Fiction tweeted 140 characters at a time is now old and trite, so it was really only a matter of time before somebody turned to Yelp. In this case: Gregg Gethard, a comedian and, apparently, a onetime Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? contestant. Gethard poses as “Karl G.,” a sort of David Foster Wallace–style actuary working in risk management for a parking-garage construction company who overshares, painfully, in his Philly-area Yelp reviews.
People checking in on, say, the Nile Cafe listing to see if it nails its vegan barbecue now have to wade through a rambling five-star review (they’re always five stars), learning of Karl’s sad divorce from Cynthia, his fears about taking risks, and their two kids Bradley and Brian (“B’n’B”). Side plots include school-board election voter fraud, before his rabbit-hole life philosophizing gets back on track. In his Custard and Cakes review, Gethard recommends the place to anyone “who wants to sit down on the ledge and watch young children enjoy ice cream while you think of the many things you could have done differently so you could still live with your sons but now you only get them for one weekend a month.” Perhaps surprisingly, given the subject material, lots of other users are finding his reviews “Funny” and “Useful” and “Cool.”