Recently there’s been a lot of discussion about whether restaurants have the right to turn away non-adults, or children/babies simply on the basis of their age. The whole argument strikes me as rather ludicrous. All we have to do is institute certain rules that won’t smack of age-ism or be construed as being baby-ist and we can have a natural selection process take place where the sword might come down on children…or those who simply act like them.
These rules could include:
• If you chew with your mouth open, lick your knife or the top of the dessert of the person sitting beside you, you’re out.
• If you interrupt any Mom talking about her busy day with any remark resembling “Not just people with kids are busy, you know.” you’re out.
• If you cry, whine, yell, scream, in a setting where Moms are trying to relax, you’re out.
• If you spit your food out, you’re out.
• If, for any reason, the people traveling with you are required to carry Wet Wipes for your use, you’re out.
• If you wear a bib – or worse, a tucked in napkin or plastic square with a lobster printed on it – you’re out.
• If you didn’t pick out your own outfit this morning, you’re out. (Yes this gets rid of husbands who can’t pick their own shirts either – but really, what type of conversationalist is this guy going to be anyway?)
• If there is the slightest chance you might expel bodily fluids from any orifice while still seated at the table, you’re out.
• If you can’t stop looking at women’s breasts with an overly appreciative and hungry eye…and when you stand up you’re higher than them, you’re out.
Of course, no exclusionary policy would be complete without also instituting VIP membership criteria for good or exceptional behaviour, as well. From my opinion this might be:
• Gurgling, giggling and spontaneously smiling at anything I say.
• Gazing at me with pure adoration and love.
• Holding on to my finger with your entire hand.
Pretty straightforward, I think. It’s not the babies we object to, per se, it’s the unquestionably bad behaviour which we wouldn’t accept at any age. Now sit up straight and start gazing.
Kathy Buckworth’s latest book, “Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children and Chardonnay” is available at bookstores everywhere. Visit www.kathybuckworth.com or follow Kathy on Twitter @ www.twitter.com/kathybuckworth