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109 ▲    

“ Why are you so bitter? The article made me smile. It's obviously not serious world news, but that's not what it's intended for. There's no reason to be a dick. ”

Bobby S THE ATLANTIC2014-01-04T17:50:00.000Z

103 ▲    

“ Thank goodness you put the red line through the location name, so that nobody will be able to tell it's the Barrie, Ontario location (from where Chip Zdarsky hails). ;) ”

Wiless THE ATLANTIC2014-01-04T05:28:00.000Z

70 ▲    

“ If that's a bot, then the turing test has been passed. ”

SmilodonsRetreat THE ATLANTIC2014-01-04T21:15:00.000Z

THE ATLANTIC2015-05-18T05:25:28.000Z

"They never disappointed me. I love them."

Chip Zdarsky is a comic book artist and journalist. He is also a devoted pen pal ... of an Applebee's. For the past several months, Zdarsky has taken to Facebook to befriend one of the fast-casual chain's Canadian franchises. And the franchise has, fortunately, returned his overtures. The results of the unlikely duo's interaction—you can read the whole thing at Buzzfeed—are hilarious and delightful and wonderfully weird. And maybe, in their way, literary. The Chip/Applebee's exchanges, played out on Applebee's Facebook page, are like Waiting for Godot ... if God were an Applebee's. They're like Her ... if ScarJo were a riblet.

The months-long conversation, in other words, pretty much defies description, except to say that it's a dadaist and absurdist and either way very of-the-Internet take on the epistolary novel—one that is earnest and ironic in pretty much equal measure.

It starts like this: 

And then it continues:


I asked Zdarsky how he got started with his uniquely fast-casual friendship. As he told me in an email: