Look Inside

First pages from Free Marcus Katz!!!

From Marcus:

It had never occurred to me that anyone would want to make a book out of Yelp reviews. You can read all of my reviews for free online so I didn’t know why anyone would want to pay for them, but out of the blue several months ago an editor, Heather Marsden at John Hunt Publishing Company, IM’d me. Heather said she was a “total Yelp junkie” and that she had been following all of my 1400-plus Yelp reviews and she thought if she chose the right ones they could tell a story- my story. Of course I couldn’t say no because they were offering money and fame!  Anyway, I really hope you like reading my published book and I hope you tell your friends about it. 


This is my first review ever for Yelp. I have read many Yelp online reviews in the past but just never had the nerve to post. I do believe if you are a reader of Yelp reviews it is only right to create reviews, just like it is important to vote if you live in a democracy or to put money in the church collection plate after a good sermon, although I really don’t go to church because I am Jewish by birth, and I don’t go to synagogue either. Anyway, I am sorry for not being more proactive. I am now writing this review of Barrington Farms Market because I hope it will bring needed change. When I spoke to Dr. DeSantis about my plan to post about Barrington Farms on Yelp she agreed that it might be an effective way for me to get the outcome I want and also it would be a safe way for me to “reach out.”  “Reach out” is a phrase that Dr. DeSantis uses too often in my opinion. I am having some personal issues regarding my mother’s current illness and I think that Dr. DeSantis believes I am keeping too much bottled inside. Barrington Farms is more expensive than most of the other markets. It has very high quality food and the lines are shorter than they are at Ralph’s and Von’s. Some people say the checkout people are more attentive, although I personally like it better if my checker chats with the bagger instead of insisting on asking me how my day is. I don’t understand why they would care or why it is even polite. The main reason I shop there is that only Barrington Farms sells my favorite ice cream, Van Leeuwen chocolate, a premium brand made with high quality plantation chocolate. So what is the problem you might ask?  The last time I went in to buy ice cream and some other things I needed they were blasting sixties Herb Alpert Tijuana Brass music through speakers in the ceiling. The song was “Brave Bull” and it features a piercing solo trumpet. It’s not that I don’t enjoy music. In fact I sing tenor in the Santa Monica Congregational Church Concert Choir. It’s just that I have a strong sensitivity to the blaring of a trumpet. Some people may find this hard to appreciate, but for me a trumpet sound is painful, like fingernails on a blackboard to other people, and I realized I had to leave with just the Van Leeuwen and a package of Bear Naked granola I had in my basket. When the woman at the register asked if I had “found everything I was looking for” I probably should just have nodded “yes,” but instead I told her the truth, that I didn’t appreciate the loud trumpet music and had to quit shopping. She said she didn’t think it was that loud, but I disagreed and there must have been something in the way I said it that disturbed her because then she called the manager over. I told him politely if they were going to continue to play trumpet music I wouldn’t be able to shop there anymore. Aspies have difficulty picking up people’s reactions, but I could definitely see him grin. Maybe at first he thought I was just kidding but he stopped his smile. Then he told me that most customers enjoy the music (many of their customers are wealthy boomers who probably grew up with Herb Alpert), and that he was sorry if it bothered me, but music was chosen at corporate level and streamed to the store. Then I did something I wish I hadn’t done. I told him that he might be in violation of the Americans With Disabilities Act because approximately one person in 59 has an autism spectrum disorder and playing loud, disturbing music in a supermarket technically could be viewed as failing to accommodate a disabled person and there could be legal consequences for Barrington Farms. I don’t like playing the disability card. All of my efforts and that of my parents have been to “normalize” me although it sometimes bothers me to try to appear “neurotypical” when I am not. He said he was sorry it bothered me but he had to consider all of his customers and many of them like the music. Barrington Farms is really a five-star supermarket in many people’s estimation, and I suppose you get what you pay for, but a honeycrisp apple costs nearly twice as much there as at Ralph’s, so I am downgrading it one star for pricing. And then I am downgrading it two stars for the music. I would say that even if most people like trumpet music, it is the responsibility of a public business to make sure that all of its customers are able to shop in an atmosphere that suits them. I am not giving them a poor rating to punish them, but rather, as Dr. DeSantis says, to reach out to them and see if they will reconsider. I see that readers can vote this post as “useful,” “funny,” or “cool.”  It would be helpful to me to have people vote this as “useful” so that Barrington Farms might take notice.