Let's talk about that slobby "countertop spaghetti" video

I’d call this a palate cleanser, but just watch.

Let me know how cleansed your palate feels afterward.

There’s a good reason and a bad reason to hate this video. The bad reason is because it’s gross and unsanitary. It is gross and unsanitary (and you should heat up jarred sauce before combining it with pasta) but these idiots obviously aren’t going to eat the spaghetti. This is a troll, made clear by the overly enthusiastic responses of the woman filming it. “Let’s stop pretending those viral recipe sh*tposts are real,” warns a writer at Lifehacker this afternoon, noting that there are many clips in this vein and a lot of them are connected to a guy named Rick Lax. He’s figured out that making people gag via disgusting food preparation is viral gold on Facebook. Indeed, the clip below has 24 million views as I write this. No typo.

So don’t hate it because it’s gross. It’s a stunt. No one’s eating it. Do hate it because it’s a terrible waste of food. “I’m an omnivore with very little time for progressive food politics but videos like the ‘spaghetti lady’ and others from rich countries who waste food for tiktok yukyuks are absolutely despicable and no doubt their ancestors are deeply ashamed,” tweeted Dan Foster after watching.

What else is there to say? Watch, then read on.

The same woman has done other off-putting food videos, presumably also for Lax. Here’s one in which she prepares her own DIY chicken shawarma:

And here’s one where she makes … something:

The gold standard in this genre is the messy countertop preparation, though, in which hot food is prepared Cold-Stone-Creamery style. The most famous one I believe is the countertop nacho assembly that appeared on Super Bowl weekend, which was also probably a prank but was performed more deadpan than the spaghetti video. (Watch the video below, via Jim Treacher, for play-by-play. This commentary clip went viral in its own right.) The good news is that no one’s actually putting meals together directly on their germ-laden, disinfectant-tainted granite kitchen island and then consuming it. The bad news is that they’re doing it for viral laughs.