## Re: I would never think that.

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"People should think about how they're going to get their food once they have a child before they have a child," replied a commenter identified as Teo.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 5:58 PM
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Sure, that does back to his work in the southwest and the difficulty of agriculture in such a dry climate.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:02 PM
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2: How do you pronounce dg?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:05 PM
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just like 'g' as in 'goes.'

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:07 PM
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Well, why don't the parents get a bike lock for their $500 strollers? That does seem like a reasonable solution. Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:08 PM 6 5: Because then somebody will just take the baby and the stroller. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:09 PM 7 Nu, you lock the stroller to a fence. The baby you bring inside, like a bike seat. Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:12 PM 8 I would never sit on a baby. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:13 PM 9 What kind of monster doesn't want to drink with babies? Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:14 PM 10 Sit on a baby? You cruel baby hater. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:14 PM 11 I blame my internet connection for being pwned. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:15 PM 12 Just to be clear, the "Teo" quoted in the article is not me. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:17 PM 13 This seems like the place to blow off steam about the idiot parent who let her small kids play around on those little platform with wheel thingies on a crowded sidewalk during rush hour. She kept alternating angry looks at pedestrians who found themselves barely avoiding inadvertantly kicking said kids or getting slammed by them and beseeching her children to be more careful. To make things worse everyone was rushing to make it back before a storm (the non existent one that kept LB from her exercise). I've got an idea, pack up the damn toys and grab your kids by the hand. Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:18 PM 14 12: Really? Rats, there goes the Unfogged connection. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:18 PM 15 12: And I have nothing to do with either the big whale or the bald techno guy. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:19 PM 16 I don't mind drinking with babies, but I do think there is an age at which kids in bars is a bad idea. A lot of the places around here have mommy-baby singalong hours and stuff like that, which is fine, but they should post the times publicly. I feel like they tend not to make it clear when those happen so they get the regular customers plus the mommy-baby crowd, but if I'm going to a cafe to work, I can very easily choose one where it will be quiet. That goes a billion times more so for bars. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:19 PM 17 Rats, there goes the Unfogged connection. Well, not entirely. But no, it doesn't involve me. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:20 PM 18 The patisserie downstairs from me schedules children's parties nearly every weekend afternoon on the patio, and even when there's not a party, people send their kids out there to scream. Generally it's the adults who are the loudest and most irritating. What I don't get is that, around here, all the bar patios in the courtyards have signs saying "Please be respectful of our neighbors," and people keep it down to a sane level. This is a sort-of fancy lunch place, and people scream like they're at an amusement park. Where the hell do you think you are? Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:22 PM 19 I don't mind drinking with babies Neither do I if the babies get a little nip the moment they arrive. Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:24 PM 20 I'll admit, kids in bars sounds strange to me. Why would you bring your kid to a bar? Or are we using "bar" to mean "restaurant"? Posted by: emdash | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:25 PM 21 Parents People can be annoyingly oblivious, said Kriston Capps In general, it does suck to find oneself aging into new bit of the life course, where all your friends -- but not you -- are in college/working/buying dogs/going to Law School/getting married/having kids/moving to the suburbs/getting divorced/buying Macs/getting cancer/retiring/getting fired/becoming grandparents/being moved to a nursing home/dying. (Delete as appropriate.) Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:25 PM 22 Of course, once the kids are about five, they can be sent to get beers, so you should just start hosting parties at home. My ex's kids loved this job so much everyone at the party ended up passing-out drunk from the boys going around offering to fetch a beer for them. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:26 PM 23 AWB, don't forget what Fran Lebowitz said. "Never allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth." Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:29 PM 24 20 It sounds illegal to me. You had to be seventeen to get into a bar though only fourteen to buy booze. The first was enforced, the latter not so much. Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:29 PM 25 A year or so ago a couple had their two under-fives sitting at the bar with them (at my favorite place). The kids were adorable and well-behaved, but my objection, to the extent that even I had one, was that this is a bar that has maybe 6 seats (it's a tiny and expensive place that, in addition to the seats at the bar, has perhaps 10 2-top tables), and they were taking up 2/3 of the barstools, but the kids weren't eating, just drinking water. So, I thought they were kind of thoughtless, in the same way that I would if 4 people came in, took up space and two of them weren't spending any money. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:30 PM 26 12, 17: Teo (not the one quoted in the article) making a play for a Standpipe Lifetime Achievement Award. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:32 PM 27 I can see bringing kids to an outdoorsy bar where you sit around and drink sangria in the sun. Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:33 PM 28 Laws on whether children can be in bars vary from state to state. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:33 PM 29 You had to be seventeen to get into a bar though only fourteen to buy booze. The first was enforced, the latter not so much. No one under 17 in the bar, but hordes of 12-year-olds using the walk-up booze counter. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:34 PM 30 27: Yeah, fruit's good for kids, and the wine sedates the little bastards pretty well. Plus, Vitamin E from the sun! Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:35 PM 31 My dad was a bartender -- so I say this as a kid who had clocked many, many hours on a barstool by the time I was 10. I dug it. Regulars gave me presents and fancy internships and good job interviews and stock options! Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:35 PM 32 Unless I'm misreading, these were all specific "baby-friendly" events at bars. Complaining about children being there is beyond absurd. Complaining about a lack of appropriate advertising of the event, a la 16, is fine, but that should be directed at the bar, not at the people who brought their babies there. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:37 PM 33 I can sympathize with 'smasher, though. You really don't want to deal with children when you're boozily grading papers. Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:38 PM 34 A lot of the uncomfortableness with kids around alcohol probably comes from people whose parents never drank at home. Like me. It just seems weird. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:39 PM 35 You don't seem that weird. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:41 PM 36 Kids are generally fine and often. Parents are the ones who can be intolerable. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:41 PM 37 I thought the Post overstated the length and rantiness of Kriston's blog post, which wasn't so unreasonable, and rightly focused on parent behaviors rather than the kids. The problem is not necessarily having kids in bars, but treating the smoking patio like a playpen while you're inside drinking seems like an easily correctable problem. It is unreasonable to expect the guy smoking on the patio to put out his cigarette and start babysitting for you. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:41 PM 38 32: If you read his original post, it sounds like there was a special no-music, no-smoking room that was specially set aside for the "Babies-n-Booze" event, but since it was a nice day, everyone went outside to what he calls "the smoking patio," but which I suspect is just the outdoor seating area. I would have chalked it up to "bad luck for me!" but it still isn't like he plunked down in the middle of the kid event and then complained about it. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:42 PM 39 36: often s/b often hilarious Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:42 PM 40 27: I can see bringing kids to an outdoorsy bar where you sit around and drink sangria in the sun. Are there ice houses in your neck of the scrub, heebie? When I first got to Houston, their casual outdoor mix of beer, kids and the occasional fight on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon were fascinating to me. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:44 PM 41 29 Close enough. Imagine outdoor cafes packed with kids drinking right next to bars with doormen checking ID. And you had to be eighteen to get into the arcade. Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:45 PM 42 26: Or depending on interpretation, I should get one. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:46 PM 43 41: If people had names starting with "Dz" the doormen must have had a difficult job. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:47 PM 44 The beachfront patio at a bar near my mom's house is set aside Saturday afternoons for something called "Yappy Hour" -- hounds and hooch. My mom goes sometimes with her enormous pup! Probably someone is writing an annoyed blog post about all the annoying slobber. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:50 PM 45 I used to think "Booze" was just a type of alcohol, like brandy or rum or gin. This created a half-formed memory in which every time my parents took me into a liquor store, I would be surprised by the lack of a "BOOZE" sign on the wall indicating the Booze section. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:54 PM 46 37/38 don't really surprise me. All the people in the article sounded so obnoxious and unreasonable that I suspected the article was slanted unfairly. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:55 PM 47 45 is adorable. 44: A plus! There is a bar in Williamsburg that I love because there are always people with giant dogs off-leash in there. Come slobber on me, my love! Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:57 PM 48 45 belongs in the recent generics discussion. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 6:57 PM 49 But I thought it was spelled "Buise", like bruise. Much classier. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:01 PM 50 Parents can be annoyingly oblivious, said Kriston Capps I haven't read the thread, but this did make me laugh. Talk about quotable quotes! Friend! Oh my. Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:02 PM 51 mix of beer, kids and the occasional fight on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon As I have been learning, in the Bay Area they call this "Caltrain". Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:04 PM 52 In Germany and France, I know there were some bars where children were brought in and it was a totally normal thing. I think the bars tended towards the biergarten or the brasserie, however: outdoorsy, friendly, bustling rather than swank. Even in them thar foreign lands, I got the sense from parents I knew that they would take their kids out on some occasions but not most of them. Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:11 PM 53 Okay, sorry, I just read the DCist piece, and no, he's really being a douche. 37 is wrong in almost every particular: which wasn't so unreasonable, and rightly focused on parent behaviors rather than the kids. The problem is not necessarily having kids in bars, but treating the smoking patio like a playpen while you're inside drinking It was unreasonable; he doesn't focus on parental behavior at all, except insofar as you mean parental behavior in bringing kids to a bar--everything he says suggests he was really just bothered by the presence of the kids; the problem he discusses is, exactly, having kids in bars, and he doesn't even allege anything that could fairly be characterized as "treating the smoking patio like a playpen while you're inside drinking". (He complains that "moms and tots boldly stormed the patio", not that moms sent their kids out there.) His entire problem was just that there were little kids around on the bar patio (during the "Baby Happy Hour", which they host "every Wednesday", he notes with a tone that suggests this is a huge burden for him). Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:16 PM 54 14: What, you go away for a while and everyone forgets you exist? One of my editors warned me against talk to the Post -- "you know what reporters do to people!" -- but I thought it didn't turn out so bad. However, I am very, very glad I didn't agree to a photo. That story made its way to the front page of the Post, below the fold. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:18 PM 55 Isn't timing part of it, as well as numbers? A child or two, an infant, etc., in a bar that serves food (otherwise it is illegal in CA) around happy hour/early evening seems both perfectly normal and indeed desirable to me. Of course, having this be pleasant depends on everyone being well-behaved, but that goes as much for the 21-year-olds as it does the 1-year-old. Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:19 PM 56 Having met adults, I shall always take the side of children. Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:21 PM 57 Hi Smasher. You sound like a douche in that article. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:21 PM 58 Maybe I expected it to be a lot more dickish, and was relieved that it wasn't so bad. The way the Post is describing it, it sounds like DC is facing the sort of childfree/parent conundrum that my neighborhood seems to have gotten past a few years ago. Some of the parents here are a bit younger now, a bit less wealthy. It's not quite so overrun with nannies. The parents are a bit more conscientious and the childfree are a bit more tolerant. Why, today, a woman actually apologized to me when she realized she had parked her gigantic stroller across my front door. A few years ago, we would have both said "bitch" under our breath. I guess I can imagine tensions between the groups being lessened by a bit more communication and identification. But, if Park Slope is any example, it doesn't help when both groups see each other as the "privileged" ones. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:22 PM 59 53: That story isn't going to make complete sense to someone who doesn't live in Washington. For a little context: That bar is to my knowledge the only beer garden in the city. Patio space in general is very, very limited. Wonderland hosts a baby happy hour that the bar advertises as an upstairs event -- in the space that is usually reserved for DJs, bands, and dancing. I'm not sure I make that very clear in the story, because most readers in the District wouldn't need any reminding. It's one day a week adults cannot sit out on the only patio around unless they agree to modify their behaviors (or face explicit parental scorn). That is annoying! Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:25 PM 60 Also, strollers aren't cool now. Everyone wears their babies, and makes their kids walk. The problem is that kids are terrible at walking and apparently can't help but faceplant into oncoming strangers' crotches, but it's a step. If you don't need to haul out the Land Rover for a five-minute expedition to the bodega, don't. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:26 PM 61 Armsmasher is Teo. Was I supposed to take the red pill or the blue one? Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:28 PM 62 58: Because I am full from dinner and lazy, I won't look it up, but the Post reporter in fact wrote something about my screed for one of the Post's blog. She really slammed me for linking to that old New York Times story about children and coffee shops and Park Slope strollers and so on. She made some point that made it seem as if I had to reach that far back in order to find a relevant data point. I forgot to bring it up when we spoke, but I thought this was shortsighted on her part: I was of course trying to draw the connection between D.C. today and Park Slope back then. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:29 PM 63 I endorse 56 as enthusiastically as I have ever endorsed a comment on this blog. You know who the worst people on the planet are? People who extend greater consideration to dogs/irresponsible dog owners than they do to children/irresponsible parents. Surely such people can't even exist, you say, but in fact they are legion. Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:29 PM 64 err, wrote something else on one of the newspaper's blogs. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:30 PM 65 57: So you won't marry me? : ( Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:33 PM 66 I am not Armsmasher. Which is to say that I'm totally husbandable. ...laydeez. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:35 PM 67 Wonderland hosts a baby happy hour that the bar advertises as an upstairs event -- in the space that is usually reserved for DJs, bands, and dancing. If they're not supposed to be on the patio, by which I mean either that it's illegal, or that the proprietors of the bar don't want them out there, then fine, they shouldn't be out there. But if the proprietors don't mind (or--more likely--are happy for the extra business), but you're bothered by it, then it really sounds like it's just your problem, which you really ought to get over. No one is forcing you to be there--if that's really the only beer garden in the city, then maybe you'll have to learn to drink indoors for a few hours on Wednesday afternoons. It's like the dog thing upthread: I wouldn't go to a bar that allowed dogs to run around, both because I'm mildly allergic and because I don't like strange dogs slobbering on me. But I sure as hell wouldn't go to the bar and then act affronted that other people brought their dogs. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:35 PM 68 Everybody's missing the real story, here. Armsmasher is a smoker! Of course he should be treated like a Pariah. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:37 PM 69 Sometimes you just Want to capitalize Random Words. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:37 PM 70 Sometimes, the Feeling getS wOrse. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:39 PM 71 Hmm, this False Teo seems to be something of a regular at GGW. Still not me, though. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:39 PM 72 71: But the Real Teo is a regular at Girls Gone Wild? Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:41 PM 73 The Real Teo is a regular nowhere but here. Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:41 PM 74 Husbandable, or Masturbandable? Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:44 PM 75 To clarify 67 a little, the various posts read to me like the "Baby Happy Hour" involved a smoke-free, no-loud-bands room upstairs, where people would be comfortable taking their kids while they had a drink. I didn't get the inference that, during the Baby Happy Hour, parents and their kids were necessarily supposed to stay in there, as opposed to, say, wandering out onto the patio. If that's wrong, and there really weren't supposed to come out of their special room, and weren't welcome on the patio, then sure, it's fine for you to have been annoyed. But in that case you might talk to the proprietor about posting signs to that effect, or about telling people who take kids onto the patio that they need to go to their special room upstairs because they're bothering the normal patrons. If there were really a lot of kids on the patio (which you make it sound like there were), the parents probably didn't know they weren't supposed to be out there during Baby Happy Hour. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:45 PM 76 65: fuck off. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:47 PM 77 75.2 is awfully complicated when you can just get a story in the national media. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:49 PM 78 But the whole point of the Baby Happy Hour is to say, here is a space set aside for you where no one will smoke or talk about porn or curse loudly, which is why one might not want to take kids to a bar. If you leave the Happy Hour party to go out on the patio, the regular bar rules are back on; you can't go around telling everyone their behavior is inappropriate. Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:50 PM 79 It may come as a surprise, based on my earlier comments about the disgusting rich people and their children and the horn honking, but I heartily approve of kids in bars. Especially now that the smoking bans are in effect, so that it's not as much of a health issue. We get a fair amount of kids in at work, which is of course, not a traditional bar, and the only real problems come when there's several 9-12 year olds around, as they tend to go into Lord of the Flies mode at the drop of a hat and run around screaming and smashing into people. But babies at the bar are great. It just seems so much more reasonable and European to expose children to responsible drinking behaviors from an early age. Also, you can teach them about proper tipping etiquette. Frankly, I'd rather see a kid in a bar, even if its being a little obnoxious, than see one in church. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:52 PM 80 It's Baby Happy Hour, not Happy Baby Hour. Your baby is there to experience real life with real drunk people, not some sort of mollycoddling cossetfest. Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:52 PM 81 Also, my housemate needs to tone it down with the tuneless singing already. I don't know why he's all of a sudden so vocal about it, but it's getting on my nerves. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:54 PM 82 I don't disagree with 78. But there's nothing in any of the links about parents going around telling everyone their behavior is inappropriate. The only place I see that is 59.last. Which, fine, if that's what was going on, that's obnoxious. It would have been much more sympathetic to write a post complaining about that than complaining about the presence of kids. Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:56 PM 83 81: OMG! He seems to have stopped. