Please Advise! Is the Lethbridge Denny’s Built Over a Gateway to Hell?

Three years ago Marilyn Manson was punched in the face there. Now a woman embarks on a racist rant in the same spot.

By Steve Burgess 16 May 2018 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to politicians, the rich and famous, the troubled and well-heeled, the wealthy and gullible.

Dear Dr. Steve,

What in blazes is going on with the Denny’s in Lethbridge?


All Day Breakfaster

Dear ADB,

I know, right? Two horrifying stories, separated three years apart, but both datelined: Denny’s, Lethbridge. Could it be we have uncovered a Canadian doorway to the infernal regions of Lucifer?

One news item involved Marilyn Manson stopping in at the restaurant and getting punched in the face by some local blueberry pancake aficionado. The shock rocker was on a cross-Canada tour (while he may be past his peak popularity, reports indicate Manson’s Lethbridge gig was at the nearby arena and not at the Denny’s itself). But what drew the man behind the albums Antichrist Superstar and Heaven Upside Down to the Lethbridge Denny’s in the first place? You can point to a certain lack of post-midnight meal options in Lethbridge if you like. But I see more sinister forces at work.

The proof: a viral video emerged that showed a racist rant directed at a group of late night diners who made the mistake of not speaking English — a faux pas, bien sur. Location? Denny’s in Lethbridge. Google Maps suggests there is only one Denny’s in Lethbridge. To be fair, if you Google “Portal to Hell, Lethbridge,” the Denny’s does not appear. But perhaps it requires a backwards spell and a chalk drawing of a blood-soaked Belgian waffle.

Before you roll your eyes and mutter, “Albertans,” consider that the star of the video was a Cranbrook, B.C. resident named Kelly Pocha. Apparently Pocha didn’t appreciate the fact that she was ill-equipped to eavesdrop on people speaking in an Afghan language. She proceeded to inform the diners that she was a Canadian, they were not, and that furthermore she was authorized to speak on behalf of a concerned nation when she informed the gentlemen they were not welcome here. As her Grand Imperial Wizard Platter and side of mozzarella sticks grew cold, she continued to chat with them about various things such as linguistics and the suggestion that they return to their own country (which cannot be Canada because, as noted earlier, Canada is hers). Police were summoned.

Pocha later lost her job at Cranbrook Dodge and told Lethbridge News that the incident does not reflect who she is. “That’s not me,” she said.

This should be an ongoing concern for the makers of iPhone and Android devices, as more and more people captured on phone-shot videos claim they have been misrepresented. The issue may involve the lens or possibly malfunctioning microphones, but so far no recalls have been announced. Anyway, Pocha might feel differently once Rebel Media informs her that they loved her audition tape.

If I were coaching her I would recommend that Pocha blame the real culprit: Denny’s in Lethbridge, clearly built over an open vent that leads to the netherworld. Just as hot lava bubbles up from crevices around Mount Kilauea, insidious subterranean gases from the realms of Satan surely drift up into that location and cause people to lose their shit. Or it could be something in the syrup dispensers.

I have no proof of these theories. But since the alternative is to re-examine my smug assumptions about Canadian attitudes, I prefer to blame Denny’s. “Moons Over My Hammy” is a stupid name for a meal, am I right?

However, it does give me pause to look at recent Ontario election polls that show support for Doug Ford sitting at almost precisely the same high-30s level that U.S. President Trump’s support never seems to drop below. Ford’s defenders say he is no Trump and that is certainly true, just as it is of every bipedal creature on Earth. But he’s not exactly Nelson Mandela either. And he is currently the front-runner to be next premier of Canada’s most populous province.

Presumably the people polled were actual Ontario voters and not actors like the ones the Ford campaign hired to cheer outside the leader’s debate venue recently. The actors were paid only $75 for the gig. Which suggests yet another explanation for the viral Denny’s video — perhaps Ms. Pocha was doing part-time work for the Conservatives. For that kind of money, eating at Denny’s is among your only options.

I admit that my Denny’s theory does look thin. It may be time to face the terrible truth — there may be assholes at Boston Pizza, too. Either that or the next iPhone update will take care of everything.  [Tyee]

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