OK, so maybe you heard about the restaurant in the thriving metropolis of Monroeville, Penn., that beginning yesterday has banned kids younger than age six.
For the record, the place is called McDain's, and it bills itself as a place for "cocktails and casual fine dining." After looking over the restaurant's website, the "fine" in "dining" may be something of an overstatement, unless, of course, your taste runs to cheese-stuffed pretzel sticks, broccoli and cheese bites, and pork chops topped with apples, cinnamon and brown sugar.
Still, owner Mike Vuick has a point when he says that kids under six can't be expected to always behave in a restaurant setting, and since many of today's parents apparently believe that little Johnny banging on the table or darling Suzie screaming like a banshee is just unbearably cute, he felt he had no choice but to take matters into his own hands.
This makes some people want to elevate him to sainthood, other
people to dunk him in a vat of boiling oil. To see where you stand on
the burning question of kids in restaurants, take the following quiz,
then total up your score, put on your asbestos jacket and get ready to
Should children be banned from certain restaurants?
1. No, children have the right to go anywhere they please
2. Yes, your right to scream ends at my ruptured eardrums
3. Uh. . . maybe, at some restaurants, some of the time
4. Children should be boiled
Should restaurants make special accommodations for children?
1. Yes, children are customers too
2. Paper, crayons and a ball gag are okay
3. High chairs and bibs, I guess
4. Kiddie-sized racks and thumbscrews are excellent ideas
Should restaurants offer children's menus?
1. Of course, their palates have yet to fully develop
2. If they want to eat tasteless crap, let them go to McDonald's
3. I don't know. What do you think?
4. Strychnine chicken fingers with cyanide sauce
Should parents of unruly children be asked to leave a restaurant?
1. No. You can't stop kids from being kids
2. Yes, I didn't pay a hundred bucks for this dinner to listen to your spawn wail
3. I didn't hear the question
4. No. They should be shot
At what age should children be brought to upscale restaurants?
1. Any age, how else will they learn how to behave?
2. When they can act like people, say, 15 or 16
3. Oh, God, don't make me decide
What would you do if you were seated next to an out of control child
1. Grin and bear it, being a parent is hard work
2. Ask to be moved to a quieter table
3. Get pissed off, then go home and kick the dog
4. Spray the place with automatic weapons fire
What should be done with parents who refuse to discipline their children in restaurants?
1. They should be gently reminded that their little ones are making a scene
2. They should be yanked out of their chairs and thrown out onto the street
3. They should get the hairy eyeball from other diners all night long
4. Two words: poison gas
What were your children like in restaurants?
1. They were little angels
2. They drove me batshit. . . still do
3. I don't know, I didn't notice
4. Slow-roasted with garlic and extra-virgin olive oil, they were delicious
you scored 8 to 10, you're a breeder, the parent everyone loves to
hate, a smug, entitled asshole who's a walking advertisement for
sterilization and is the person most likely to be pushed in front of a
moving vehicle. Consider keeping it in your pants or crossing your legs
once in awhile.
If you scored 11 to 18, you're a curmudgeon.
You don't much care for children and would like to be able to eat in a
nice restaurant without some brat screaming its head off, noisily
jumping around, throwing food and generally acting like an adult at any
major sporting event.
If you scored 19 to 26, you're a wuss.
You don't like it when an otherwise good meal is ruined by a misbehaving
child but you're too chickenshit to say or do anything about it. In the
dictionary your picture is printed under the word "doormat."
you scored 27 to 32, you're a psycho. Really, you are seriously fucked
up. Your hatred of children is exceeded only by your love of the smell
of napalm in the morning, preferably burning down an elementary school.
Mr. Manson, your table is ready.