Like all other retail stores, restaurants are entertainment. They’re not just places to eat.
Screaming babies and hyperactive toddlers are not entertainment. Not on planes and boats and trains. And certainly not in restaurants.
And neither are their doting parents or grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
“Oh, look! Little Jimmy is going ballistic again. Don’t you just love it? They’re so cuuuute at this age.”
No, you don’t love it. It gives you indigestion before you have anything to digest.
“Oh, look! Little Jimmy is racing around the dining room, darting under tables, yelling and screaming and that’s just so darling!”
And should some other patron complain, the parental retort is always something along the lines of “Little Jimmy is so good at expressing himself. We wouldn’t want to stifle that, would we?”
Oh yes we would.
There’s little more maddening behavior than some spoiled brat exploding his lungs at you when you’re trying to have a private meal in a public place.
Then, there’s Chris Shake. Shake owns a seafood joint, The Old Fisherman’s Grotto. It’s on the wharf in Monterey, California. And he’s up to his gills in hot water.
Grotto now bans strollers, booster seats and high chairs.
There are signs in the place telling you so. On the restaurant’s website, he adds (in huge type) “Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners… and are not allowed in the dining room.”
Score one for peace and quiet. Elsewhere on the website: “We welcome families with children and we serve many every day. We only ask that they abide by our rules.”
It’s a small restaurant and although the policy isn’t new, there’s a shipwreck-caliber storm brewing about it.
One parent was heard to harrumph “I’ll take my business elsewhere.” Fine. Please do. And while you’re at it, pick another airline or tour bus, too. And tell us which ones you’ve chosen so we can avoid them.
This is not the Confederate State lunch counter where people were barred because they weren’t white. This is striking a blow(fish) for calm waters.
It’s also great publicity for a small business. You can’t buy this kind of advertising.
The United Mommies of America will try to fry Chris Shake.
-Take the brats to Chuck E. Cheese where screeching is expected and welcome.
-Who but the Russian people will suffer now that Putin has banned food imports from the US and the EU?
-Airstrikes in Iraq… another brilliant move from the geniuses in the Obama administration and maybe even the president, if someone awakened him.
-Sen. Plagiarist (D-Montana) has ended his election campaign and people are wondering who wrote his announcement.
--The teeeny town of Loving Texas wants your nuclear waste, since there’s nothing else to do there in anti-government Rick Perry country but hunt for government contracts. They’ll probably get what they’re asking for. The 98 residents will turn green, and it won’t be from envy.
I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
© WJR 2014