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 7:58 PM 84 I confess, I am a lurker. Posted by: Natilo Paennim Fo Etamesuoh | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:00 PM 85 Dammit. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:02 PM 86 45 prompted a flashback (I'm catching up). When I was a tot, Mom used to stock up on Booze at MacArthur Liquors, on MacArthur near Arizona Ave in DC. I used to call it "The Lollipop Store" because they always gave me & my brother lollipops when we came. We would beg Mom to take us to The Lollipop Store. Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:16 PM 87 My name is not legion. I can't relate to either side, even tho childless and surrounded by children. Here in blue collar suburbia, the parents of young babies do not go bar-hopping on week nights. They work or play in yards til sunset, sometme with a beer. Maybe two. They go to the parks, all of which have playgrounds, and where booze is not allowed. When I walk my 150 ponds of dogs, I give under tens a wide berth, and expect over tens to make their own judgments. We all get along very well. It's the fucking alcohol, horrible destructive vice that gets one social approval while destroying families and lives. I pity the toddlers who have such parents. Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:27 PM 88 I don't mind drinking with babies I say, bring it, baby. I can drink you under the pack n' play table. Posted by: Populuxe | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:37 PM 89 my 150 ponds of dogs A nice attempt at a poetic image, bob, but a little murky. Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:41 PM 90 What happened to serving drinks at home and exiling your kids upstairs at a certain hour? That's how I was raised. Posted by: PGD | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:42 PM 91 but really, my 150 ponds of dogs Posted by: bob | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:44 PM 92 89: Substitute bonds for ponds to make it financial. Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:45 PM 93 CRY HAVOC AND LET SLIP THE DOGS OF PONDS! Posted by: OPINIONATED HENRY V | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:48 PM 94 What happened to serving drinks at home and exiling your kids upstairs at a certain hour? That's how I was raised. You weren't here for the cocktail party discussion? Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:50 PM 95 89: and that smell! Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:51 PM 96 PWNED! Posted by: MARC ANTONY | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 8:56 PM 97 I came upon that at the washington post site and was excited. I spent lots of time doing my homework on the bar-top in a bar after school. my family had a leather store in savannah ga next door to a bar called the nite flight cafe, and we were friends with the owners. they would let me and my brother have free fountain drinks with unlimited garnishes of fruit and stuff. bars in the daytime are all dim and smoky-smelling and charming. as an infant I was once taken to an actual porno in a times square theater by my mom. I have no idea what she was thinking there. maybe trying to prove a political point? or there was just no baby-sitting? Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 9:21 PM 98 I spent lots of time doing my homework on the bar-top in a bar after school. Still going to your meetings? Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 9:26 PM 99 57: So you won't marry me? : ( 65: fuck off. Jesus, Brock, it was a joke. It was a joke specific to the fact that you called me a douche. I don't care that you call me a douche, but I'm not going to debate a person who repays humor with hostility. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 10:12 PM 100 If you marry a douche, you probably have fights over whether the kids should celebrate Christmas Eve or Summer's Eve. Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 10:16 PM 101 To add to what AWB says in 78, which is totally correct, there are other behaviors beyond the explicitly sinful sort that you also have to change in the presence of a lot of children. (That there are many children on the patio is a crucial detail. Kids go bonkers in the presence of other kids and from my observation there is a tipping point after which the mothers* can't really hope to control their kids at all, especially when they're focused on socializing with other moms.) Kids move around in unpredictable ways at high speeds and they're only waist high. When there are a lot of them around you have to worry about spilling a drink on them, stepping on them, them stepping on you, and so on. You have to be mindful of your body and people around you in a way that you don't when it's just other adults standing around or sitting. * I say moms because there were mostly, if not only, moms at the Baby Happy Hour. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 10:28 PM 102 98: dude. yes. Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 10:42 PM 103 There were children present at the table behind us yesterday. They happened to be present for a discussion of a certain post involving chicken. I kept wondering if someone would turn around and tell us to watch our language, but it never happened. I blame bicoastalism. Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 11:32 PM 104 Wow, I am 100% with Brock in this thread (OK, maybe not the "Fuck off" part, but dude, you sound hella asshole in that article). I understand that the original piece was meant to be all playful and toungue in cheek, but its treatment of children and their mothers came across as sincerely hateful. There was no self-mockery there, just "What were these small people doing acting in ways that I don't approve of in the particular place I wanted to be at that moment. The nerve!" Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 05-16-10 11:35 PM 105 At my old apartment, the park next door somehow became an unofficial dog park. This was super annoying when i took my tottlers to the park. The illegally unleashed dogs would jump on my kids and make them scared. I am still a little pissed at dog owners. I have not had any problems with dog owners since moving to my new place though. Washington DC apparently needs to open more bars with patios. Posted by: Lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:49 AM 106 Around here, some of the signs in parks refer to guardians of animals, not owners of pets. Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:51 AM 107 Armsmasher, your complaint is that one day a week, and not Friday or Saturday, you can't use the city's only beer garden? So you're fine with the apparent fact that six days a week parents with kids can't use the city's only beer garden? Seriously? Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:02 AM 108 Oh, it gets worse: It happens 52 days a year! On any day of the week, there are always parents and kids out there. But why should this bar transform its patio into a daycare center one day a week? I don't get why you think parents are owed that. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:21 AM 109 Clearly, Brock and Smasher need couples counseling. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:09 AM 110 Oh, all those squabbles will disappear once they have a kid. Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:13 AM 111 We've taken Baby Snarkfox to the nearby Belgian bar three times now. The manager seems to appreciate it, because a) she is asleep and when she wakes up, we leave and b) we are not braying and loud like some of the adult clientele. Last time he came by with free samplers (including the very weird New Holland El Ocho, which we gave to the baby). Then we found five dollars. Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:47 AM 112 It would be fairly standard for bars with outdoor areas here to have parents at them during the day. Nothing wrong with kids in bars, but if someone were to have a go at me for smoking outside I'd possibly get peeved. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:49 AM 113 Has anyone linked to Sybil V's recent posts at BPhd on attitudes toward children? Both very good posts and seem relevant here. I'd link, but I'm in an airport and very, very tired. But you all know how to get there, I think. Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:50 AM 114 Has anyone linked to Sybil V's recent posts at BPhd on attitudes toward children? Both very good posts and seem relevant here. I'd link, but I'm in an airport and very, very tired. But you all know how to get there, I think. Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:50 AM 115 including the very weird New Holland El Ocho It's mole! Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:55 AM 116 One was linked from the front page, I think. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:03 AM 117 The 'smasher position is incredibly shortsighted, and not just because he might have tykes of his own some day. What's the #1 public policy goal of the hipster generation? Livable urban neighborhoods (OK, more like number three, behind decriminalization and reforming copyright law to protect fair use, but the point still stands). What's the gold standard of urban liveability? Friendliness to families with small children. Take any random policy fetish of the New Urbanists -- density, mixed use, pedestrian friendliness, transit orientation, traffic calming, bike paths, functional green spaces, neighborhood retail -- and you'll find something that appeals to parents of small children. Parents are the natural allies of hipsters. What's more, nuclear families are a substantially more sympathetic political constituency than hipsters. The Democrats didn't sell health care by appealing to sympathy for 26 year olds with no health coverage. "Will no one think of the children?" is a cliche for good reason. Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:15 AM 118 No commentary on the first two paragraphs? Big offleash dog goes after (not attacking, but apparently stepping on) toddler in park, dog owner is unable or unwilling to get dog under control or put it back on leash, and dog owner bitches about the presence of kids in the park? As someone with both a dog and kids, that's a moment when if you happen to be armed, you're allowed to shoot the dog. Not that it's the dog's fault, but a big dog not under anyone's control isn't safe around other people. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:16 AM 119 And yes, Kriston was being a twit in the blog post. Brock is right. The specific parent who allowed her ketchup-covered child to maul him was being inconsiderate, but I've gotten mauled by worse people than ketchup-covered children in bars, and didn't bitch about the management letting men in. Orwell on allowing families with children in beer gardens. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:22 AM 120 118: As a dog-owner and father of a child who used to be terrified of even friendly dogs, I would have no compunction about using force, even deadly force, against a dog in that situation. Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:25 AM 121 Right. The safety problem is that even if the dog is originally well intentioned, just out of control and rough, acting terrified is exactly the sort of behavior that will make the dog bite the kid if the interaction isn't brought to an end. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:29 AM 122 The sentiment in 107 was my first reaction too. Seriously? But why should this bar transform its patio into a daycare center one day a week? I don't get why you think parents are owed that. Because the bar owners can do whatever the fuck they want? They are not legally required to cater to your demographic only and at all times. Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:07 AM 123 The Democrats didn't sell health care by appealing to sympathy for 26 year olds with no health coverage. I'm not trying to win any elections or pursue policy goals, I'm not 26, I have health care, and this gripe has nothing to do with being a hipster. (Hipster equals single and childless? Tsk.) This baby happy hour is an annoying event because many of the parents let their children run wild and scream and go absolutely bonkers. Like AWB says in 78, the bar is assuring parents a smoke-free, profanity-free, drunk-free space where their kids can just do whatever they want. No leash! That's called daycare, and it's nuts to host daycare all night long at the city's only outdoor beer garden once a week. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:07 AM 124 Because the bar owners can do whatever the fuck they want? They are not legally required to cater to your demographic only and at all times. This is how I felt about smoking bans, but people didn't seem to agree with that. Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:12 AM 125 The dog-owner lady who was quoted first sounded so unhinged that I wondered how badly out of context (or with how little regard to tone?) the Post had taken her comments. But of course I know that there are people that unhinged -- on both sides of this. When I had a big dog, he was pretty much always on a least outside because lots of clueless people let their not-so-nice dogs run around off lead. I was screamed at in the park by a dog owner whose off-lead dog kept running off to find me and my dog wherever we were in park so it could attack. On the other hand, I was screamed at by the dad of a kid who walked up to my (sitting, leashed) dog, smacked him hard across the face, and then burst into tears when my dog shrieked in pain. (Come to think of it, my dog was hit by a friend of mine, a guest in my apartment, in very similar circumstances -- my dog lying on the floor, kid bashed him in the face, dog yelped, kid cried, my friend bashed my dog in the face. Jesus, I am angry all over again.) Short answer: Everyone is an asshole. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:12 AM 126 Armsmasher is wildly wrong, of course, but I think in the larger world of people being wrong on the internet he forms a useful counterpoint to Sybil Vane's idiotic posts. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:15 AM 127 It will probably help this conversation if we observe things through the helpful lens of population control. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:20 AM 128 125 sounds frustrating, but tangential to its main point I like that the mechanism for keeping a dog attached to its owner is variously described as a leash, a lead, and a least. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:22 AM 129 Short answer: Everyone is an asshole. Callback to the bicycling thread! Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:22 AM 130 That's called daycare, and it's nuts the bar's owners' call whether they want to host daycare all night long at the city's only outdoor beer garden once a week. Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:24 AM 131 128: Least is a typo (you pedant!), lead is because CA has infected me with his Britishisms (I said "zed" the other day, ZED!),* and leash is just you know, a leash. *This is not strictly British I guess, it is also "serious dog-person speak." Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:25 AM 132 This machine eats babies. Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:26 AM 133 131: I associate "zed" with Canadians. Is it a Canadianism by way of Britain (e.g., colour)? I had no idea. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:27 AM 134 122. Yes. The lack of self-awareness displayed in "I don't get why you think parents are owed that" is mind-boggling. Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:27 AM 135 But Armsmasher drinks as much beer as all those babies combined! Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:29 AM 136 124: I agree with you about smoking bans, CJB. And to take the squishy, half-a-loaf, procedural liberal position, the bar owner has the right to do whatever they like, but any parent that lets their kid run free at a bar is being a grossly irresponsible parent. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:29 AM 137 133: It's both. CA gets the double-whammy of raised-by-Scots in Canada (until they moved to Chicago). Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:30 AM 138 Zed is right and correct. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:32 AM 139 I'm confused about the term "beer garden." My DC neighborhood -- 17th Street -- has several bars with outdoor seating areas. What is unique about Wonderland in that sense? Posted by: tulip | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:33 AM 140 it's nuts to host daycare all night long at the city's only outdoor beer garden once a week I get what you're saying, but obviously it's not nuts. If it didn't make business sense for them, they wouldn't do it. There's nothing wrong with what they're doing. Basically what you're just saying is--it makes you not want to go there. It's not like it's immoral or something. The Wonderland is not some kind of public trust that is obligated to do anything just because it's the only beer garden. Which, I'm not sure what the definition of beer garden is, but there are definitely other places to sit and drink outside. Just off the top of my head, on H street Little Miss Whiskey's and also the Argonaut have patios. And it's delightful! It's H street. Not to, you know, be a jerk and say "go somewhere else." I'm just pointing out that "city's only outdoor drinking space" is not accurate. Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:35 AM 141 And I agree with Apo in 136. Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:36 AM 142 122/130: Of course the bar owners can do whatever they want. I am complaining about their decision and about the parents it attracts. Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:36 AM 143 136.2: if I recall, that's exactly the wussy, middle-of-the-road compromise we settled on last time , but from the other direction (in the Sybil V. thread): yes, kids needs to be controlled, but no, they don't have to be fenced off from adult situations and locations at all times. This, apo, is why we'll just never make it as big-time bloggers. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:37 AM 144 104: See but this is where AWB (58) gets it rightest: "it doesn't help when both groups see each other as the 'privileged' ones." Because your parody of what I feel ("What were these small people doing acting in ways that I don't approve of in the particular place I wanted to be at that moment. The nerve!") is easily answerable with my own parody of what you feel, to the tune of "Why do these hateful non-small people refuse to amend all behaviors to better accomodate the primacy of my child in all situations?" I tried to fit a reference to Raffi-singalongs in there but it was getting crowded already. My point, such as it is, is that it's as important for one side to be gracious about the existence of children and the genuine difficulty of parenting as it is for the other to make a little room in their reckonings for people who don't have children and are not villains for not being interested in kid stuff, wanting some space without it. Unless the point is just crabbing at each other, in which case we can all hang on to our certitude. This is probably sort of obvious but I feel like it isn't mentioned in discussions of this stuff. Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:38 AM 145 WE MUST NATIONALIZE THE BEER GARDENS AT ONCE Posted by: OPINIONATED SOCIALIST OBAMA | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:38 AM 146 I don't really get the anti-'smasher position here. His (admittedly glibly stated) position in the DCist post is, basically, parents and kids left the designated indoor, upstairs "playpen" area, and that behavior was annoying to many people, including smoking patrons, who were in their designated area and waitstaff, who had to maneuver around untended-to children. That situation does in fact sound annoying. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:39 AM 147 Big offleash dog goes after (not attacking, but apparently stepping on) toddler in park, dog owner is unable or unwilling to get dog under control or put it back on leash, and dog owner bitches about the presence of kids in the park? As someone with both a dog and kids, that's a moment when if you happen to be armed, you're allowed to shoot the dog. Yeah, same here, except my kid loves dogs -- which means I constantly have to watch her to make sure she doesn't run up and get in their faces. The last thing I need is some dog owner who believes their mutt is a genius who'd never hurt a fly, and seems unaware of the dynamics of alpha-dogness, and how dogs can react to strange small humans. But why should this bar transform its patio into a daycare center one day a week? Late afternoon/Early evening on Wednesdays, right? This reminds me of the (surprisingly common) sort of person who goes to see Pixar movies at 11:30am on a Saturday and throws angry looks at the children upsetting his Gen-Xer cinematic experience; or who goes to Pizza-serving restaurants between 5:45 and 6:15pm and is irritated at the families there with small children. (In fairness, this latter category seems to consist mostly of retirees.) Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:40 AM 148 I don't know what a 'beer garden' is in DC, but in Britain it usually signifies an area off-street at the back of the pub with tables, etc, which is specifically designed to enable parents to bring their children so they can run around without disrupting people in the bar. Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:40 AM 149 [144 ETA: "...isn't mentioned except in the comment immediately preceding this one, as it turns out."] Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:41 AM 150 This, apo, is why we'll just never make it as big-time bloggers. I'd have been a big-time blogger, if it weren't for those meddling kids. That I made. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:41 AM 151 I have a story! I have a story! SO, at my (most recent) college they had a pub. This college pub was surprisingly fabulous, having as it did 20+ taps of delicious, mostly local beer. It was also one of the few places on campus where I had a better-than-average chance of finding people who were only 10 years younger than me, rather than 15+. Needless to say, I went there every day. Once a month, there was this group known as the Hash House Harriers that would show up. Their basic gimmick, for people who don't know them, is to go for a 2 mile or so run (one person gets chased like a fox maybe?) and then end up at a bar, where they drink, sing songs, revel in camraderie, and so on. Seems fine, right? WRONG. First of all, they were all like 50+, and second of all they were disgusting and sweaty after the run, and third of all, there were a billion of them, and fourth of all, they sung terrible, off-key, loud songs that were all super dirty. Gross! A bunch of stinky, sweaty oldsters in short shorts singing filk songs to each other? Super nasty! The regulars hated them, the bar owners hated them, the employees hated them. Everybody hated them, and hated the night they came in. But the made the bar a fucking ton of money. The end! Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:44 AM 152 151: I have someone's Rome Hash House Harriers sweatshirt. As far as I can tell, these folks are all English and American academics, and I have wondered what the Romans thought of them and their sweaty gaudeamus-igitur routine. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:48 AM 153 which is specifically designed to enable parents to bring their children so they can run around without disrupting people in the bar. One fun fact about UK law (it may have changed recently, I don't know) is that it is technically legal for a children over the age of 5 to drink alcohol in a beer garden (just as it is legal for the over-5s to be served alcohol at home). Under-18s are banned from buying drink for themselves, and they may not drink alcohol or be unaccompanied inside a bar. But if the place has a beer garden then Mummy can, if she wishes, buy you a whiskey sour and let you drink it outside. Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:50 AM 154 I've been to bars moderately sweaty after 'kick-boxing', but without all the singing and general arsery. I'd sure as shit leave if a Hash House Harrier type even was happening in any bar I was in. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:50 AM 155 Hash House Harriers All of my personal encounters with this crowd has screamed did-not-get-into-DKE-but-wanted-to-act-like-it-anyway. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:51 AM 156 151: But why address the story only to your Significant Other? I mean, the rest of us are all here. We can all overhear. Honestly, not very tactful of you, Sifu. Posted by: Awl | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:52 AM 157 153 naturally leads to 6 and 7 year olds trying to have a relaxing social drink of a Wednesday afternoon complaining about how the beer garden has lately been getting overrun by a bunch of fucking toddlers. Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:53 AM 158 re: 153 I've bought my brother drinks* when we were sitting outside in a beer garden. He was about 14 at the time, so hardly scandalous. I asked the bar staff if it was OK, and they had no issue with it. * as in a couple of small shandies, I wasn't feeding him absinthe. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:55 AM 159 I wasn't feeding him absinthe Which could have been funny, admittedly. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:56 AM 160 there's sweaty hash house harriers getting puking drunk at bars throughout SE Asia. it's running! and drinking! and super fucking annoying. Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:57 AM 161 159: Which could have been funny, admittedly. Symbolism is no laughing matter. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:59 AM 162 158: My (Irish) grandmother used to give me shandygaffs all the time when I was pretty young (under 10). I really, really liked them. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:59 AM 163 118,120 see 125 As I said, a week ago I had a ten year old cross the street to attack my dogs with a stick. We can imagine it being a 5 yr old. My dogs could have run if I had let them go, but that has its own dangers. I certainly could not outrun the kid. I certainly could not manhandle touch the kid In that situation, I assume if the male had snarled (the female hides behind me or the male) to back the kid off, and you two had been there, you would have shot my dog. This is the infinite privilege of parenting that the childless object to. Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:00 AM 164 151 Where is this? Sounds like my peer group except for the dreadful part about running sveral miles. Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:01 AM 165 146: Apo's 136.2.2 is correct, but what I think is missing from your summary, and is the source of the anti-'smasher position, is the idea that the event's annoying some people means the bar owner should not be holding it/permitting parents and children outside. As far as outdoor spaces go, I did untold damage to my liver at the Fox & Hounds during my time in DC. Do people still drink there? Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:01 AM 166 re: 162 Oh we used to have shandy at my grandparents with Sunday lunch from about 7 or 8, I think. I was drinking in pubs on my own by about 14 and started going to clubs at about 15 -- which wouldn't be that atypical for where I grew up -- but my brother looked a lot younger at 14 than I did. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:02 AM 167 And the singing and socializing part. But the booze and age group seem right. Posted by: Middle Aged Man | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:03 AM 168 H3: I always thought it was mostly diplomats and friends. Wikipedia tends to support that. Further to "Annoying Categories of People in Bars", we've had an event here for a few years, since replicated in other cities, called the Zomb/e Pub Craw/. I know some of the organizers, and they're decent enough people, but the people who come out of the woodwork to dress up and drink leave a lot to be desired. We weren't even an official stop last year, and we still wound up with a couple of hours of extra cleaning time at the end of the night. The bars that were officially on the crawl spent up to EIGHT HOURS additional cleaning time. Grease paint and red-food-coloring-dyed corn syrup are REALLY hard to remove completely. Plus, a lot of underage kids attempt to get in to bars with someone else's ID, given the obvious difficulties inherent in identifying someone that heavily made-up. And there's a significant uptick in frottage as well, as the zomb!es figure they have license to grope away since they're disguised. And then the puking starts... Anyway, most of the owners are apparently down with the huge sales increase, but the staff and the rest of the neighborhood take the dimmest possible view of those shenanigans. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:06 AM 169 See if you can read this and not feel the hate bubbling within you. 168.1: not the one I encountered. Maybe it's different in the states? Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:08 AM 170 the idea that the event's annoying some people means the bar owner should not be holding it/permitting parents and children outside So parents and kids want to be outside? Designate some portion of the patio the non-smoking, kid-friendly zone. I don't tend to light up a smoke unless someone else is already smoking anyway, much preferring to step away with a friend. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:08 AM 171 123: Like AWB says in 78, the bar is assuring parents a smoke-free, profanity-free, drunk-free space where their kids can just do whatever they want. No leash! I think this quote is your problem. No, the bar isn't making that assurance, except in the designated room upstairs that you don't seem to mind the existence of. You want to smoke and drink and swear. You're outdoors, in a bar. Smoke and drink and swear all you like. If your behavior is afternoon/early-evening bar-appropriate (like, drinking until you vomit on passersby, rude; bellowing obscenities at the top of your lungs, rude; conversational swearing and reasonably controlled drinking, not rude) then anyone who hassles you about it is being a jerk. But resenting the presence of children because you're afraid their parents may hassle you about your otherwise bar-appropriate behavior is obnoxious. Wait until you get hassled, and then get cross at the hassler, not at parents generally. (Simply not wanting to go there because you don't like the other customers? Doesn't make you a jerk, but doesn't give you a right to be aggrieved. See the Harriers comments.) Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:09 AM 172 And this is almost the definition of privilege, isn't it, that those in a dominant social position demand that their persona; preferences become universal law, that their possessions and practices be protected by society at large. I do not value your kids more than my dogs. The only reason I run is that society gives your kids a unarguably privileged position, and zero protection to dogs. The kid could douse my dog with lighter fluid, and if the dog bites, dog dies. Kid gets counseling. Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:09 AM 173 what Fran Lebowitz said. "Never allow children to mix drinks. It is unseemly and they use too much vermouth." Coincidence (take note, Alanis: not irony): I've never read Lebowitz but I've been reading a book of hers the last couple of nights. I find her alternately funny and trite. (Although trite may not be fair, since some of it was fresher when she was writing it 40 years ago,. (It's crazy to me that the '70's were 40 years ago.)) Also, she seems to have a stick up her ass about the word "chairperson." Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:11 AM 174 my parents allowed me to drink watered wine at the dinner table to learn how to drink responsibly, but it didn't exactly work out. it seems sound as a general notion, though. and as a little kid I used to suck on the ice cubes from my mom's bourbon, mmm, delicious ice cubes. then again, my parents also taught me how to hide my own personal stash. my step-father found some weed in a film canister in my room and confiscated and smoked it on the grounds that I hadn't hidden it well enough. that sure taught me a lesson. so, in conclusion, I'd like to argue that my family is insane. and then I found five dollars in wisconsin.com. Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:11 AM 175 The out-of-the-box solution to Armsmasher's problem is for all bars to become more child friendly at all times. If parents could take their kids to any bar whenever they wanted, you'd be much less likely to get a quorum of tow-headed ingrates at any one bar at one time. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:11 AM 176 175. See mainland Europe, pretty much everywhere. Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:13 AM 177 society gives your kids a unarguably privileged position, and zero protection to dogs SEZ YOU, MCMANUS Posted by: OPINIONATED MICHAEL VICK | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:13 AM 178 169: Yeah, it seems like the non-US/UK ones are diplomats (and connected ex-pats) and maybe the home country ones are just whoever. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:14 AM 179 176: ayuh. I didn't add that because it seemed a little unfogged of me to do so. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:14 AM 180 173: that's bullshit, kids can mix perfectly dry martinis. when I was young I used to go downstairs in the morning and get my mom and step-dad a tray with coffee, wicked strong screwdrivers, and tylenol with codeine. they often had me mix drinks at parties for the humor value. jesus, this is depressing. let's pretend none of that ever happened. Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:14 AM 181 163: I'm not going to fight with you about it, but you're misinterpreting what I said above, and I'm more sympathetic to your situation than you think I am. Obviously, I don't expect that you will believe me. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:15 AM 182 At most of the Oxford pubs, and certainly the country pubs I'd expect to see kids up until until the early evening, and then less thereafter. I do remember one Hogmanay at a Thames-side pub near where we used to live where there were still kids running about at about 3am. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:17 AM 183 178: The Rome one is definitely like every middle-aged man at the American and British academies. Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:18 AM 184 it does suck to find oneself aging into new bit of the life course, where all your friends -- but not you -- are /buying dogs/going to Law School/moving to the suburbs/getting divorced/buying Macs/getting cancer/retiring/getting fired/being moved to a nursing home/dying. One of the things is not like the other. Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:18 AM 185 Oh, Econolicious. You've fallen right into his trap. