This Deeply Weird Thread About Lentils Is Tearing the Internet Apart

(Image Credit: Joe Lingeman)

Reddit can be a good source of unique cooking tips, interesting food photos, and entertainment, but today things took a turn for the chaotic (and yet still entertaining).

The Trader Joe’s subreddit is always a wonderland of new product suggestions and, often, ideas for how to use current favorite products. So it didn’t seem unusual when user WannabeTypist11 posted the following: “Quick Q”: “How are the steamed lintels?” Sure, they clearly meant lentils (a typo oddly repeated throughout the post), and yeah, the rest of the question was a little odd, requesting advice on how to coerce their wife into liking the dish (“I’m getting extremely frustrated”). But hey, people can be odd, so no one really thought too much of it. Until the responses came in and things got … very strange.

The enthusiastic Raincitycatlady posted a polite suggestion of adding bruschetta sauce and feta, a suggestion she had been given and enjoyed. Then the original poster responded, and it was like that moment when everyone freezes and turns their head to watch a train wreck: “For my response, let me just open with the fact that I’m going to be extremely critical of what you’ve just written. It’s the truth, and there’s no way to get around it. Some things are better to face as directly as possible in order to get them over with.”

The original poster proceeded to pick apart and criticize the simple, polite, and helpful suggestion with the kind of specificity and interrogation I would expect in a New Yorker fact-checking, while sprinkling in patronizing faux-feminist remarks about their wife. I was going to copy and paste a sample of it here, but honestly, there is not a single part not worth highlighting.

For my response, let me just open with the fact that I’m going to be extremely critical of what you’ve just written. It’s the truth, and there’s no way to get around it. Some things are better to face as directly as possible in order to get them over with.

First, you said you warmed it — but how? Try to be more descriptive. If I’m making it for my wife, who I’ll note is very particular, I’ll need to know exactly how to prepare the food.

Second, why even mention the bruschetta or the feta? Am I going to have to purchase other products in order for my wife to enjoy her meal? You need to be more clear. At least, you should have expanded on it so I know exactly what I’m going to be preparing. Just a general lack of focus that doesn’t sit right for me. Plus, how am I to know whether your “friend” is either Mario Batali or god forbid some street rat with a coy smile? Now the responsibility of your recommendation rests on the shoulders of someone who I have no idea what to expect from. Not good.

Third, why mention your unsatisfied significant others opinion if you’re trying to get my wife to try it in the first place? It doesn’t leave me with any confidence for the product after you haven’t had any prior success with it. Am I just supposed to recreate your “Dinner of ill Repute” with my wife? Because I can’t afford that. Absolutely not.

Next time please do not comment on my post. I’m under a considerable amount of pressure, and you’ve made me feel even more wretched than normal.

Good riddance

After that, he continues to respond fighting against the idea that he’s the villain in the situation, “Maybe you all should consider the fact that you are thin-skinned and not helpful with your advice.” And then he does the digital equivalent of storming out of the room, claiming he will start his own, second Trader Joe’s subreddit. That, of course, can be found under “trutraderjoes” and is “A Trader Joe’s community for intellectuals.” (It is currently filled with people mocking the original poster.)

Elsewhere on Reddit, the post made the “Subreddit Drama” ranks, while someone else started an actual, normal thread on what to do with the steamed lentils. But if nobody’s responding to criticism with posts like the following, what’s even the point? “My wife is the love of my life. Everyday I wake up in a dream that never ends because of her undying love. If that’s a problem for you, then you can go to hell. I LOVE my wife,” says the original poster.

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