Fuck You, #BoycottBoston Boors. #FuckYou

By: Patrick Maguire

Book Chapter: Rules of Engagement

Posted: 01/17/2022

I’ve spent the most of my life living and working in and around Boston. Right now, I’m embarrassed for Boston and the America many of us grew up to (mostly) love and respect. The recent degradation and desecration of Democracy, ‘patriotism,’ and ‘American’ ideals that we have witnessed, and are in the midst of, are absolutely disgraceful.

A friend posted the following on social media on Sunday morning, 1/16/22:

I never turn off comments for Facebook and Twitter posts, but I did today for the posts about the [Boston] vaccine card mandate once I started getting Nazi stuff and other nastiness. I’d like to think we’re better than this as a country but apparently, we’re not.

Oh, and to those saying they’ll try to push their way into restaurants without vaccine proof because “a mandate doesn’t have the same power as a law”? Guess what–they both have the exact same power of enforcement. And again, don’t take it out on restaurants who are already struggling enough as it is.

Seriously, don’t be a dick.

My response on that thread:

100%. ‘We’ are not ‘better than this’ right now in Boston and America. There is a pervasive entitlement under the auspices of ‘freedom,’ and in rejection of ‘tyranny’ that is rampant in our culture. Many of the #FreedomFighters, including the #BoycottBoston tribe, are opportunists seeking any chance they can to desecrate the very democracy that supports their right to do so. It’s like a sport for them. Vaccine mandates, designed to protect workers and customers, are not easy decisions made haphazardly to ‘oppress’ anyone. And they wouldn’t be necessary if the majority of our populous were intelligent and open enough to research, learn, and trust science on their own without incentives or mandates for the greater good. Self-preservation is a strong motivator, and critical thinking is nearly extinct. And anyone or anything who threatens cultist’s long-ago, established ‘worldview’ will be subject to hateful, vitriolic, and sometimes violent attacks. ‘Different’ will always be a hated enemy to them because it makes them uncomfortable. And thoughtful, 2-way conversation (and potentially changing one’s mind) using meaningful words is too hard and risky for them. Being wrong and vulnerable is a sign of weakness and not an option. Extremists on all ‘sides’ will always be one of our worst enemies in America.

On Saturday, 1/15/22, proof of Covid vaccination, or tiered vaccine mandates went into effect in Boston, Brookline, and Salem, MA with several other cities/towns considering following suit.

From the City of Boston: 

Starting on January 15, 2022, to address rising COVID-19 cases and encourage vaccination, individuals will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to enter certain indoor spaces in Boston. People working in those locations will also be required to have received their vaccines.

The best way for Boston to stay healthy and support our communities, our businesses, and cultural institutions is for more people to get vaccinated.

Covered businesses are responsible for checking proof of vaccination and posting a notice about the COVID-19 vaccine requirement…

On the days leading up to Saturday, 1/15, several restaurants posted reminders to prospective guests about what would be required for entry.

In response, as predicted, along comes a handful of self-serving, often anonymous, cowardly pack of ‘patriotic,’ assholes attacking restaurants and calling for boycotts of the restaurants communicating what they are required to enforce to operate.

Here’s a sampling:



The profile from the last tweet states, “…help fight for liberty and religious freedom against totalitarianism and tyranny.” Yup, tyranny… As expected, the engagement on social media became vitriolic and vile. After I supported one restaurant under attack after their facebook post about the mandate, I received this pathetic missive in response:


Fuck off, ‘Robyn RM.’

Late last week, on the days leading up to implementation of the vaccine mandate, hateful protesters gathered early in the morning at the private home of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu. Boston Globe columnist, Yvonne Abraham was spot on in her assessment on why we even bother with idiots…

At the Mayor’s house, a measure of how low people can go

Excerpts from Yvonne’s piece:

It’s often best to avoid giving odious people air time.

There’s little to gain from engaging with the ugliness that passes for political protest these days.

But the ugly protests outside the Roslindale home of Boston Mayor Michelle Wu are impossible to ignore. The folks protesting the city’s vaccine mandates have been particularly nasty, and personal. They have crossed all kinds of lines.

