That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s?

I read a shameful story the other day.

I guess it was too much trouble to ask her name. (image via

An Asian-American woman placed an order at a Papa John’s Pizza restaurant. She paid. She waited. She got her pizza and a receipt. In the space where her name would normally appear to help connect her and her order when the pizza was ready, the receipt read “lady chinky eyes”.

How sad that there are still people who think it is OK to be small minded enough to demean another person in that way. The ethnicity of the person found to be responsible for this act doesn’t really matter, I’d be willing to bet they’d have been outraged if they’d been similarly demeaned. The restaurant chain did the right thing by issuing an apology and ensuring the person involved was dismissed.

There is no excuse for mocking a person’s heritage. Ever.


This incident exposes another problem. The problem is certainly not on the level of racial intolerance. All the same, it is one that we all must resolve to address when we see it. What is that problem? Poor food choices.

The incident I described above occurred in New York City. I have been in The City but a few times in my life. I don’t know a lot about the place, but I do know that it has a well-earned reputation for good food. Most specifically to this case, New York is known for pizza. New York has its own style of pizza. You could throw open the Manhattan phone book, close your eyes, drop your finger and hit the number of a great pizza place. Why is anyone in New York City eating at Papa John’s?

People make poor food choices. People who visit seaside locales known for the freshest seafood go out of their way to eat a fish sandwich at McDonald’s. I’ve seen people issue thanks to God upon spotting a Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant in a foreign country – heaven forbid they try the local cuisine.

Why do people make these foolish food choices? I have no idea.

What Can We Do?

Pillory and mock those who don't get it. "Titus Oates eats goats. Titus Oates eats goats." (image via wikimedia)

People who make these choices are depriving themselves and embarrassing the rest of us. It is the duty of all sensible people to take these rubes under our wings and correct them when they go astray.

Let them know that it is morally wrong to choose mass-produced swill over fine, local cuisine. Explain how their choices reflect poorly upon them as a person. Not only that, let them know how their choices reflect upon you as their friend.

Point out their shameful choice and tell them you wont be a party to it. Help them find real food. If they insist on eating poorly, dig in your heels. Do not relent. Mock them roundly if you decide it is necessary.

But always manage your mocking. Be big about it. No one deserves to be called Chinky Eyes.

33 Comments on “That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s?”

  1. Spectra says:

    LOL, good finish 🙂 And it’s true about the great pizza all around the Tri-State area up here.

    I’ve had that problem with watching friends making bad food choices. One takes Lipitor for dangerously high cholesterol, with a strong family history of heart disease and diabetes; she’s got that deadly girth fat, and all she will eat is beef and pork. Never a speck of fish or salmon on her menu, with those beneficial Omega-3’s that could improve her cholesterol. My own cholesterol shot up 40 points while associating with her (really, it did). I had to end it. A friendship just isnt worth dying over.

  2. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    HOLY COW, is that disgusting.

    Well, both chain pizza & the racial slur. Papa John’s is at least near the top of the chain heap, but I live in an area saturated by pizza shops, as many (if not more) mom n’ pop operations as there are chains. Why not support the little guy? (It’s usually better quality & put together with more care too.)

    I can see, in special cases, like the island thing… hitting up a McTerrible’s. In my case, if I’m near any big body of water, 99% of the local eateries have fresh shellfish. 100% of the time shellfish throws me into Anaphylactic shock. I’ve heard tales of McLobster in New England. Curse you, New England, and all of your supposedly delicious sea bugs!

    As far as that receipt, I find it disgusting. As a (formerly) young white male… I always had a hyper-sensitivity built in. I try to go out of my way to not be offensive, which sometimes in itself can be offensive. It would be great to get to a point where we just ignore such differences.

    Speaking of poor food choices and racism, during the midst of a Wendy’s visit last night (pressed for time, it’s the only other “quick” place than McDonald’s passed along the route to our destination) I ordered a baked potato & a side salad for dinner. I was told after we ordered & paid that they were out of side salads & was offered to take something else in its place. I opted for a chili. I was asked if I wanted crackers or hot sauce with my chili. I asked for crackers. I later remarked to my wife that it’s always weird to ask for crackers to someone who’s not white. Should this be weird to me? Why would it even occur to me? Am I racist for thinking such things, or just hyper-sensitive? On a positive note… the side salad came out not long after we sat down, and I didn’t even ask. I thought the matter was settled with the replacement chili. I was in the mood for salad anyway. Go Wendy’s!

    • omawarisan says:

      Wow, they really looked after you, especially since you are McDonalds.

      I agree especially with your point about getting to where those differences are ignored. A lot of people are good at expecting their difference to be ignored but highlighting those they identify in others.

  3. planetross says:

    A friend from England came to visit me in Japan. I asked him if he liked rice: he said “Yes”.
    He had small quantities of rice in 3 consecutive meals and said, “Enough with the rice!”
    He was riced-out.

    note: if someone wrote “round-eye”, “foreigner”, “other person” on the receipt of my pizza delivery, at least I would know they had my address correct for the future.

    double note: I have a thick skin … but saying “Chinky Eyes” is pretty piss poor … in my “piss poor” book of things I don’t like to hear.

