Unbelievably Offensive 9/11 Joke at Texas Bar

September 14, 2011

You're looking at what an employee at a Texas Bar called Petrol Station thought was an appropriate "joke" to make on September 11 when he left it on the takeout box of a Muslim customer. Tarek G. explained what happened in a Yelp review:

I decided to order a burger to go and take home to finish watching the Cowboys game.  When the burger came out, 'Happy September 11th' was written on the box, with the '11' being the WTC and a plane flying towards it...Today is September 11th - and personally I don't think it's a nice way to honor the nearly 3,000 people who died that day 10 years ago.  I said as much to the bartender, and asked him to please take the burger away and give me a refund.  He sort of scoffed and proceeded to speak with his manager, and within earshot, called my friend and I 'assholes' for complaining about what he clearly thought was funny.  To be fair, the manager came over and provided me with a refund, but no apology or explanation...As I walked out, I heard from behind the bar 'Allahu Akbar...'  repeated several times.  Now maybe it's bad luck for them that I happened to be working near WTC and that I also happen to be a Muslim (admittedly not the best Muslim) - but as an American first and foremost, I find that kind of cavalier attitude offensive at best, and when coupled with the fact that it was coming from a service provider, prejudiced and anti-American at worst.  

The owner of the restaurant granted an interview to Eater about the incident: 

We're trying to distance ourselves from the employee involved in it, and that's not how we do business. I talked to the guy [the customer] and that meant more to me than anything else. I understand the damage that gets done to your business, but I have to know for myself that we're ok with that guy. I got a chance to shake his hand and apologize to him and that means a lot more to me than the damage to my business...You can't control every aspect of your business. An employee made a stupid mistake...well, not even a mistake he did something really, really retarded and he got fired. You can only spin it so many ways after that.


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Kelly's picture

Will you do a follow-up interview after he apologizes for "retarded?"

Emily's picture

That is EXACTLY what I was thinking, too, Kelly! Way to give a really classy follow-up.

Lauren E.'s picture

Wow... sounds like they're real edumacated down there. Why not throw a homophobic slur in there, too? Really cover all your bases?

bumnerura's picture

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lulz's picture

I personally find that really funny.