Critics of Wu’s policies requiring all city employees to be vaccinated, and proof of a jab to enter certain businesses in Boston, have laced their arguments with racism and misogyny: One protester’s sign at a recent public event in Mattapan called Wu, the daughter of Taiwanese immigrants, a “communist [expletive],” and read, “Welcome to the Peoples Republic of Boston.” {Admin edit, where Yvonne used ‘expletive,’ the protestor’s sign said ‘cunt.’}

In Roslindale, the rabid vaccine resisters have shown up early in the morning, making as much noise as they can in an effort to wake not just Wu’s family, it seems, but the entire neighborhood, joking that they’re the mayor’s “alarm clock.” Their presence is all the more jarring in a progressive city like Boston, where Wu was elected in a landslide just a few months ago.

The protesters’ rhetoric mirrors the poisonous, pandemic-prolonging talking points that have infected millions across the country, a rejection of science becoming a kind of perverted patriotism that is integral to conservatism these days. They parade their ignorance even as hospitals are at their breaking point and public health professionals beg for mercy.

The protesters in Roslindale rail against “forced medicine.” The most vocal of them work in public safety, a field in which their refusal to take the most basic precautions should be utterly disqualifying. They proudly post videos of their disruptions. In one clip posted to Twitter on Friday, Wu’s birthday, somebody in the crowd converging on her car kept yelling “Happy birthday, Hitler!”

Earlier last week, my colleague Stephanie Ebbert heard one protestor say something menacing to Wu, a mother devoted to her two young boys.

“You’re not going to be around for your children cause you are going to be held accountable,” the person said.

Even by the standards we’ve come to expect from these protests, which is to say none, that is despicable. There are human beings in that house, including little kids, and Wu’s mother, who has struggled with mental illness. Imagine how terrifying it must be for a kid to have people show up at your home and say such awful things. It wouldn’t be the first time enraged adults have behaved despicably around children in the city, but one would hope we’d grown as Boston grew more welcoming to people of color.

Instead, we seem to have regressed. Threats, veiled and otherwise, are the currency of public discourse these days, from school board meetings in Derry, N.H., to the office of the nation’s top COVID expert, Anthony Fauci.

The targets of anti-vaccine mobs face an impossible choice: Call out the threats, thereby giving them a bigger platform; or ignore them and risk normalizing the behavior, knowing that one in the mob may actually do them harm. Increasingly, those railing about tyranny are doing more than just posturing, a fact last year’s insurrection made plain.

Wu has gone back and forth, struggling with how best to respond to her increasingly hostile critics. In tweets on Saturday, she called out some of the slurs and said: “To have a chance at healing & building community, we can’t keep normalizing hate.”

Every elected official expects to be the target of protests, particularly in this fractious era. And Wu’s critics have the right to express themselves, no matter how wrongheaded their point of view.

But do they have to be this appalling, this cruel? Can we at least agree that the protests should be confined to public settings, and not the homes of elected officials — of either party — who deserve to feel safe where they live?

Or have we lost the capacity for even that basic decency, too?

[If you want to adhere to the notion that there are still intelligent humans reading, digesting, and responding to articles like that, do NOT read the comments. Your ‘faith in humanity’ will not be restored…]

So many of these comments and actions are disgraceful for Boston and America, but this is who ‘we’ really are. The ignorance under the guise of ‘patriotism,’ the ‘victims’ being ‘oppressed’ by ‘tyranny,’ and the #FreedomFighters fighting for their narrow, incendiary, self-serving version of ‘freedom,’ clearly demonstrates how pervasive hate, divisiveness, and extremism is in our culture, and that SO many people would rather ‘die on the hill’ of their long-ago, established ‘worldviews’ than research, study science and facts, learn, admit they were wrong and change their minds. Civilized society has laws, rules, and social contracts, and consequences when they’re not adhered to. Unfortunately, MANY humans, when left to their own discretion, ‘freedom’ of choice to ‘do the right thing,’ for the greater good, never will.  So embarrassed for Boston and America right now. And no, I’m not leaving, but I will keep speaking up.

On twitter, I responded to tweets like those above with the following:

Researching and supporting the efforts of the Independent Restaurant Coalition is the very best course of action that we can take right now to ensure that our favorite, neighborhood restaurants survive. I can’t emphasize enough how critical this is. This absolutely IS life or death for SO many Mom & Pop shops. For many restaurants, business is absolutely awful right now in the dead of the winter in Boston. The very last vestige of hope for many restaurants to survive is replenishment of the Restaurant Revitalization Fund.

There is a Day of Action tomorrow, Tuesday, 1/18/22 at noon that I encourage everyone to participate in and spread the word about.