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:20 AM 186 Yeah, I really think the heart of the matter is that no one enjoys sharing space with a horde, or an "event" of nigh any kind. And god knows I would not enjoy attending any kind of kiddie happy hour as a parent participant, any more than Smasher enjoyed attending it as a non-participant. Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:20 AM 187 You know who's really ruining bars? Goddamn blog meetups. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:21 AM 188 Also, I like my martinis wet. Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:21 AM 189 Count me on the side of calling Smasher a twerp on this. Knecht is right on in 117. The bar in question is in my old neighborhood, which has been completely transformed in the last 10 years by single hipsters, hipster parents, and not-so-hip parents. Not all of the transformation is good -- gentrification to the 10th power -- but buildings that had been burned out and vacant since the riots after Dr. King's death have been rehabbed, crack houses are pretty much non-existent, there's lots more safe, pleasant public space, and major retail has moved in (a mixed blessing). And the claim that it's the only place for outdoor drinking is ridiculous. I'm not sure what qualifies the Wonderland patio specifically as a beer garden, but there are plenty of places where one can sit outside and drink a beer in that neighborhood and the 2 adjoining ones. Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:21 AM 190 To sound a positive note, one of the funny things about little kids, especially in the presence of drinking adults, is to note how much the little tykes resemble drunk adults: stumbling about and variously irascible or elated to an extreme. Flipping it around, drunk adults act like children. Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:22 AM 191 144: I don't have kids yet, but yes, of course, per Di, parents can be assholes too.* However, in this example we don't have parents assuming that you must accomdate their children, except in so far as you have to accomdate their existence/social presence. There are no shortage of places you can go and be reasonablly assured that it will be mostly adults. Per LB, the problem, and for me the sense of priviledge that pushes it from obnoxious towards offensive, is the conviction that any particular place at any particular time should only have the people that you (or Smasher) want in it. That sense of entitlement can be deeply ugly. *My favorite example was at a 4th of July celebration there were many of us lined up to use the port-o-potties and a man with a five year-old in hand walked past the line to stand in front of what he decided would be the next available one. I pointed out to him that there were in fact many of us already waiting, and he tried to play the he's just a kid, you're really going to make him wait card. I pointed out that some of the people waiting already were, in fact, other children. He stood around grumbling for a little while and, rather than either forcing the issue or joining the line, told his son that it looks like they wouldn't be allowed to go next and walked away in search of greener pastures. Posted by: Jimmy Pongo | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:23 AM 192 184 - Thanks to Curtis Flood and the 14th Amendment, it's no longer really correct to speak of "buying" Mac Suzuki. Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:27 AM 193 44 "Yappy Hour" -- hounds and hooch, I did not parse correctly because of http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0098536/. Posted by: Econolicious | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:31 AM 194 no one enjoys sharing space with a horde, or an "event" of nigh any kind God yes. The Hash House Harrier/Zombie Crawl/Santa Rampage/etc. varieties of "fun" make me think I'd rather go brown bag in a Chuck E. Cheese. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:39 AM 195 The worst of all hordes is the proper Scottish hen night. Grown men turn pale and quake, before looking for an escape route. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:41 AM 196 Santa Rampage Now you've gone too far! This is totally fun. But actually a little over-the-top. And not something I really want to do every year any more. And pretty far outside my comfort zone. And holy shit I would not want to be one of the people who had to deal with us. But it definitely was fun. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:43 AM 197 I think I'm working with a different concept of a "bar" than most folks here. Taking your kids to a bar sounds to me like a pretty good sign that your alcoholism has advanced to the point where it's hurting your parenting, unless you're a bartender withou childcare. Taking your kids to a restaurant with a liquor license where people can have a beer seems totally normal to me (assuming, of course, that the restaurant is otherwise reasonably kid-friendly). I sat with my two year old at the "bar" (aka counter where they serve food and there's a beer tap) at a pizza restaurant at 5:30 pm and didn't think the first thing of it. I guess the beer garden is something of a hybrid, but thinking of places I know and other people do as well, why wouldn't it be fine to take your kid to Jupiter or the Red Lion during the day? Letting kids wander around at 11pm while you get shitfaced is probably a bad idea. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:44 AM 198 195: Can't comment on that, having never witnessed one, but the typical American bachelorette party (main ingredients: four dozen penis-themed novelty items and hours of non-stop squealing) is enough to make me call for the check and search for another bar. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:45 AM 199 194: Not to mention New Year's Eve and St. Patrick's Day. People are just mostly assholes. It would be nice if we had more reasonable liquor laws/zoning requirements in the US. It would be virtually impossible to set up something like the 1 in 12 Club here, for instance, just because of the insane amount of regulation and hoop jumping, and graft. Leaving aside politics, there's a bar near me that was a venerable institution for decades, and which finally closed a few years ago. It's a prime location (right across the street from one of the professional schools at the University) and it could be up and running again in a week, except that the city wants half a million in refurbishment done on it before they'll grant a new liquor license. Goddamn government always restricting private enterprise. Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:45 AM 200 I'm beginning to realize that my preschool-aged children aren't the only (or even the main) reason I prefer to drink at home. Though they may be the main reason that I *am* drinking when at home. Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:49 AM 201 Letting kids wander around at 11pm while you get shitfaced is probably a bad idea. You are aware that lots of bars are open during the day and early evening too, right? Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:49 AM 202 They used to have a thing here called the Pyjama Jump, where once a year the students at both Universities in the city took over all the bars in town dressed in pyjamas and drank themselves senseless. Eventually the cops closed it down as a public health risk and being too costly to police - they needed every cop in the city on duty to deal with the corpses in the gutters, let alone sex crimes and the fights. It was tacky and horrible, but 99% of the kids involved enjoyed themselves, and everybody else just stayed home that night. If there had been a way to make it safer, I don't think I'd have supported the ban. Posted by: OFE | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:49 AM 203 re: 198 Basically that, but aggressive. I've mentioned this before, but I had a high school friend with bouffant hair and a sort of boyishly handsome face -- he was roundly mocked by the rest of us for being Glenn Medeiros -- and for some reason he was always the target of hen nights. Poor bastard. Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:51 AM 204 Yeah, my grumpiness aside, I'm pretty mellow about all the sorts of things. You want to have a Snuggie pub crawl? Fine. I will avoid you. You want to dress in Santa outfits and go rampage around Los Angeles? I could possibly be talked into that. You want to go for a jog and then act like a frat boy with a bunch of other horny fifty-something dentists? Ew, but I will stay out of your way. You want to bring your kid to a bar? Sure, whatever. Possibly my attitude is helped by the fact that -- should I want to go to a bar -- there are like 25 possible places to go drink in easy walking distance of my house. Also I'm not a smoker. Also I'm just a bit more pure and beautiful than anybody else here. Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:52 AM 205 Taking your kids to a bar sounds to me like a pretty good sign that your alcoholism has advanced to the point where it's hurting your parenting, unless you're a bartender withou childcare. Taking your kids to a restaurant with a liquor license where people can have a beer seems totally normal to me (assuming, of course, that the restaurant is otherwise reasonably kid-friendly). I sat with my two year old at the "bar" (aka counter where they serve food and there's a beer tap) at a pizza restaurant at 5:30 pm and didn't think the first thing of it. It's not a word I'd use because faux-Britishisms are irritating, but think 'pub' as the kind of bar I don't think it's inappropriate to take kids to at all. There's a bar with tables that serves food where we've been going for dinner with my kids since they were in high chairs; if you wanted to call it a restaurant with a liquor license you could, but it's clearly bar-identified. They don't run around and hassle people, and didn't when they were very small, and it's the kind of place where I'm not expecting extreme bar behavior -- if other patrons were doing things that seemed bar-appropriate but that I didn't want my kids exposed to, I would have left rather than expecting the other patrons to change. Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:53 AM 206 Speaking of pajamas in public. Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:54 AM 207 Well, letting your kids run around while you get drunk at 5pm is a really bad idea, too. Getting drunk around kids is a terrible idea generally. But that's the part I don't understand: for me, bar equals place exclusively oriented around drinking, where it's not only improper but illegal to bring your kids. Are the bars that AWB is talking about staging "tie on a few while your kids wander around" nights? That seems pretty terrible. On the other hand, a restaurant that offers food is a fine place to bring kids, even with a liquor license, and an enclosed outdoor restaurant seems like a particularly good place for kids. I guess I just don't understand how drinking-oriented this is all supposed to be for the parents. Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:56 AM 208 Semi-OT: What's with the ridiculous covers that bars have started charging for NYE parties? Last year, here, there were a bunch of places charging$30 or $40 to basically come in and drink and hear a mediocre band or DJ. A few of the more expensive ones (in the$60 to $80 range) were offering free "champagne" (which, I would guess, was probably the same cheap California swill we get for$4/bottle wholesale). Is this happening everywhere now? It seems like it all arose just in the last 2 or 3 years. We had a party, and just booked some of our usual acts and charged a couple of bucks more than our usual cover and we were completely packed. Hmph.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:56 AM
209

