Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Capped off

Cappy's, a local (Tampa) pizza place, finds itself at the center of controversy after posting a sign in their restaurant that says this:
"For the comfort and safety of everybody, if you allow your child to run, scream or misbehave, you will be asked to leave."
Does that seem unreasonable to you? It doesn't to me. But people took offense. Big time:

"Cappy's Seminole Heights looks like a place that would cater to young children! There are vintage video games (Pac Man, etc) next to the windows. There are shadowboxes at the tables with vintage toys inside. In theory, Cappy's would be a great place to take your kids, but I think the owner is making parents less welcome."
"...they have no patience for parents with kids who make too much noise, pretty much guarantees that I won't be going back."
"Asking parents to make sure their kids behave is not a problem. Banning kids before they have had a chance to show they can behave IS. Like it or not, they are a part of our human family and treating them like they are unwanted or sub-human goes against decent acceptable human behavior."
"...Who wants to take their kids into a restaurant where they know that from the moment they sit down until the time they leave they will remain under a constant surveillance? And that's exactly what it would feel like....I don't care how subtle or non-invasive the surveillance is, it is still surveillance and it sucks. Just rule kids out completely if you're not interested in them as patrons in your establishment."
"...nice for Cappy's but they should remember that today's kids are also tomorrow's customers. Ban kids now and see who comes back in a few years."
"Even families with well behaved child are going to feel uneasy, like all eye are on them."

These and many, many more comments can be found at the end of this article from the Tampa Bay Times.

For what it's worth, I don't see how the sign in question bans children, any more than a sign stating that people who fart will be asked to leave would ban folks with buttholes. It's a warning, simply letting you know what kind of behavior won't be tolerated and what the circumstances will be if that behavior is exhibited. I think if you feel this sign is oppresses you, you're looking for something to oppress you.
Another thing I don't see is how toys and games on display are a license for children to turn into maniacs. I know who the people who make that connection are though. I once had a job at a toy store in a strip mall and it was a common occurrence for parents to drop the kids off there while they shopped elsewhere, like it was a daycare center. So I know there are a lot of those people out there who make that equation. It doesn't mean they're right though. When they go to a country restaurant or BBQ joint that has old tools and hardware displayed on the wall, do they let their kids go out back and build a barn?

What the dissenters would have you believe is that this isn't an issue of personal responsibility; it's discrimination against children. That's much more sinister, isn't it? It's not about you keeping your kids under control, it's that the people who run this restaurant hate kids.
Well, I don't believe Cappy's hates kids, but I do. Huh? Yes! Exclusively in the context of what we're talking about here; me, without kids, dining out, spending money, not wanting to be subjected to children who can't or won't behave in public, oh yeah, I hate kids. Not all kids, just these particular kids in this scenario, the ones ruining my night out. And not all the time. I'm not going to follow them home and set their house on fire or vote against things that would benefit their well-being for the rest of my life or anything like that. But there, at the restaurant, screaming and running around? Oh yeah, I hate 'em. I hate them and I'm sitting there, wishing with all my might that something terrible will happen to them. That's about as far as I'm taking my hatred though. Maybe I won't throw them into a deep fryer myself but if they happen to fall in there somehow, I'm not running to get help. Hey, my meal is ruined; I should be allowed to at least fantasize about something that I would enjoy. Remember the old saying about giving someone something to scream about? Doing an impression of a corndog qualifies.
More importantly, if they're your kids (biologically or otherwise), I hate you and I am sitting there hoping that something really bad happens to you. Because ultimately, it's not really their fault, is it? No, it's yours. So mostly you. If you fall in the deep fryer, I'm not only withholding aid and assistance, I'm videotaping it to put on YouTube (looped repeatedly, in slow motion, with Yakety Sax as the soundtrack) plus the smell is going to make me hungry for onion rings.


ronnyelliott said...

"Buttholes," now that's funny. It would be hard to get by without your stuff. I miss you.

Stella said...

Ha. I saw a sign once- probably on the internet- that a restaurant supposedly had up as a warning for parents with misbehaving children:
If your child is found unsupervised he/she will be given double expresso and a puppy.
Or words to that effect.
I would LOVE to see that!
In fact having waitressed my way through uni I would've loved to been able to do that instead of just standing quiet still with the very hot coffee as a child came running through the restaurant.

Stella said...

Oops, that'd be 'quite' not 'quiet still' but I suppose I could've been quiet as well. . .