Last night, I experienced the vaccine mandate requirement first-hand at one of my favorite spots, Trina’s Starlight Lounge in Somerville, MA. It’s the first time I’ve been inside anywhere knowing that everyone else in the room was vaccinated to some degree. And it felt very good knowing that…

After getting home last night, I saw this post on my Server Not Servant Facebook Group from my friend, Diane Wolf, chef and owner of The Lobster Shanty and Wolf Next Door Coffee in Salem, MA. The timing of this ‘boots on the ground’ insight couldn’t have been better on the heels of an often contentious, extremely difficult weekend for restaurants in Boston and beyond…

Diane is a savvy, seasoned, salty restaurant industry veteran and ‘good people’ who I have a lot of respect for. This poignant post cuts to the core:

You don’t need to go out to eat.

You don’t need to sit at a bar and have drinks with friends.

If you want to, then there are some rules that our society needs you to follow. If you want to drink, you must be 21 years old, and we can only serve you during the hours that our liquor license allows. We require guests to be fully dressed, including shoes and a shirt. You can’t misbehave, or disrupt other guests. You can’t bring a firearm with you if you’re drinking alcohol. You cannot smoke or vape inside the restaurant or on our patio. When you drive here, you can’t just leave your car anywhere, you need to park it in a legal spot or you’ll get towed. Didn’t feed the meter? You’ll get a ticket. Don’t drive if you’re drinking alcohol. If you bring a dog, she can’t sit inside and we need proof that she has had a rabies shot and she’ll need to remain on a leash. What I’m saying is, having rules of engagement in any society is nothing new.

We have the legal right to refuse service to anyone, at any time, for any reason, or no reason at all. But we are not unreasonable, and we would like you to stay. We want you to stay, we are in the hospitality business – but it is a business and there are laws, rules and societal norms that we all must follow to be part of this community. We take community building seriously.

I didn’t need to buy a restaurant.
I didn’t need to get a liquor license.

But I wanted to – so I had to do a few things; I got TiPS certified, ServSafe Certified, went to culinary school (which required me to be vaccinated for MMR, Hepatitis B, Chicken Pox, & Meningitis). I also trained with NEHA (the National Environmental Health Association) and created a HACCP (Hazzard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan to make sure my team handles food safely. I wrote a business plan, took out loans, and sold some personal items for seed money. I applied for a food permit & a liquor license. We had to have health inspection, a plumbing inspection, a fire inspection, and a building inspection just for our occupancy permit. Can’t just hang a sign, need to go before the Design Review Board for approval first. Want an A-frame sign? Need a special permit for that. We must file and pay meals tax to the city and to the commonwealth, monthly. I need three or four different kinds of insurance, a payroll service, a trustworthy accountant, pest control, quality food & liquor vendors, trash, recycling, & compost removal. I must arrange for cooking oil recycling and knife sharpening. Clean that grease trap and snake the drains every quarter. Clean the exhaust hood and have the fire suppression system tested regularly. Train my crew, write a menu, buy plates & glassware, decorate the place, maybe get a couple of TVs, pay for cable or a satellite, maybe a jukebox service and an ATM. (Don’t forget to pay the four different musicians unions if you play a radio or have live music) Buy a Point of Sale system, arrange for credit card processing. Maybe secure a line of credit (or bootstrap it like we did). All this needs to be done before we serve a single burger or pour one beer. The goal is to create a culture and an atmosphere that folks want to go to.

Yeah, you could eat at home – my job is to make you want to come join us and be part of our special community. Do you have to? No. Do I want you to? Yes.

We have done SO MUCH to get this restaurant ready for you, to make it fun, to make it safe – so you can let loose and relax for a while. The least you could do is not give my host pushback for asking you to follow the rules. Rulemaking is well above our pay grade here at our little mom & pop restaurant. Anyone who wants to ‘punish’ a local business for following new mandates from the city or commonwealth is shooting themselves in the foot – because all that will be left are big chains of boring food dished out by large, soulless corporations. If you want to live in a thriving, unique community; a community with heart and soul, do your fucking part. We’re tired of arguing with you, we’d just like to get back to hospitality if you don’t mind.

Don’t like the rules? Stay home. You don’t need to go out to eat.

In the comments, Diane added, A handful of folks in cities with new vaccine mandates want to punish restaurants by boycotting them, I find this infuriating and heartless. If you want small, independent restaurants in your community, you need to support them.

Amen, Diane Wolf. Amen ♥

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Thank you-Patrick

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