We don’t cook a lot. I can count, on one hand, how many consecutive days we’ve eaten dinner at home and still have enough fingers left over to tell how I feel about the little punk in this story I am about to tell.
So, as I said, we tend to go out. We have regular haunts. On Wednesday’s we usually go for wings at Zackel’s in Claridge. We like Pasqaulino’s in Irwin. And at least once a week we go to Johnny’s Wife’s Place II in Harrison City for pizza. Last night was pizza night.
We’re pretty much well known in the restaurants we frequent and have a good relationship with the staff. Last night was no exception as the poor server at JWPII was all on her own dealing with some large parties in the dining room. One of those large parties had a lot of young kids, say between five and ten years old.
Now, I will be the first to admit my kid can be a handful. She has her moments when she cannot be corralled but we do our best to rein her in and apologize when needed. However, this group we saw last night was very lax when it came to policing their kids. At one point, the most hellish of fiends wandered around, getting under foot and eyed up the ice bin. I could just tell what was going to happen next. As a parent, you get this sort of precognitive vibe when a kid is going to act ornery. You can see the child standing in a room and know exactly what kind of trouble they are about to get into given the various outlets for mischief that are available. In this instance, I knew he was headed for the ice bin, right under the drink station.
Demon spawn walked right over to the bin, and reached his big ole snotty paw into the bin, grabbing the ice scoop. Pulled it out and grabbed a chunk of ice with the other snot paw. He wandered over towards his table where the adults were oblivious to his actions. He put the ice in his mouth and then he was noticed by parental units who asked where he got his new toy. He pointed and they mouthed something and he wandered back. At this point, I knew, KNEW, what was going to happen next.
You guessed it. Ice scoop and slobbery chunk of ice went back into the ice bin. A barrage of “NOs” was coming from our table as both my wife and I began yelling to the kid not to do it. The only thing that stopped me from physically going over there was that it wasn’t my kid and the last thing I wanted was some adult looking at me like I’m Jerry Sandusky.
So, we grabbed our overworked server and explained what happened. She closed the ice bin and brought out a huge bucket of fresh ice for glasses.
But it didn’t end there. The demon spawn also wandered over and began banging on the POS screen for the food and drink orders. At this point I looked at him and said, “HEY! Hell no, man. Get!”
Meanwhile, parents and other adults at the raucous table were oblivious to the actions of the little bastard and I yelled out, “Why am I policing other people’s kids?”
Eventually, the party made plans to leave and I could tell that the mother was just looking to get the kids home and into bed before she sat down with her glass of wine and Ambien. I could tell this group was Penn Township’s pretentious elite. The, “I don’t police my kids because they’re angels and it interrupts my free time to give a damn!”
Had my kid pulled a stunt like this it would have been a huge ordeal. First of all, she would never have made it to the ice bin. Also, had she eluded the radar and made it into hostile territory and came back with the ice scoop we would have grabbed it and her and marched back to the wait staff to tell them what happened. Then she would have apologized to them and I would have offered to help fix the situation.
Cleaning out an ice bin is not fun. I’ve done it. And not even just the small ones on a rollaway bar. I’m talking the big ice machines in the kitchens of establishments. I’ve had to clean them out, completely. It’s a big undertaking when you don’t already have 14 other jobs to do.
Needless to say, we were angry and it didn’t even technically affect us.
Police your damn kids!