Jamieson Tells a Story

Hi everyone,

I have a few friends helping me out with posts this week.

On Tuesday Shelly Leer (ModHomeEc) will be teaching you how to rewire a lamp, on Wednesday Lynne Knowlton (Design The Life You Want to Live) will teach you how to make the most of your Pinterest account and today, I have my friend Jamieson who is going to tell you a story.

Please give all of them a hearty Art of Doing Stuff welcome.

See you later in the week!   ~ karen



A big thank you to Karen for asking me to write this guest post. Firstly, because I appreciate her entrusting your attention to my keyboard, but mostly because I cannot count the number of unnecessary chores I have accomplished by avoiding this task. Now that I’ve finished sorting all of the screws from the nails, baked a dozen dozen cookies (yes, a gross of cookies) and have ironed the last set of guest bedsheets, I’m finally ready to get down to business so Karen can rest easy and let loose on her Joanie Loves Chachi fan cruise.


I thought I’d share with you an anecdote from my storied past. I say anecdote because it’s a story not important enough to be saved for the ages, but maybe you’d tell it when guesting on The Tonight Show though too long to share during the introductions segment on Jeopardy. I have spun this yarn a few times over the years, so it’s likely gained some “colour” with the telling, but I assure you it is based in truth. And hey, a little colour certainly didn’t hurt the television industry, so it serves us well here too.

Let’s start way back in the dark, dim ages of Nineteen Hundred and Ninety-Three. Regis was still chummy with Kathie Lee, and the Spin Doctors were ruling the radio. The Fresh Prince had yet to dump DJ Jazzy Jeff, and Marky Mark was still with his Funky Bunch and if you had suggested that either of those guys would someday be Oscar nominees you would have been a deserved target of ridicule. Of course you couldn’t have really shared those thoughts with much of the world anyway, since there was no texting, foursquaring, facebooking, tweeting, warbling, snarfing, etc etc. Yes, I realize that Justin Bieber was not yet born, but that is not germane to this story and frankly it’s hurtful that you would even bring it up as it makes me feel old. I think you get my point: it was a simpler time.




One day at lunch, my coworker Iona and I went to a nearby Middle Eastern restaurant for some falafel. If TV flashbacks are any indication, we probably had haircuts you would laugh at today. The joint was jumping as we ate our meal when suddenly we were witnessing a loud commotion at the service counter. The room fell silent with the exception of one angry Middle Eastern fellow yelling.


Seemingly apoplectic with rage, the owner of the restaurant was hustling a patron right past our table and out the front door, slamming it behind him. The customer, an unassuming business man, looked completely flummoxed, shocked by this almost violent turn of events. As is wont to happen in the big city, the room resumed its steady volume of chatter, though everyone was likely on the same topic now: what the hell was that all about? Did he steal? Did he sleep with the owner’s wife, daughter, son? Iona and I couldn’t agree on a suitable explanation for what unacceptable behaviour the businessman was guilty of and had no way of confirming anyway, so after telling everyone about it back at the office, we forgot about it. The End.

Just kidding, you deserve a better story than that. Fast forward a few months and Ace of Base had replaced Spin Doctors in everyone’s hearts and Frasier had replaced Cheers. It was a whole new – yet eerily similar – world. I stopped by the Middle Eastern restaurant for a takeout dinner. Happily, the Mad Owner wasn’t in sight. I placed my order with a quiet younger fellow working behind the counter. “We are out of cauliflower for the falafel plate,” he murmured. This bothered me not a whit because cauliflower is basically the beige mock-turtleneck of vegetables. Boring, flavourless, and textureless. I definitely wouldn’t miss cauliflower on my falafel plate, thanks.


In fact, the opportunity for some extra fried eggplant in its place was a boon. “Could I please get more eggplant instead?” I asked. The fellow looked unsure but assented. Visions of extra fried eggplant danced in my head. And then suddenly the Mad Owner came racing from the back with his fist in the air, yelling “No! No extra eggplant!! If you don’t like it, you get out.” Confusion on my part, terror in the eyes of the cowering young guy behind the counter, so I started to explain the lack of cauliflower situation but was cut off immediately by the Mad Owner. I bet you can guess what he said next.


The inexplicable verbal attack was now happening to blameless little me! And as I was ushered out the door, I’m sure I had the same perplexed look on my face as our previous hero, the businessman and that evening’s patrons had the same quizzical and skeptical expressions. Now surely this did not happen only when I was a witness/victim. This guy was a crazy tyrant. A tyrant for falafel. So I had no falafel but I did have a weird story to share with friends. I rechristened the Mad Owner “Falafel Nazi”.


