Saturday, October 23, 2004

Chumley's Brilliant Solution

Chumley Wonderbar, from Plastic Hallway (one of the best alter-ego names in the blogosphere incidentally. I picked "Doug." Much inferior. My real name is Leonardo Di Caprio incidentally. No not THAT one. It's like Michael Bolton from Office Space. Anyway... back to Chumley...), has a new restaurant review up. Why he inflicted Benchwarmer Bob's upon himself seems like a move born of desperation more than intent. We sympathize. But out of such suffering, great things sometimes result. Such as this observation from Chumley:

"There should be a rule at restaurants that customers with small children get their food made first. Seriously. For us time passes at a snail's pace because there's only so much you can do to keep a two-year-old entertained with four crayons and a 8x11 piece of paper. Eventually he's going to discover that he's trapped at the table and fidget like it was going out of style. Trust me when I say that everyone at the tables around us would have gladly waited an extra two minutes so we could be served first. They'd thank you for it."

There are those out there who don't have children, or who have fogotten what it's like when they're really young - our memories frequently repress trauma - who will read the above statement and think it sounds selfish. They're wrong.

Let me spell it out for you. Kids below the age of... oh, I dunno, 25 or something... are not well behaved in restaurants. I suspect this is the secret motive behind Peter Singer justifying killing them. One bad night out at the Olive Garden and a murderous child-killing philosophy suddenly seems plausible.

Those of us who prefer not to turn evil need to come up with an alternative solution. And Chumley's is a good one. It's not like parents get out of this cheaply or easily. We're at ground-zero of the problem every time. If you're at the neighboring booth and slightly annoyed, try to remember, we're the equivalent of "instantly killed" from the kiddie-blast to your "25% casualty" zone.

And when we take our kids out to dinner (those of us who aren't cretins anyway) are doing our d*mnest to try to keep the young'uns from acting up for all of your sake. This is frequently an all-consuming struggle, making the evening out more exhausting than relaxing. The kids have way more energy. So despite our parental wisdom and experience, the kids will sometimes win that struggle. And that's where the rest of you get annoyed.

So take Chumley's observation seriously. Recommend it to your local restaurant of choice. Get us in and (more importantly from your perspective) out of the restaurant as quickly as possible. You'll be happier. And you won't even have to turn evil to get there.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fine,

You'll be served first, but in the meantime, could you teach your child some manners?

12:15 AM  
Blogger Doug said...

Why are so many experts on parenting other people's children always anonymous? And why do anonymous commenters take humor so deadly seriously? Discuss.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Army of Mom said...

I'm guessing this a-hole has NO children and therefore no concept of how children REALLY behave. Trust me, I've had a few trolls try to tell me that I'm doing it all wrong. Oh, yes, of course, Dr. Brazelton, thanks for your advice. *rolling my eyes*

Now, then again, this will probably bite me on the butt the next time my family dines out, but my kids are really HONESTLY good when we go out and there are several reasons.
1. We don't go to fancy restaurants with them unless Hooter's counts (kids eat free on Saturdays till 7 with a paying adult, FYI)
2. We take a diaper bag filled with toys that they don't get to play with at any other time, so they're like having new toys.
3. We pick places that serve food relatively quickly, so we're not setting there forever.
4. As soon as a child acts up, we make a trip to the bathroom for an "attitude adjustment" of some sort. Usually the simple threat of an ass-whooping is enough to straighten out the said child.
5. We plan our trips to dining establishments at times when the children aren't tired, sick, so hungry that they're going to die, amped up, etc.

I'm sure there are more keys to success, but these are the ones that pop to the front of my mind.

I just get tired of some people who think that a parent can feasibly make a toddler stop crying. Please. I'll gladly loan them my children for a week and let them figure this out.

7:10 PM  

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