  4. planetross says:

    I’m liking your new header.

  5. Debbie says:

    You’d think we’d have advanced beyond racial slurs like that, considering kids are supposedly educated from an early age that such behavior is wrong and hurtful. That it still happens is a sad commentary on our society. Thankfully, Papa John’s did the right thing, though little can be done to ease that poor girl’s heartache.

    • omawarisan says:

      I have to believe that isn’t an isolated incident for that person or restaurant. I’m glad that the corporate folks stepped up and fixed it.

      I think this is another symptom of the way things are here in the US right now. Either you are exactly like me socioeconomically and in your thought patterns or you are less than me. There are no in betweens, and that’s sad.

  6. sarahnsh says:

    It was very wrong what they wrote, but yeah, Papa John’s is not exactly the culinary mecca for pizza in New York. I’ve always heard that the best place in New York for New York style pizza is called ‘Ray’s Pizza.’ The dilemma you have even though you have the name of the place is that there are like, I’ve heard at least, 40 Ray’s pizza all claiming their the original.

    I’ve also made it my effort whenever I go on vacation to eat locally. Trying new food at a new place is part of the experience!

    • omawarisan says:

      I’ve heard the legend of the many Ray’s(‘s?). In fact, now that I think of it, we now have a Ray’s here, but I dont think they have an actual Ray.

      I agree, food is part of travel. So many people miss that part

  7. weid0089 says:

    Watch Stephen Colbert’s coverage of this story:

    I died laughing. Obviously, I was resurrected to write this amazing comment.

  8. THAT HAPPENED IN NEW YORK?! At first I was like, What the heck Oma? Papa John’s is pretty good except they don’t deliver to our neighborhood anymore and we’re lazy and besides they’re costly. Then I realized this happened in New York.

    She’s just mentally unstable.

    • omawarisan says:

      Yes, New York. Pizza heaven. Why is she eating Papa John’s?

      She needs friends to say, “Yes, that’s wrong. Now, please justify to me why you were there when Ray’s is right down the street.”

  9. Blogdramedy says:

    Never mind racial intolerance. That was just plain rude. Uninvolved parents have a lot to answer for…

    • omawarisan says:

      Uninvolved and bigoted parents. I was surprised at some of the tales my son told me of moronic opinions some kids parroted to him when he was in high school.

  10. Laura says:

    I saw that story yesterday but completely missed the fact that it happened in New York. Good catch.

    The worst pizza experience I ever had was in NY, but it was my own fault — I bought a slice of pizza and started to dust it liberally with parmesan cheese. By the time I realized I’d picked up the garlic powder shaker instead of the cheese shaker, it was too late. I love garlic, but not huge amounts in powder form.

  11. I believe it was Yogi Berra who said, “Nobody goes to Ray’s anymore. It’s too crowded.”

  12. Thumbs down to that lunkhead at Papa John’s and thumbs down as well to most of the food choices people make nowadays. For some reason, what bothers me the most is seeing all the people lined up at MacDonalds when I travel abroad. I dislike that some Americans have to continue to live on fast food even when away from home. And I dislike even more that the fast food mentality has taken over the world.

  13. Amy says:

    If Papa John’s was the only pizza option, I would order Chinese take-out. I am always amazed when I visit my mom in Destin, FL that the Applebee’s always looks crowded. Who goes to the beach to eat at Applebee’s?!

  14. Lenore Diane says:

    Maybe the person placing the order was actually Lady Gaga and she was using a different name to avoid the limelight that comes with ordering from Papa Johns while living in NYC.

  15. spencercourt says:

    I’ve had NY pizza and agree that ordering from a chain was not smart unless…she wasn’t near a “real” pizza place OR she wanted to save a few bucks. I was amazed that *one* slice of pepperoni and sausage pizza from a “local” pizzaria was about $5. PJ’s will give you a whole pizza for about $10.

    And did you read about the latest…? I think it was a Domino’s in the SF Bay area that did that same thing with two Asian customers, calling them “Ching” and “Chong” on the receipt. Yep, that clerk was fired too.

  16. […] That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s? ( […]

  17. I appreciate your effort to dig deeper and cover an important angle of the story that the mainstream media is ignoring.

  18. Pauline says:

    Yes, people definitely need to make better food choices! What really makes me shake my head are narrow minded people who go to foreign countries but then eat at McDonalds!!?

  19. Pie says:

    I know nothing about Papa John’s but I do know about Ray’s Pizzas from my trip to NY years ago, and they are good. I’m glad the company had the sense to sack the fool who thought they could put a description like that on paper and think it was OK. That person’s clearly as thick as s**t.

    I don’t understand people who expect to find a McDonalds or KFC wherever they are in the world. Some Brits are shockingly poor in that regard. They’re the sort who move to Spain, but don’t learn the language and definitely don’t eat the food. They’re just there for the sun. If you go on holiday or move to another country and have no intention of living like the indigenous population, stay at home and save your money. There are plenty of KFCs in your own land.

  20. […] Blurt | That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s? […]

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