quean [kween] n. 1. an overly forward, impudent woman; shrew; hussy 2. a prostitute 3. British Dialect. a girl or young woman, especially a robust one
There’s very few bars left that allow smoking, and the place where I work is not one of them but here’s a curious little side effect to the smoking ban: people bringing their small infant or child to the bar. It’s always a younger couple meeting up with childless friends. They’ll come in and announce, “Oh, we don’t need a table, we’re just gonna hang at the bar. Is that cool?” Despite the suggestions of the staff that they might be more comfortable at a table, they insist that (a) their baby is so well-behaved, he or she will be fine in the carrier and will most likely sleep the entire time and (b) other places let them do it all of the time (a lie) and there’s never a problem (another lie).
And 99.9% of the time, the first 30 minutes are uneventful. But inevitably, the crying starts or, worse, the shouting out of incomprehensible words and phrases. Yes, I fully understand this is what children do. It is not lost on me.
But lots of people who come to sit at a bar are doing so precisely because it’s supposed to be a child-free zone. They desire to eat a meal in peace while participating in some adult conversation. And, while they may smile politely each time a baby is disrupting that peace, they secretly (and sometimes not so secretly) wish the people who brought the baby would use a little common sense and remove themselves from the area. But that rarely happens. Instead, they’ll most likely spring the baby from the carrier and place he or she on top of the bar, creating an even bigger spectacle. The parents are under the impression that since they firmly believe their baby is the most amazing specimen to ever draw breath, everyone else will feel the exact same way with the proper exposure. And it never works out that way. The other customers begin to mutter under their breath or ask for their bill and leave. When the couple finally do pack up shop and leave (with the baby, of course) everyone looks at me and asks questions like, “Since when are babies allowed at the bar?” or “How can people be so oblivious?” I have no answer for these questions because to answer them would be violating basic hospitality business axioms that state you shouldn’t badmouth customers to other customers.
But if I allowed myself to say whatever I wanted, it might go something like this: “When you have a baby, one of the main things you’re giving up, unless you find someone to babysit, is the ability to sit at a bar and drink. It’s different if you come in at 2:30 in the afternoon while the bar is empty and want to get a quick bite to eat during off time. But when you come in at 6:00 pm and want to prop your baby up in his or her carrier on a barstool and have multiple drinks, well, I’m sorry but that’s not okay. There’s such a thing as common courtesy and those kinds of parents need to look into it.”
I’ll never say anything like that to my customers but something needs to be said eventually.
When love is not madness, it is not love. ↔ Pedro Calderón de la Barca
→ Holy shit. This clip from The Daily Show with Jon Stewart would’ve probably been good enough with just Donald Trump’s idiotic comments but Ann Coulter makes me want to move to another country.
→ If you’re looking for an incredibly obvious news story, look no further and just click here.
→ Sorry, everyone, no sports coverage today. I know you were dying for it.