the pretentiousness sometimes associated with such a look.

Locksley is self-described as “doo-wop punk”, but it sure sounds like straight-up super poppy rock n’ roll to me.  Part 50’s ballads, part garage rock, part “Beatles just slashed the speakers” kind of vibe…. I even picked up a little Who and maybe even Pinhead Gunpowder.

These dudes explode on stage.  After their roadies got them all set up, drummer Sam Bair took nonchalantly to the stage, sat down, and started pounding like a madman.  As everyone in the room was spinning their head to see what was going on… the rest of the guys hopped up on stage, picked up their instruments, and joined in with a catchy number.  Bass player Jordan Laz called us all to action, Eastwood Airline bass slung to the side; No feet were to be still, no hands were to be left idle.

They actually implored us to go downstairs during the second song, and try to bring up Smiling Moose bar patrons from downstairs.  Not even the incredible fans that drove in from Ohio donning homemade letter jackets and poodle skirts emblazoned with Locksley logos went downstairs as we was requested.  No one wanted to miss whatever happened next!

Hooky melodies with a beat meant to keep your feet tapping is Locksley’s thing, and they do it well.  Their self-titled record comes across as a little softer, more polite, and gentle than the live show… but make no mistakes, these guys are mean on stage.

Guitarist Kai Kennedy was channeling Johnny Cash in all black with his well-worn cream colored Stratocaster wailing crazy poppy licks, and sweating bullets from the get-go.  Lead vocalist Jesse Laz let bass player & brother Jordan handle most of the inter-song banter, then would step in to croon and make jangly chord changes with his Epiphone Wilshire… A commanding presence that reminded me of Morris Day in Purple Rain.

Locksley

These guys have crazy stage presence.  Any inter-song banter was backed by soft rocking that ramped up just in time to jump into the next tune.  Moves that had to be choreographed but looked like they may have had an organic origin peppered the set.  Microphone sharing with killer vocal harmonies was all over the place.  Everyone who wasn’t tied to a drum kit was in the audience at one point, dancing, rocking, and singing away.  Kai and Jesse locked into this weird grappling maneuver where they played each others’ guitars while spinning around looking like someone trying to get out of a straightjacket.

After the set, handlebar-moustached drummer Sam wouldn’t let me purchase a CD.  Instead, he gave me a stack to pass along.  We gave some out to those who had attended the show, but I still have 2 unclaimed.  Let me know if you’re interested.  The 1st 2 to claim the disc in the comments below, it’s all yours.

Erin “Ernie” Payne & Dave “Bert” (or “the other Bert”) Warren went to a Fountains of Wayne show in Philly a while back, and Locksley was the opener.  Erin really dug what they were all about, and set out on a personal mission to bring them to the ‘Burgh.  I’m glad he did.  I had a great time last night, and I know the whole shebang was a big deal to Erin.  From what I can tell, all of the guys in Locksley and their friends/crew are all-around nice guys who have a genuine love for the music, the stage-show, and the adventure of being a rock n’ roll band.

Stay tuned to Ernie and the Berts’ Facebook page to see photos of the show!

http://twitter.com/#!/LocksleyMusic/status/136883071373942785

Stay Classy, Panera Bread.


Sure, it’s probably nothing more than a public pissing contest and a case of “hey, look over here!”, but it sure is amusing:

Panera Bread

Just stand behind this sign, please.

There’s more to the story, but the headline is all that people will remember.  They say it happened in Mt. Lebanon, so not sure if it was the Galleria location, or the Greentree one (sometimes surrounding communities pretend to be Mt. Lebanon).

If you stick with the article to the end, it looks like the guy was stretching his time out on disability & got fired for it… then he pulled the “they made me hide the black guy” thing.  It sure as hell worked.  It may even be true.  Doesn’t matter though, because it’s now the main issue.

I do have to say, I’ve never seen a dude working the cash register at any Panera Bread.  I don’t think it has as much to do with race as age & gender.  The worst (best?) offender of this is Dairy Queen.  Not too many dudes work at dairy queen.  Then again, probably not many dudes put in an application at DQ.

You already know what I think of Panera Bread.

Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up Bob Evans Follow-Up


Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!

You read about the Bob Evans fallout and follow-up, right?  In the interest of fully full disclosure, we went back, got a free meal, and had a nice normal dining out experience.  It went well.  LeAnn from Bob Evans wrote to check on me, and I thought I’d share the dialogue.

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: [Me]
Sent: Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Subject: RE: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hi Eric!

 I wanted to follow up with you to see if you had been back, if not I understand.  I do hope that you do at least use your gift certificates to get some of our amazing Wildfire BBQ sauce!

I know you had concerns with what action was taken after your call/email, I can assure you that all of your feedback is used for training purposes, we did forward your comments to the area coach and general manager so that we can ensure that we are providing excellent service.

