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Recommendations from friends tend to carry the most weight when it comes to making decisions about things to buy, places to eat or which wicked tribal tattoos to get on your sweet cheeks. The reality is that there are plenty of things your friends haven’t experienced, which means they come up short when you’re faced with a decision they can’t weigh in on.

This is where consumer review websites shine., for example, acts as a repository of recommendations on local restaurants, retailers and service providers. The problem is that not all Yelp reviews are objective. Any number of factors could have affected the way the reviewer interpreted their visit to the business in question, resulting in a skewed appraisal. This is where I come in to save the day and debunk some allegations so that you’re responsibly informed.

Below, I have collected a few choice quotes from Yelp reviews of local businesses that I have visited during my 11 years in Boulder. Are they accurate? Do I know something they don’t? Let’s investigate.

Conoco at Arapahoe and Broadway

“This gas station carries large tire inner-tubes year-round that can be filled at their free air pump outside. They are perfect for snow or water tubing. They work well for me, and I am a rather large man in size and weight.” — Rex H.

While I don’t possess the same proportions as the reviewer, I can attest to the quality and craftsmanship of the inner-tubes for sale at Conoco. They are majestic sea-faring vessels. Set sail this summer under the watchful gaze of grizzled ol’ Captain Conoco.

King Soopers in Gunbarrel

“Great selection of cheeses and meats, my grandmother called ahead to have them reserve the lamb….” — Cindy W.

The culprit has been identified at long last! Dear reader, you don’t know how many times I’ve charged into this King Soopers with lamb on my mind, only to discover that all the available stock has been reserved by a shadowy customer known only as “G.” The veil has been lifted. I will know vengeance. Lambageddon is nigh.

Whole Foods on Pearl

“There’s something different about this Whole Foods. When I need to wind down, I come here.” — Jeneane B.

What kind of reckless daredevil goes to Whole Foods to relax? I can’t fathom it. Each time I have visited Whole Foods recently, I have staggered out of the building a broken man, clutching at my reusable bag, my shoes squishy with coconut water. Whole Foods is a circus. There is nothing relaxing about that. (They have reasonably priced bananas, though.)

McGuckin Hardware on Arapahoe

“You can ask anyone in a green vest about virtually anything and they will point you to the exact aisle if not walk you to your destination.” — Kate S.

This is true. I asked a dude in a green vest 20 inane questions, and he treated me like a pampered prince. I probably should have knighted him.

Whether you’re new to Boulder or just looking to spend your dollars in new places around town, I recommend checking out a few Yelp reviews first. They can’t all be trusted, but neither can all your good-for-nothing friends.