Even if you're not a person who gets worked up about it, being single on Valentine's Day isn't exactly a positive experience. But that's no reason to act rash. You don't have to get a zoo to name a cockroach after your ex and feed it to a meerkat. And you definitely don't have to con Outback into giving you a free steak. And yet, people do both of those things.
Moving past the cockroach thing, a 27-year-old man named Stephen Bosner really did commit his Valentine's Day to tricking Outback into serving him a steak free of charge. Why did he do this? Hard to say, for sure. Maybe his heart is two sizes too small. Or maybe it was to get a bunch of retweets on Twitter. If the latter, he certainly succeeded.
In the words of his first tweet, "If I went to Outback Steakhouse by myself tonight and asked for a table for 2, then got progressively sadder as the night went on alone, do you think they’d give me my steak for free?"
The answer was: yes and no.
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Bosner really did show up wearing a suit with a fake present in tow. And he proceeded to wait. And wait. And wait.
He ordered a glass of wine for his "date" and a beer for himself, left her a voicemail, and did his best to look sad.
He ate complimentary bread and dealt with the stares of the other customers who knew what was happening -- or thought they did.
Eventually, it was time for the kitchen to close, so he chugged the wine he'd gotten for his date and ordered.
He left yet another voicemail in an attempt to escalate the situation.
“I’m taking it that you’re probably not going to make it," he said to his fake date. "So, umm, I guess I’ll talk to you later. I hope everything’s okay, hope nothing bad happened. Um, so I guess, you know, shoot me a text or give me a call when you get this, if you can. Hope everything’s okay.”
After almost two hours, an older couple took care of his bill. They stopped by the table and, as Bosner relayed to the Washington Post, told him, “Hey, bud, we’ll take care of that. Sorry about that. Don’t let it get you down.”
As a way of giving back to the couple for picking up his meal, he donated $50 to the American Civil Liberties Union. While a nice gesture, it's unclear how that absolves him of the $50 he tricked an anonymous couple into giving him, but that's neither here nor there.
Bosner also left the waiter a $20 tip, but he received pushback on Twitter from those who said he'd wasted the time of the server who could have made more money at other tables, and that he'd all around treated everyone involved in this situation poorly.
Somehow this ended with Outback effectively endorsing this behavior, and offering him a free comped meal with a new (real) date.
It's unclear what the lesson is here, but it doesn't seem like a good one.
h/t Mashable, The Washington Post
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