Now I can hear your clucking from here: I was copying the famous Seinfeld. Negatory! That character didn’t appear until November 1995, almost two years hence. Of this, I can assure you: I was ahead of my time, no colour necessary. Muddying the water however: they did look very much alike, to the point that I stood up and shouted at the TV when that episode first aired. Maybe a Seinfeld writer had eaten at this guy’s restaurant? We may never know.

Fast forward again, this time a few years. I had a new job and a new favourite sandwich place near my new office on the other side of the city. After much sandwich success they started offering two daily soups. Delicious blended soups. Wondrous, really. Everyone in the office talked about them and the freshly crafted sandwiches. Daily lineups ensued. I was so obsessed with the soups that I’d call in the morning to find out the selections for that day. Then a crazy thing happened: The Falafel Nazi showed up and opened a SOUP STAND right across the aisle from my favourite lunch shop, clear across town. My horrid Falafel Nazi had somehow morphed into an ACTUAL Soup Nazi and was in direct competition with my beloved soup peddler!


I told all of my friends the story about the crazy neo Soup- née Falafel Nazi. They were amused, but that didn’t stop most of them from patronizing his soup stand because they didn’t have to wait in the long lineup across the hall even if it was for a superior soup. I had to take action. Being a pacifist (pacifist agressivist, more like), I knew that the pen (keyboard) is mightier than the sword (sword). So I started a campaign to help my nice soup guy win out and in turn shut down the neo Soup Nazi. Every morning I called up my guy and he told me his soups of the day. I would then craft a basic email, colour coding the text based on the main ingredients for added zip. I even threw in some Zapf Dingbats to jazz things up.


Then, I started a distribution list of folks in my department plus friends who worked in the building or close by. This soup was good stuff, so word traveled fast. Word spread exponentially, just like the classic shampoo commercial starring Heather Locklear’s hair:

After a couple of months the distro list had grown to well over 200 people and my plan was working: the Soup Nazi was getting almost no customers, while my Soup Nicey was once again doing gangbuster business. And a couple of months after that, the Soup Nazi slunk away to whatever mean cave he crawled out of. And I let out a big whoop and a ceremonial…


And that, my friends, is the story of how I invented Yelp.


[Too much creative colour?]

No Jamieson. There’s no such thing as creative colour?
Follow my witty friend Jamieson on Twitter here.
Follow my same witty friend Jamieson on Instagram here. ~ karen!



  1. Marti says:

    Welcome Jamieson! Nice story…

    Slacker Girl, I hope you have a great time on the cruise! I’ll be so happy to stay here with people who know how to properly punctuate. And if I get lonely, I’ll drown my sorrows in some lovely Szechuan carrot soup! Yippee!

  2. stephanie says:

    I went to the nicey soup place almost every day … it is one of my favourite memories of Toronto. On the days I didn’t go I went and had roti at Island Foods – I miss them both.

  3. Debbie says:

    Love Karen and her columns. Not sure I love, or even like, the word, “Nazi”, being thrown about in such fashion. I’ve never watched Seinfeld and am not thrilled with what I’ve heard about the episode. I am a Jew. I am aware he is as well. Our family possesses censored letters from relatives imprisoned in Auschwitz during the early years of the Holocaust. We lost many to the Nazi’s and their, “Final Solution.” There are those who still believe in the extermination of our race (and other races as well). Anti-Semitism is on the rise in the world.

    For those who think it is time to “forget” and move on, please consider this quote by Martin Niemöller (1892-1984) a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Socialist.
    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Trade Unionist.
    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
    Because I was not a Jew.
    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

    Don’t let them come for any race, creed or color. Stand up for humanity. I don’t live in the past, though firmly believe that if we forget, we are condemned to repeat it.

    Your writing is great and a pleasure to read. Please use your skill and ability to convey humor in a way that honors. Use humor in a positive way. I look forward to your next guest appearance.

  4. Debbie says:


  5. Edith says:

    OMG……YOU invented Yelp!?!?!? YOU did!? Really? That is so AWESOME!!!!

  6. Rhonda SmartyPants says:

    Welcome aboard, Jamieson! Nothing much I like better than a good story and, if it is told by a good storyteller, it quite naturally becomes a Good story; if the Good story has continuity, relativity, multisyllabic words, complex sentence structure, a story line that wanders hither but not too yon and a good storyteller who respects the importance of the aforementioned qualities, the heretofore Good story again, quite naturally, becomes a great story.

    I am also putting off a very important task of which the true nature of is only important to me so no need cluttering your mind with the details so I must cut this short as much as I would like to take you on the journey when the great story actually metamorphisizes into A Great Story told by A Great Storyteller. Suffice to say, you are leaning in that direction already so my guess is this journey would be rather familiar territory to you. That is also my hope so, rather than have it dashed again (sigh!), I will leave us both wondering about the outcome of our brief, but literary, encounter.