the typical American bachelorette party

Did I gripe here about the one eekbeat recently attended? I knew which bars they were hitting and duly avoided them that night but, unsurprisingly, I ran into their group pretty early in the evening. eekbeat stopped to chat with me briefly before being quickly tugged away by the group and chided, "NO BOYS!!!"

Dude? She lives in NYC and we, like, never see each other. Fuck off.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:57 AM
210

207: so if parents go to an establishment that serves beer (but not food, or not much food) and enjoy a beer or two while their kids play, you're not okay with that? Freak.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:58 AM
211

Why shouldn't parents drink when their kids are around? It's one thing getting hammering drunk, and another thing to have a few beers and socialize with friends with your kids. I don't see what's remotely wrong with the latter.

There are bars where it'd clearly be inappropriate, but in an ordinary pub, when it's not late at night? Why not?

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:58 AM
212

"NO BOYS!!!"

To which, Stanley dropped trou and growled, "All man, baby. All man."

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:59 AM
213

I think I'm working with a different concept of a "bar" than most folks here. Taking your kids to a bar sounds to me like a pretty good sign that your alcoholism has advanced to the point where it's hurting your parenting, unless you're a bartender withou childcare. Taking your kids to a restaurant with a liquor license where people can have a beer seems totally normal to me (assuming, of course, that the restaurant is otherwise reasonably kid-friendly).

This begins to home/hone in on the real point I was getting at in 117. Some of us have an aesthetic preference for "bars" that more resemble the pub/Kneipe neighborhood gathering spot typical of places that aren't so uptight about alcohol. In much of the U.S., bars are stigmatized as somehow incompatible with a decent neighborhood, with the result being that most bars are in places you wouldn't want to live with a family.

My preference is for neighborhood bars, and for bars that are good neighbors. Part of that is welcoming families with children -- and normalizing, if you will, the act of going to bars with children. The choice of the phrase "beer garden" was instructive: go to any Biergarten in Germany on any day of the week and you will find children. Going to a Biergarten is just a normal thing, not something vaguely disreputable.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:00 AM
214

I mean, taking your kid to (say) a leather bar with darkrooms and bondage hardware on the walls seems tacky, and taking your kid to a bar at 6AM when they'll bother all the homeless drunks probably isn't okay, and sure, taking your kids out to the local superclub to hear Tiesto's set that starts at 3AM is maybe not thinking things through, but the situations where it's not okay seem vastly outnumbered by the situations where it's basically fine.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:00 AM
215

It's a sort of weird convergence that the bar that was my local when I lived in Chicago had to close because of a very stupid clerical error (our ward wasn't giving out new liquor licenses and when Brother #1 who owned the bar gave it to Brother #2 he filled out the paperwork for a new liquor license rather than a transfer of the old one -- game, set match) and became the yuppie coffee-and-pastry joint that posted the "please watch your children" sign that became a worldwide news story.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:01 AM
216

I agree with everyone disagreeing with 207. 207 sounds like binge-drinking culture to me -- you're either not drinking at all, or you're so drunk you shouldn't be around kids. Whatever happened to having a civilized couple of drinks and still being in fine shape to walk home and put the kids to bed?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:02 AM
217

197: The place Armsmasher is talking about is not a "bar" in your sense, I think.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:02 AM
218

207: Where do you live again? It sounds to me like you're talking about what we'd call a "dive bar" around here. The kind of place that's really filthy, where 90% of the patrons order the cheapest tap and/or shot, and if they serve food at all it's bags of chips and "bar pizza" made in a dedicated toaster-oven type appliance. That only accounts for maybe 10% of the bars I'm familiar with, if that. Most of the bars around here are pretty okay for kids, given reasonable expectations around timing. I wouldn't take even a mature, well-behaved 12 year-old to, say, one of the downtown meat markets at 5 p.m. on Friday night, but some of those places are completely different at noon on a Saturday, especially if people are stopping in before the game or something.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:04 AM
219

Speaking of Biergarten, a sort of weird dude I know (a friend's boss) has one set up in his backyard (in the Hamptons). Gravel underfoot, same exact benches and tables, beer signs on poles -- it's kind of odd. He also has a room filled with those pointy WWI helmets (those dudes were pinheads, it seems).

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:05 AM
220

The other thing this reminds me of is controversies in Ireland in the 1970s about women being allowed into pubs. The line of argument on the "No" side was more or less the same as the present case. In 1975 some female cousins back from Amerikay caused a bit of a scene when they had the temerity to sit at the bar (not the lounge!) and order a pint, rather than a half in a lady's glass.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:05 AM
221
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:05 AM
222
Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:09 AM
223

211 - 205 answered my question; I think the concept of the "ordinary pub" and it's rarity in these parts is what's driving my confusion. I wouldn't call those places "bars," but this is a terminological question.

It does seem weird to me -- not to have a drink while your kids are around, but to take you kids to an event that's mostly focused on drinking. A bar that served beer but no food would be one such place. Just doesn't seem kid-appropriate. But, sure, if there's a nice open space at a restaurant and you want to have a beer on a Sunday afternoon with some other parents, and you aren't getting drunk, go for it. Personally, I don't drink at all around my kid because I'm a single parent in a driving city and the nightmare of having to deal with the custody issues that would come up if something happened and I'd had even the single drink would be nightmarish.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:11 AM
224

The kind of place that's really filthy, where 90% of the patrons order the cheapest tap and/or shot, and if they serve food at all it's bags of chips and "bar pizza" made in a dedicated toaster-oven type appliance.

This is the kind of place that the bluenoses on the licensing commissions are worried about, and probably matches the mental image of "bar" for broad swathes of America, especially in the Red States. And they're not necessarily wrong, because this kind of bar is precisely what you get when you make it too difficult to obtain a by-the-drink liquor license. A dive bar can survive in any regulatory environment short of prohibition; costs are minimal and the clientele is loyal).

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:11 AM
225

190: LB made a similar observation, focusing mainly on the way that children can turn on a dime from "I love you man" to trying to pick a fight with you. I frequently think about this when watching my own children. Joey is effectively a very short, violent drunk.

Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:13 AM
226

198: New mouseover text?

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:14 AM
227

Further to 218: I was just thinking that "the kind of bars you should never bring a kid to" correlates very closely with "the kind of bar I do not want to go to" with a few notable exceptions. Places not to bring kids:
Pick-up joints/meat markets
Dive bars
Loud sports bars
Campus frat/jock bars
Very snooty hotel bars/lounges
Clubs/discotheques
Serious gay bars

Places to bring kids:
Neighborhood bars
Restaurants with a full liquor license
Campus bars oriented more towards alumni/older students
Ethnic bars
Fancy, white tablecloth bars

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:17 AM
228

207.

It sounds like you're equating "bar" with something like the place that Mickey Rourke's character hung out in in "Barfly". And I agree, those would be odd places to take your children.

At least in my neighborhood, such places are vanishingly rare, while combination bar/restaurants are common, and you frequently see families with kids in them.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:19 AM
229

Pwned by 218.

Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:20 AM
230

227: Are "serious gay bars" bars for serious gays as opposed to frivolous gays? I would like one of those please. They'd play Mahler isntead of dance music and everyone would be wearing tweed and it would be either hilarious or like a panel at the MLA.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:23 AM
231

118: Not fully caught up yet, but I want to wholeheartedly endorse this:...that's a moment when if you happen to be armed, you're allowed to shoot the dog.

I am pro kids in just about all public spaces, provided the parents exercise basic politeness in keeping the kid-generated inconvenience to others under control at least to the point where property damage is minimal and no third party is being forced to babysit. Dogs, on the other hand, need I have no patience with. If the dog is in a public space it needs to be controlled and good behavior strictly enforced.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:27 AM
232

order a pint, rather than a half in a lady's glass

When I spent a semester at the U of Sussex in 1987, the orientation for foreign students included an admonition to this effect. I didn't like beer then and didn't spend much time in pubs, so I've no idea if anyone took it seriously.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:27 AM
233

There's a sort of unserious gay bar in town. "Unserious" in the sense that, while gay-friendly, it's heavily trafficked by all comers for being the one location open after 2am, due to its status as a private club (into which one can purchase membership rather inexpensively or enter as a guest of a member). The result is, 4am isn't so much the gay hour, as much as it is the all-the-employees-from-the-bars-that-closed-at-2am hour.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:28 AM
234

224: especially in the Red States

I don't see a rational basis for this claim.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:31 AM
235

At least in California, there's something called a bar, that serves beer and hard liquor, and to which no one under 21 is admitted by law. These exist in other states, too! Sometimes, restaurants have areas known as "the bar" that are also off limits to under 21s. That has always been to me what Americans mean by "a bar" and not all of them are dive bars. In my mental scheme, these places are not fine for kids.

There are also places that serve alcohol and food. Generally, these are known as "restaurants.". Some places are heavily focused on beer, but also have food service. These are "beer gardens" or "brewpubs.". That last category seems to be what everyone else here means by "bar.". Kids can be OK in such settings, given appropriate time of day and parental restraint in boozing.

I don't really understand Einnim's concept of a "neighborhood" or "ethnic" bar that falls more in category 2 than category 1, but maybe I'm missing something.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:31 AM
236

234: There was some study or something recently that showed blue states' residents drink more. Let me dig.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:32 AM
237

re: 233

Yeah, every city has bars like that. I know of one in Prague, and a friend used to take me to some in Soho. Places where all the bar-staff go after hours.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:34 AM
238

Serious gay bars

I don't understand what this is supposed to mean either. Are you equating seriously gay with seriously pickup-y? Otherwise, I don't get why it's on the taboo list.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:34 AM
239

You know, no one hates ill-behaved unleashed dogs more than folks who have spent a lot of time walking leashed dogs -- we've likely been attacked by them multiple times! -- but yikes I am finding this faux toughguy "I will shoot your dog!" bullshit warbloggeringly ridiculous.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:35 AM
240

to which no one under 21 is admitted by law.