Have a great day!

Jelly Jelly Jelly!

bef.gif

LeAnn Purdy
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations

Supporting Bob Evans Restaurants, Bob Evans Food Products & Mimi’s Café Restaurants
3776 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207
Bob Evans Guest and Consumer Relations: (800) 939-2338
Mimi’s Café Guest Relations: (866) 616-6464
Fax: (614) 492-4971
Bobevans.com

And, my response:

From: [-mE.]
To: “Purdy, Leann D” ; Riggs A.
Cc: [The Wife]
Sent: Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Subject: Re: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520 / Blog post about Bob Evans

Hello LeAnn,

Thank you very much for the follow up!  We actually did get the opportunity to take advantage of a free meal last Thursday night, at the same Bridgeville location.  It was a wonderful experience.  It wasn’t too busy when we arrived… and we seemed to get there right at a shift change, but the service was smooth nonetheless, and we only had to ask once for jelly!

Asking once for jelly & receiving it struck me as a possible bad omen.  Upon arrival, the first thing we heard as we were seated was the waitress at the table next to us (oddly not our waitress) telling her customers that something had been comped or removed from their bill… and the customer was spouting off about something unintelligible.

We had an excellent waitress then waiter, there was no shouting from the kitchen, the food was prepared well.  Some of the carrots with my turkey dinner were dry/cracked, but you’ll get that anywhere.  I didn’t see a manager on duty or patrolling the dining room, but things were running quite smoothly without their presence.

If you talk to the area coach/general manager/managers/team there again, please pass on our thanks for another great meal that was back to what we would call a normal Bob Evans experience.  I didn’t present my BE gift money until the end of the meal, but it didn’t produce any speed bumps and we still have one left!

Thank you for the gift, and both you & Nate for your time, and sincere follow-up!  (Follow-ups?  Follows-up?)

“Jelly! Jelly! Jelly!” may be a good ad campaign.  “Pizza! Pizza!” worked for Little Caesar’s.

Thanks again,
-Eric

Bob Evans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Amish on Amish crime.


✂ Hilarious subject matter.  Spot-on commentary.  I encourage you to read this post from That’s Church

I continue to be going to hell

Amish Mug Shots - The Mullet Gang

Amish Mug Shots - The Mullet Gang

Bob Evans’ Follow Up


A Bob Evans Restaurant

random BOB EVANS image from the web

Bob Evans Restaurant on Urbanspoon

After posting my recent tale of insanity during a Bob Evans visit, I received some almost immediate follow-up from Nate Riggs via Twitter DM:

nateriggs
– Eric – I work with Bob Evans. Saw your blog post. Would you shoot me your email so I can help make this right? 🙂

nateriggs
Thanks. Ill email you in a few and make sure we make this right By the way – love your blog and your writing style. 🙂

Twitter is awesome.  Instant responses.  These were followed up with another quick flurry of emails:

From: “Riggs, Nathaniel A.” <Nate_Riggs@BobEvans.Com>
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:52 PM
Subject: Blog post about Bob Evans

Eric,

Thanks so much for your email address and for your post. We always try to deliver the best guest experience that we can, but sometimes we mess up. We’re truly sorry for the wait time and hassle that you and your wife experienced in our restaurant.

On a personal note, I dig your blog and was just in Pittsburgh yesterday. This is week 3 for me at Bob Evans leading digital and social so I’m working through some on boarding before I can really work on tightening up our digital presence.  I’m a blogger as well – http://nateriggs.com – and I always appreciate when bloggers are so respectful, even when we messed up. J

The next email from me will refer you to Leeann Purdy in our guest relations department. She will email you and take it from there.

Again, thank you!

BEFarmslogoemal

Nate Riggs
@nateriggs
Digital Marketing Strategist, Restaurant Marketing
3700 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Phone: (614) 497-7447
Droid: (614) 348-2646
www.bobevans.com
We like you. Like us on Facebook!

and…

From: “Riggs, Nathaniel A.” <Nate_Riggs@BobEvans.Com>
To: “Purdy, Leann D”
Cc: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 1:55 PM
Subject: Contact information for Eric Carroll – Pittsburgh Blogger from this morning

Leann,

Hi there.

I’ve copied Eric Carroll on this message. He is the Pittsburgh blogger who posted on our Facebook page this morning as we discussed. Would you please reach out to him when you have a moment?

Thank you!

BEFarmslogoemal

Nate Riggs
@nateriggs
Digital Marketing Strategist, Restaurant Marketing
3700 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43207
Phone: (614) 497-7447
Droid: (614) 348-2646
www.bobevans.com
We like you. Like us on Facebook!

and…

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 2:32 PM
Subject: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520

Mr. Carroll,

I would like to first, thank you for taking the time to share your experience regarding your visit to our Bridgeville location, and also sincerely apologize for the overall unacceptable food and service you received.  I also appreciate that you were so candid as most people will not complain, the will just not go back, and we would not have the opportunity to try to make it up to you.