    May your soup bowl always be full of warm, nurturing, and enticing soup, (unless its Gazpacho, of course and then chill, baby),

    Rhonda (you can call me SmartyPants) SmartyPants

    PS–Please don’t tell Karen this, but she really needs this cruise so if she were to stay another week or longer and ask about how you were received, please encourage her enough that all is well that she will stay rather than hurry home to wrest this blog from your finger nubbins.

  7. Edith says:

    Gosh, here I was winding down from a stressful day, laughing at a really funny story and you had to get all preachy. We all know what happened and we all agree it was horrible.

  8. Karen are you going to be the person shouting “i discovered him, i discovered him” (i hope you signed for at least 20%) when Jamieson becomes a famous author ? honestly though, i could totally see that happening.

    Jamieson i really loved this story. it was funny, captivating, witty, well written and showed what a great talent you are. btw that should mean a lot coming from me because … well … i wrote the internet.


  9. Karen says:

    Dear everyone. I haven’t really gone on a Joanie & Chachi cruise, lol. I’m working on the kitchen. ~ karen

  10. Karen says:

    Debbie – I approved this post written by Jamieson and I still do. I’m sorry if it upset you but it was my decision to allow this post so if you want to be upset be upset with me. Not Jamieson. As far as “forgetting and moving on” I would like to bring to you attention this post which I wrote last year. https://www.theartofdoingstuff.com/in-remembrance-of-the-holocaust/ ~ karen

  11. Tigersmom says:

    Welcome, Jamieson! I very much enjoyed your story and your writing.

    I knew when I saw guest posts that you were taking the time you need to do the kitchen. (Hooray for your soon to be kitchen!)

    And Hooray! for backing up your back up, Jamieson. Good on ya’.

  12. Wait… there’s no Joanie Loves Chachi fan cruise? This is most disappointing.

  13. paula says:

    Awesome story Jamieson, welcome! I loved the stroll down memory lane…
    Can’t wait to see the kitchen Karen.

  14. shuckclod says:

    Great post 🙂 I am very familiar with all your past favorites. No cell phone was the thing I loved back then. I would never give my business to someone so rude, I am glad you stayed true to the good guy… That Seinfeld episode is one of the best. He (Jerry Seinfeld) is also a Jew Debbie, that is the word he called him.

  15. jainegayer says:

    Jamieson, good story! My late husband, who was Jewish, always enjoyed the soup nazi episode on Seinfeld.
    I know he would have enjoyed reading your story and your crusade to oust the Falafel nazi.

    You really invented Yelp! Wow, good for you!!

    Karen, can’t wait for the big kitchen reveal.

  16. Dawn says:

    I read this thread title and being the good part-irish girl that I am thought “Ooo! Karen is going to drunk post on Jamison. Fun!”

  17. Ev says:

    I am not Jewish, but cry pretty much every time I hear or see anything about the Holocaust. That said, The Soup Nazi is funny. Seinfeld had as much right as anyone to describe that guy (who was real). And Jamieson’s story was a hoot! Thanks for a bit of humor to start my day! Good choice Karen. Have fun! (Pictures, we need lots of pictures)!

  18. kari says:


  19. Jamieson says:

    No, my invention of Yelp was more “colour”. The final remark “too much colour?” is a little lost above, sorry.

  20. Jamieson says:

    thanks, chum!

  21. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Tigersmom!

  22. gogothrift@etsy.com says:

    Bummer Karen,
    since I can’t get away from all of this freakin’ snow I was actually really happy that you had gotten away. Lately when someone tells me they are traveling to someplace sunny for “a little getaway”, I smile falsely and say heartily “good for you!”. What I really want to do is punch them in the eye. I was imagining you relaxing on the Lido deck after having and eaten yourself sick. Oh well. You gotta do what ya gotta do. Sending prayers your way that the week goes super smoothly.

  23. Jamieson says:

    I suppose we could all band together and make it happen. I’m pretty sure Erin Moran is available. Scott Baio may fight it at first but he’d likely get on board (literally and figuratively).

  24. Jamieson says:

    Thanks shuckclod! No cell phones… no voicemail even – I had an answering machine in those days and if you weren’t standing in front of it to press the button, you didn’t know who’d called you that day.

  25. Jamieson says:

    Thanks shuckclod! No cell phones… no voicemail even – I had an answering machine in those days and if you weren’t standing in front of it to press the button, you didn’t know who’d called you that day.

  26. Debbie says:

    Thankfully, we continue to have first amendment rights that allow free speech, and thankfully, the allies prevailed in WWII; otherwise that may not have been so. If you feel this is “preachy”, you are entitled, as you are entitled to all of your opinions. I am also entitled to mine, and they may or may not make one feel good. Life if that way. You may want to refer to Karen’s well-written blog about Holocaust Remembrance Day and I thank Karen for allowing free expression on her blog.

