Normally I won’t write anything that people outside of Philadelphia won’t get, but this guy has had it coming for a while.
Joey Vento is the owner of a place in South Philly called “Geno’s Steaks.” It’s an overpriced tourist trap that all the out-of-towners rave about. “If you go to Philly, check out Geno’s! They’re really really good! Best cheesesteaks ever!” Of course, it’s all useless hype. I’ve only been there once, and I don’t intend to go there again. I was there 2 years ago, and it was $7.50 for a 6 inch cheesesteak with cheese whiz. Since then, the cost of food from suppliers has gone up, so I can only imagine how much his prices went up. All it was to me was a regular cheesesteak, except I blew $7.50 on it when I could have easily went to a pizza place and paid like $5.50 for a one foot cheesesteak that tastes just the same. The place was swarming with yuppies wearing light-colored shirts and khaki shorts and carrying backpacks. I can’t stand yuppies.
If I hated Joey Vento for being over-priced, I’d have to hate too many other business owners. The guy is an attention whore.
I don’t know if this made national news or not, but seeing what passes for news these days, I’ll assume it was on CNN or MSNBC. When the immigration debate was at its’ peak, Joey decided to make a political statement and put up a sign:
Okay, I can agree with the message. If you live in America, you should speak English. But wait. According to Joey, nobody has ever tried to order in another language. So why then would he need to put the sign up? If it’s something he’s always believed, why did he wait until immigration was dominating the headlines to speak his mind? The answer:
He didn’t give a shit about the immigration issue. He was just trying to make a quick buck by causing controversy. As soon as he made the news, his sales skyrocketed. He tried to play the “My father came from Italy and had to learn English” card. So did my great grandparents. Except when they came here, they were dirt poor and weren’t able to open up a tourist trap so that years later their descendants could use political controversy to rip people off. I have no respect for people who purposely initiate controversy to make money. “Hey, did you hear on the news about that place of business that has a controversial opinion on a touchy issue? We should totally patronize them because of that!” Shit, if it’s that easy, wait until I open up my restaurant. With my opinions, I’ll be like Scrooge McDuck in his money bin. Then I’ll go smack Joey Vento right upside his greasy dago head with a huge wad of c-notes for being a greedy moron.
Of course, the publicity eventually died, and Joey’s clientele went back to consisting of gullible yuppy out-of-towners who didn’t know any better. That wasn’t going to fly with Joey. He needed money money money. Those interviews and that huge surge in business only gave him so much. What did our noble crusader decide to do next? Why, take up arms against dangerous motorcycle drivers! Because Joey owns several motorcycles (Big fucking whoop, my girlfriend’s father builds his own from scratch, which are a billion times more awesome than anything this jack hole probably owns), he’s an expert on motorcycle safety. Almost like how Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell is a state-wide expert on cheesesteaks because he’s from Philly. Now, whenever I listen to the radio, I have to hear commercials about how Joey’s set up some kind of bullshit hotline to report dangerous motorcycle drivers. Well aren’t you a fucking hero. Call Time Magazine, because we’ve got the next Man of the Year right here! We should canonize Saint Joey for his Mother Teresa-esque act. I haven’t bothered to go back to his shitty over-priced establishment to find out if his latest ploy worked.
I’ve wanted to write a letter to the newspapers calling him out on his bullshit, but I doubt they’d publish it, since it rips on someone from South Philly. Anything or anyone that comes from South Philly is considered sacred in Philly in the same fashion that a cow is in India. Even if they did publish it, every stupid wop in the city would write in and try to hand me my ass. It’s impossible to win an argument with these greaseballs, since they’re impervious to reason, and the portion of the city that isn’t minorities (the census says somewhere around 50%, but I think that’s a crock of shit) are mostly either Irish, Italian, or both. It would be like trying to carry a trailer full of cinder blocks up a hill, and just as pointless too.
If anyone feels like it, they’re welcome to find a way to forward this to Joey so he can choose not to acknowledge it and brush me off. If he wants to email me, he’s welcome to. My email address is on the front page if you’re feeling up to challenging my claims, Joey. Just remember that I will be posting any correspondence between us on the site to be seen publicly.
I doubt he’ll even read this.
8/24/11- Before you fire off an angry death threat-laced email telling me that Joey died, remember that this was written in 2008. Actually, feel free to send it to me anyway. My readers and I will be more than happy to laugh at your expense.