Our company places great emphasis on training our employees to satisfy our guests, so we appreciate that you have brought this to our attention.  We expect our servers to be attentive, timely, and attend to all of our guests needs, and I am very sorry that we let you down.

I would like the opportunity follow up with you by mail to invite you back to our restaurant, and if you are willing, I would like your address so that I can formally apologize to you by mail.  I also have shared your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location also so they can ensure that any necessary action is taken.

Again, Mr. Carroll, we appreciate your comments.  We value your patronage and appreciate your interest in Bob Evans Farms Inc.

LeAnn Purdy
Guest Relations
Bob Evans Farms, Inc.

and…

From: “Purdy, Leann D”
To: <me@my.email.addre.ss>
Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 3:24 PM
Subject: RE: Bob Evans – Reference # 720520

Mr. Carroll,

I wanted to send a follow up because I researched our records and did find where you had sent us these comments on our website with your mailing address included.

I have updated our records and a letter will be going out to you tomorrow.

Have a great day!

bef.gif

LeAnn Purdy
Representative, Guest and Consumer Relations
Supporting Bob Evans Restaurants, Bob Evans Food Products & Mimi’s Café Restaurants
3776 South High Street
Columbus, OH 43207
Bob Evans Guest and Consumer Relations: (800) 939-2338
Mimi’s Café Guest Relations: (866) 616-6464
Fax: (614) 492-4971
Bobevans.com

Then a week or so later, I got this in the mail…

Bob Evans Letter

Bob Evans Letter

Bob Evans Coupons

Bob Evans Coupons

How cool is that?  That’s enough for a meal & a half for the wife & I.  I have to say, I applaud their quick followup, perceived excitement, blatant flattery, and sincerity.  I do have to say, I’m a little afraid of returning to the Bridgeville location if someone was reamed by a regional manager as slyly implied by the emails and letter.  I mean “I also have shared your comments with the general manager and area coach of this location also so they can ensure that any necessary action is taken” seems pretty serious.  I don’t want to go back with Bob Evans bucks in hand and have them be all like “Oh, this is that butthole who wrote a blog and got me a lecture while I was just having a really bad day…”  Or do you think it was calmly presented as “OK, we obviously have some sort of breakdown, what can we as a management team do to help”?  I mean, that’s how it should have gone… right?

The didn’t comment on the asking 3 times for jelly code, so I can only assume this is a real thing.  Next time you’re at Bob Evans and you want jelly, ask for it thrice and ye shall receive thereupon the third asking.

Where’s the balance?  I’m really looking for input here.  Was I right to complain?  Am I safe in returning?  Should I just go to the Bob Evans in Robinson?  Think they have the same area coach & general manager?  How good is their Wildfire BBQ sauce?

16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies (via Calorie Lab)


EpiPens are portable epinephrine-dispensing de...

Image via Wikipedia

I haven’t blogged much about food allergies lately, so I’ll let this be a substitute post… with tips compiled from the experts.  This is a great list, & I agree with everything stated, though I have my own personal way of going about things.

Calorie Lab | 16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies: Insight From Food Allergy Experts, Advocates and Professionals

16 Tips for Dining Out With Food Allergies: Insight From Food Allergy Experts, Advocates and Professionals

So, do you have a separate fryer for fish & shellfish?

What do I do different?  I don’t like phone calls.  Sometimes, the wife calls for me.  Sometimes, I peep the menu online.  Sometimes, I break down & call ahead.

A lobster ate my baby!

Shellfish on a menu jumps out at me like this.

My favorite anecdote on this subject…  I called an Amish restaurant in Ohio and asked if they had shellfish, and was told that they had lobster, shrimp, and oysters… but nothing was served in a shell.

I’ll let you think about that for a minute.

Anyway, I can’t stress enough… ask the right questions, to the right people.  Don’t trust people telling you “oh, they don’t have any [whatever you’re allergic to] on the menu”.  Happens to me all the time.  90% of the time, they’re wrong.  Check yourself!  Ask if there’s any daily specials that don’t show up on a regular or online menu.  To relax, it helps to surround yourself with supportive friends & family.  It helps to go back to places that you know are safe.  Don’t eat w/o your Epi Pen close by.  (I have been guilty of this.  It’s dumb – like riding a motorcycle without a helmet.)

Allergy Eats, AllerDine, & Eating With Food Allergies are great resources.  There are many other resources out there too.  Use ’em!

What do you think about the tips?  What do you do before dining out with food allergies?  What advice would you pass on to the food allergic?