Sunday, 17 February 2008

Chuckie choons and kids make Manuel a very unhappy waiter

The first sitting on Saturday night was filled with children on their way to see High School Musical on Ice. Oh the joy! We don't cater very well for children and it usually has the chefs searching through the freezers for something appropriate or at least for something that can be covered in baked beans and made to look tasty. Kids can spot bullshit though and aren't afraid to say so.
"Mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy, mummy?"

WHAT?

"This burger is rubbish, it's icky"

chuckie choons
and that's the Belfast meaning of chuckie by the way...

And if you think the chefs have trouble dealing with kids then you haven't seen me with the the little darlings. I try to to that "Hewo wittle buddy" thing but it seems to come out wrong as they tend to grab their mothers arms and try and hide behind them.

"I don't like him" Said one little snot nosed brat.

Feelings mutual kiddo.

And what's with the running around and the constant touching of things they don't need to be touching? Glasses get pawed over with sticky hands, cutlery from other tables gets rearranged, whole tables are commandeered for forts and castles. Wouldn't have happened when I was a lad, you didn't leave your seat, you did even consider leaving you seat.

Thing is I cant even shout at them, too likely to go off crying or smack you back these days. I think it's the lack of power that pisses me off. It takes me a good hour or so to set up the restaurant it takes a half dozen kids smacked up on fizzy pop and sausages twenty minutes to dismantle it. And you aren't allowed to complain to the parents because their little child is an angel and they are likely to throw an even bigger strop if you say otherwise.

So whilst this fucking mayhem was ensuing the music system decided now was the time to start at it's lark again. Heavy metal wasn't good enough, nor opera, nor Jazz (and we know how much that offends people), no this time it decided that since the restaurant was full of "nice" middle class families it would play some Republican music. Whilst I was trying to negotiate my way round a table, trying not to stand on any small fingers whilst balancing 4 plates is no mean trick I can tell you, the music system switched from bland background tunes to the Ballad of Joe McDonnell. Nice. Listen to it here. Not particularly appropriate music.

Thank you music goblin for that. I couldn't get the plates down quick enough. With that sorted and "normal" order returned to the air waves I went for a smoke. I had given up on trying to protect my tables from the marauding hordes of rug rats and decided it was a futile quest. Beaten by children, not my proudest moment. But worse was still to come as the music system still hadn't had enough fun and decided it wanted to see me freak out once more and played The Broad Black Brimmer.

ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?

But before I could even get to the stairs a body pushed past me in a blur swearing loudly. Thirty seconds later the music went dead and it stayed that way for a good hour or so. I should add that the machine is supplied by a firm from Dublin.

By 8:30 the restaurant was full of adults again, well in reality the restaurant was full of larger children as my table sucked the helium out of their friend's birthday balloons. But at least I got to shout at these ones.......

17 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Quickroute said...

I feel the pain. I've been in restaurants where kids run a muck and just want to throttle the little blighters or sit them in the corner and make them watch Delicatessen - that'll give em food for thought.

MJ said...

My cousin and I taught her children to suck the helium from balloons.

I am a good role model.

And a coupon clipper.

And a lover of Irish arse. C'mon, Conan Drumm. Show me your bum.

Anonymous Boxer said...

It was the mother with the 5 year old at SWEENEY TODD that annoyed me. I'm sure they left the theater and visited an upscale restaurant. Where are all of the babysitters?????

Is MJ still looking for bum? She's shameless. I love that about her.

gimme a minute said...

Those wolf guys might be oppressed by the Brits, but I'm oppressed by their jumpers.

Manuel said...

quickroute: that'll learn em.....

mj: here less of the bullying...oh it's not me.....go ahead....

boxer: don't encourage her.....why would you bring a 5 year old to see ST? WHY?

GIMME: hahahahaha horrendous stuff....

psychicgeek.com said...

Mine knew he was experiencing a privelege that would not be repeated if he ruined my dining experience, or that of others. He was a pleasure to take out to dine with, if you can get past the enormous amounts of food he could eat.

daisyfae said...

first rule of parenting? never attend any event that end in "...on Ice". Period.

Nick said...

Call me old-fashioned, but I really don't understand why parents now think it's normal to let their children do anything they want and cause total havoc in the name of "letting them be themselves". It just ruins other people's enjoyment but hey, aren't children wonderful? They may be wonderful, but they shouldn't be taken to restaurants, cinemas etc unless they can behave themselves and not act like spoilt brats. So there (Signed, Crusty Old Fuddy Duddy)

Medbh said...

Going out to eat was such a huge fucking deal for me as a kid and it happened maybe three times.
I was a perfect angel. If not, I would have gotten the shit knocked out of me.

ellie said...

When I was a kid we had to ask permission to get up from the table in our own house, God forbid we would mess around in a restaurant!

I'm with Daisyfae, I have done my share of shows "on Ice" and not one has been anything less than a rip off.

Manuel said...

Geek: it's not the kids I hold responsible...kids do what kids do.....

daisyfae: correct....

nick: seconded by the waiter...

medbh: same here...not they they would have knocked the shit out of me but the threat was there and that was enough....I wasn't gonna test their patience....

ellie: correct on both counts...

Gypsy said...

Oh dear, I'm taking my girls to see High School Musical on Ice in May...Mother's Day to be precise. Yay, lucky me.

My daughters ask to leave the table at home and I'm proud to say would never have behaved like beastly little animals even when they were little. Personally I don't think a nice adult restaurant is the place to take kids. There are plenty of family oriented ones out there where the staff KNOW what they are gonna get.

Old Knudsen said...

As a fellow waiter I understand yer plight, we at Billys burgers would not stand for any fenian music not even madonna, in fact we check that customers eyes are the correct length apart before we let them sit doon. Chucky yer ma!

AnFearBui said...

None of this sausages/nuggets crap. Our Daughter eats what we eat & sits at the table.
Manuel, we went to Belfast at the weekend- Ate in Cafe Vaudeville on Friday (very noisy but enjoyed the food) & The Bistro in the Malmaison on Saturday. Really enjoyed it, very friendly City as usual.

Manuel said...

gypsy: children should be seen and not served......hehehehe

old k: billy burgers......i bet there is one over east......

anfearbui: welcome! you cant get away with serving kids nuggets and other reformed crap any more......thankfully! Belfast is a great town.....!

camsavwin said...

Has it been your experience that the parents who let their children behave this way in a restaurant are also lousy tippers? Interesting dynamic at work, here...

My husband and I take our three boys (7, 8, and 11) out to dinner about twice a month. Once (years ago) we had to get up and leave the restaurant because the children forgot how to behave. No dinner for any of them that night. That hasn't happened since.

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