  27. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Jainegayer! Sadly, I did not invent Yelp, that was just some “colour” as referenced by my “too much colour?” remark below, a little hidden.

  28. Jamieson says:

    Thanks, Marti!

  29. Melissa in North Carolina says:

    Yes, please, take tons of photos! So happy you are taking some time for yourself. Will you complete the kitchen when you return? I’m waiting for a final reveal with bated breath.

  30. Debbie says:

    Thank you, Karen. I was not sure my reply would be approved and am thrilled it was. I think very highly of you and your posts. I am not upset with Jamieson or you. I am concerned there may be complacency in society and worry about the next race/creed/color/religion/sect who will become a scapegoat. It happens too many times in our world. I appreciated the link and that you wrote so sincerely and openly about Holocaust Remembrance Day. You brighten my day and continue to do so.

  31. Haha one of the funniest episodes on Seinfeld. Cheers to a good laugh!!

  32. Jamieson says:

    Thanks for taking the time to provide this feedback, Debbie. I appreciate everything you’ve said here and I hope you know already that it was not my intention to disrespect. I myself have a visceral response to people using the term “that’s so gay”. For most, their intention is not to offend, and yet it is hurtful to hear. Know that I’ll make the effort to be more conscious in future.
    I thank you for your compliment, too.

  33. Jamieson says:

    Thanks for saying it was funny, Edith!

  34. Jamieson says:

    Thanks SmartyPants. Now I’ll have this song in my head all morning:


    It’s okay, it’s a favourite.

  35. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Paula!

  36. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Feral Turtle!

  37. Debbie says:

    Jamieson – I’m yours forever.

  38. Sally A. says:

    Me too Edith! While I respect everyone’s beliefs, I think that most of us who read Karen’s blog, that we read it for the humor, not for social commentary. It was very unpleasant to read that criticism. The term Nazi is used to describe a terrible person. that. is. it. Please everyone, let’s work to keep this blog a light hearted place. Nothing would ever be said on it that would be meant to intentionally hurt anyone. Thank you.
    P.S. I am aware that I am perpetuating the issue by commenting on it, but I had to speak.

    I loved your story Jamieson! Nazi’s and all! :o) (See?…humor!)

  39. Suzanne says:

    Ah, ingenious pacifist agressivist action. And great story! Not to mention a fun-filled trip down pop culture’s memory lane. Gotta love it. I hope to see more from you!

  40. Manisha says:

    Ha! What is it about falafel shop owners, huh? We had a chain business here called “Falafel King” and that owner was fierce and angry! I swear I overheard him calling a hit on someone. I was afraid to order but I finally got the courage to do it, yet the food was no good. This happened after the Seinfeld show, which I had seen, and I would refer to the show in my explanation to friends. Great story! Mystery solved.

  41. Mindy says:

    Wow, I got sidetracked on my way down to comment, with all the drama up there in the comment boxes. Now I forgot what I was gonna say….. Oh wait, I remember now.
    What a great guest post. I loved that Seinfeld episode. And Ace of Base – yes, yes I did own the cassette tape (she says as she bows her head in shame).
    Too funny – thanks for the morning coffee entertainment.

  42. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Sally!

  43. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Ev!

  44. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Suzanne!

  45. Jamieson says:

    Thanks Mindy!

  46. Julie says:

    Jamieson, I do not doubt that the scriptwriters, or perhaps Seinfeld himself heard your term and used it in the show! I personally take credit for the popularity of the term “just sayin'”. I am certain I was the first person to say it!

  47. Marti says:

    I don’t think it’s “time for forget.” Because no one who breathes can ever forget or should ever deny what was suffered by all in WWII. And certainly no family that suffered such losses personally (whether because of their race/creed/religion or because their son or daughter went off to war and didn’t return) but this isn’t the place or time for such a discussion. This is a DIY and humor blog.

    While it may seem somewhat disrespectful to you, Debbie, what Jamieson is recognizing is that the word “Nazi” has become so instantly recognizable as a term describing someone evil and deeply mean-spirited that no further explanation is warranted. In its own way, that’s granting respect.

    So while I’m sorry that Jewish people often take offense at such usage, this is a HUMOR and DIY blog. And maybe we should give our guest Jamieson a ‘pass’ and realize that it’s just a story. Not a stick. Not a bone. Not a bullet.

    There’s an old saying where I’m from: “He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is a greater fool.” Please don’t be offended by that. I’m not intending to call anyone here today a fool.

  48. Ruth says:

    Way to go! Away with the Falafel ‘Nazi’…. and now I am craving deep-fried eggplant (too hot for soup). Great story, Jamieson. *waves from the sunny isle*

    Hey Karen! How is the kitchen coming along? I am assuming that it has all your attention; hence, the missing newsletter, and fab guests…. *cheering you on*

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