It’s Sunday, and you’re sitting on the Standard Tap roof deck in Northern Liberties, enjoying a thick bloody mary, local eggs, and convivial conversation with your friends when the unthinkable happens: the blaring sound of a car alarm pierces the springtime air and your laissez-faire afternoon. You think to yourself Oh, someone will turn it off in a minute. But then they don’t. And it goes on and on and on and on, driving you deeper and deeper into psychosis.
Such was the horror experienced by brunchgoers this past Sunday at the iconic restaurant.
“The car was parked right in front of the restaurant,” says Standard Tap sous chef Eric Wagner, who has worked in the kitchen for more than a decade. “First it just kept going off. Then it would go off every two minutes and then shut off. And then again like every five minutes.”
After two hours of listening to the car alarm, Wagner decided he had had enough. Now, in some Philadelphia neighborhoods that shall remain unnamed, an incessantly blaring car alarm might result in slashed tires. But in Northern Liberties, things are a bit more creative, a bit more civilized.
The sous chef left his station at the Standard Tap and walked down the street to a local shop, where he purchased a pack of Post-It notes. Then he stuck them all over the offending car’s windows and used a marker to leave a note for the driver reading, “Your car alarm has been going off for the last two hours.”
Wagner left the marker on the car, and soon, brunchers, neighbors and other passersby showed up to leave their own notes, such as “FIX YOUR ALARM!!!” and a crudely drawn penis. (So much for creative and civilized.)
“There was one angry note about a brick through the windshield,” says Wagner. “But we took that off. The manager was about to get the car towed but then decided not to after seeing my solution. People at the restaurant were cheering me on.”
The alarm continued for more than an hour after Wagner’s revenge prank began. One young woman walking by asked if anyone knew who covered the car in the notes, explaining that it was her friend’s car. Then she walked down the street and into North Bowl. Moments later, the alarm stopped.
“It was an hour before someone came back to get the car,” says Wagner. “I think she might have been too embarrassed to come and get it right away.”
It’s not Wagner’s first time covering a vehicle. He once covered Standard Tap chef Carolynn Angle‘s pickup truck in cardboard boxes:
“I didn’t want the PPA to be able to find her truck,” he explains.
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