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Internet revolts after Brad gets mad

Tribune News Service • Updated Mar 28, 2017 at 9:00 AM

(TNS) – Cracker Barrel found itself in a fine kettle of fish recently.

Citizens of the Internet are hatin’ on the Southern-style restaurant chain after a man named Bradley Reid Byrd in Indiana made public that his wife had been fired from the restaurant after 11 years of service.

Adding insult to injury, she got fired on his birthday, dadgummit.

(Or was it the day before his mom’s birthday?)

The storm started when Byrd – now known simply as “Brad” – posted a plaintive plea to the company’s Facebook page on Tuesday.

“Why did you fire my wife?” he wrote.

Turns out he’s been trying to figure that out since Feb. 27, when he first posted about the situation on his personal Facebook page, announcing that “this old boy is STORMING!!!!”

“To say I’m (ticked) off would be an understatement,” Byrd wrote last month. “After 11 years, those low lifes at Cracker Barrel let my wife go. I would really like to know why and those of you who know me these days, know that I WILL find out.

“In the mean time, if any of you would like to know also, please go to their Facebook page and ask them. I would really appreciate it.”

Jumpin’ catfish, the Internet heard him loud and clear.

On behalf of “Brad’s wife,” cyber villagers from around the world shoved their tongues into their cheeks, lit their torches and stormed Cracker Barrel’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.

Hashtags sprang up.

#JusticeForBradsWife.

#BradsWifeMatters.

#NotMyCountryStore.

No surprise, a petition on behalf of Brad’s wife popped up on Change.org, where it had attracted 8,200 signatures of a requested 25,000 by Friday.

It is steeped in troll juice and comes with a side of mashed snark.

“Eleven years, Cracker Barrel,” the petition reads. “Eleven long, hard years. It is for this reason, we demand answers. Cracker Barrel owes this much to this kind man and his loving wife.”

At this point Cracker Barrel can’t post anything on its social media accounts without being burned like an overdone chicken fried steak.

On Instagram the company advertised its exclusive “trendy rabbit wreath” for spring.

“Brad’s wife loved hanging wreaths,” someone wrote.

The restaurant posted about its haddock dinner.

“I bet Brad’s wife made that. Rest her jobless soul,” someone else wrote.

Some people have used the “b” word.

Not Brad.

Boycott.

But on Thursday and again on Friday, Brad tried to beat down the backlash, asking people not to take out their anger, faux or otherwise, on their local Cracker Barrels.

“I would like everyone to remember that some very good people work for them,” he wrote on his Facebook page, telling people to send their questions “to the home office.

“They are the ones who can answer them............................................................or NOT!”

Cracker Barrel, based in Lebanon, has not commented.

— Lisa Gutierrez, The Kansas City Star

 

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