This is something I'm not familiar with (like, it could be the law in NY and it's just not enforced, but I don't think so). The drinking age here, AFAIK, is enforced mostly at the drink-buying stage rather than the entering-the-establishment stage. (Dance clubs and music venues usually, maybe always, card at the door, but not regular bars.)

This might be the disconnect -- I'm not aware of a categorical line between bar and not-bar that would leave someplace pub-like on the not-bar side of the line. If the situation in CA is different for local law reasons, then that explains part of the disagreement.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:36 AM
241

In my mental scheme, these places are not fine for kids.

Does your mental scheme include some sort of reason for this? If you and your kid are not eating, why does the presence of food make any difference?

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:37 AM
242

235.last: White people of Western European descent: objectively hinky.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:37 AM
243

warbloggeringly ridiculous

I will shout at your dog from my basement, at any rate.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:38 AM
244

The drinking age here, AFAIK, is enforced mostly at the drink-buying stage rather than the entering-the-establishment stage.

IME it goes either way, though now that I think of it that might be correlated with the presence or absence of food service, since there's basically only one bar I go to regularly that doesn't serve food and if I get carded at all there (frequently!) it's on entrance. Ah! But I can think of another without food that doesn't card on entrance that I can remember.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:39 AM
245

207/223: I would not say I observed any mothers drinking irresponsibly. I certainly don't see the problem in mothers bringing their kids in to a bar over a happy hour (or whenever else they choose). It's a bar, not a restaurant, insofar as there is a distinction that can be drawn while observing that the place does offer food. It's no dive -- it's a nice bar with a beer garden.

Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:39 AM
246

239: Sorry, I started it. I was using it as shorthand for "An unleashed dog that's not under control and is behaving aggressively toward people must stop, and pretty much any available level of reaction that's practically well-chosen to make it stop is justified." In practice, I'm not armed, and I don't expect anyone else to be.

I actually let my dog off leash in our local park, in violation of the law. She's shy and will avoid people and other dogs, and effectively communicates with other dogs that she prefers to be left alone, thank you. But I'm watching her and ready to get there at a dead run to put her back on leash if there's any trouble, and I wouldn't feel entitled to be anything other than cringingly apologetic if she scared anyone.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:41 AM
247

Possibly, I made up the memory of 236. This was about all I turned up, and it seems pretty inconclusive. Thinking about it, though, I'd suspect a tendency toward underreporting in areas where drinking is particularly frowned upon, say, for instance, in the Bible Belt.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:41 AM
248

227: what is an ethnic bar? Are we talking Dermot O'Shamrock's Authentic Ould Oirish Shebeen here?

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:41 AM
249

This is something I'm not familiar with (like, it could be the law in NY and it's just not enforced, but I don't think so).

That is the way it is around here. "Bars" Are strictly 21 and older. Some places will have 2 sides, a restaurant side and a bar side. You can get alcohol on either side, but to be in the bar you have to be 21 or older.

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:43 AM
250

what is an ethnic bar? Are we talking Dermot O'Shamrock's Authentic Ould Oirish Shebeen here?

As long as you bear in mind Dermot is from Fresno, then yes.

Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:43 AM
251

||

Is this what fishermen look like in the Southeast? Is this what Louisiana looks like? I had no idea. I must visit.

|>

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:44 AM
252

250: that's weird, because if you want to keep the kids away from heavy drinking and raucousness, then Irish pubs (especially the obnoxiously fake ones) are probably best avoided. (Unless you're in Ireland.)

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:45 AM
253

I was about to say that there are a lot of Basques in Fresno, but I guess the main concentration in CA actually Bakersfield—while Fresno has a large Armenian population and the largest Basque population in the states is in Boise (?!).

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:47 AM
254

Yeah, I don't know what we mean by ethnic bar either. Chicago is filled with bars with names like "Sons of Vilnius Social Club" etc. and those have always seemed pretty unwelcoming to the uninitiated.

246: Believe me, I agree with all of that. My dog was a boy dog and other boy dogs who were aggressive liked to prove their alphaness by jumping at him. This was always monstrously unpleasant with the added bonus that aggressive dick dogs often have aggressive dick owners. So my dog stayed on his leash in the park.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:48 AM
255

Fresno also has a sizable Cajun population, IIRC, just like Portland, OR.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:49 AM
256

So, you know. Fresno!

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:52 AM
257

254: There's a Bohemian Beer Garden in Astoria that, while it's pretty hipster friendly as well, has a core of people who are, I guess, ethnically Czech and who do bring the whole family; on a Saturday afternoon there are kids running around. I don't know enough places like that to make it a category, though.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:53 AM
258

127: It will probably help this conversation if we observe things through the helpful lens of population control.

I do think the roots of some of the emotions that surface in any discussion involving kids are the same as those that notoriously "inform" the population one.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:55 AM
259

241-- well, there's the law, for starters. But, yeah, alcohol, while something I enjoy a lot, is a super-powerful drug and not something oriented at all towards kids, so "let's go out and watch Daddy go into a slightly altered state in a place that's not designed you, where you can't eat any food and there's nothing else for you to do" doesn't really seem like a super-awesome parenting idea.

Which isn't to slam the Moms in the DC biergarten (I haven't clicked through on the link); a big outdoor space for kids to run around in the early evening while their Moms get a chance to talk sounds great.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:56 AM
260

I'm with Knecht in thinking that Halford's vision of what a bar is seems very Red State to me: bars as dens of iniquity, not as places where one might have a conversation in non-shouty voices while drinking without the intention of getting shitfaced.

Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:56 AM
261

257: Oh, everyone loves the Bohemian Beer Garden! I remember Steve Gilliard writing about it but refusing to name the place or give its location because he "didn't want it to be overrun" -- that was some serious closing of the barn door a decade or more after the horse left.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:57 AM
262

Whatever happened to the fine old tradition of mixing something fruity up in a Nalgene and bringing that to the park? Has everyone here forgotten about bottles in paper bags, consumed while one sitting on the sidelines of a pick-up game by the playset? Have all the old skills been lost?

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:59 AM
263

260: I'm sure there's fascinating sociology that's either been done already or should be done about how regulation shapes culture -- that den-of-iniquity status sounds as if it's enforced by local law, but then people's attitudes get shaped by it as well.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:01 AM
264

262: It is alive and well -- I have good friends who are masters of the boozy picnic in the park. Come to think of it, we have a not-an-official-tradition-but-it's-happened-the-last-couple-of-years Fathers Day picnic coming up, I should check to make sure that's happening.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:03 AM
265

Plenty of the places I'm thinking of as "bars" don't have the den of iniquity thing going on, at all, but they're very much focused around drinking and wouldn't be kid appropriate. The same is true for most "bars" that I can think of in NYC, which are basically similar to bars here except perhaps insofar as there's no carding at the door (I hadn't actually noticed that difference before, but it's totally possible).

It sounds to me like the kids-in-bars places that folks are talkin about are a tiny subset of mostly beer-themed places that look more like British pubs than traditional American bars, divey or nondivey, redstate or bluestate.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:07 AM
266

If you view drinking as something you do in order to get smashed, bars are clearly bad places for kids. If you view drinking alcohol as something you do as part of a social ritual, with mild intoxication serving as a lubricant to social interaction, having kids around is no big deal. The problem is that the US has a culture of extremes, so things are completely banned in some situations, leading to over indulgence in others. The attitude towards drinking is similar to the attitude towards sex - forbid it, don't talk about it, and then just throw inexperienced young people with no positive role models into situations where they have to figure it out on their own, with the only guidance coming from immature peers or mass media trying to sell them shit.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:07 AM
267

I'm beginning to realize that my preschool-aged children aren't the only (or even the main) reason I prefer to drink at home.

Exactly right. Who wants to drink with their pants on?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:07 AM
268

263. Joseph Gusfield's The Culture of Public Problems is pretty good. He's written a lot about the sociology of drinking, I haven't read others.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:08 AM
269

I'm still reading the thread, but way above, Stanley totally cracked me up with this:

It will probably help this conversation if we observe things through the helpful lens of population control.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:09 AM
270

a tiny subset of mostly beer-themed places

I won't argue about the tinyness or otherwise of the subset -- there are certainly plenty of NYC bars I wouldn't bring my kids too, and fussing about percentages turns into "Your experience is unrepresentative!" "No, yours is."

But it's absolutely not a beer/hard-liquor distinction. Of bars I'd take my kids too, they're all places I could (and have!) get a Manhattan.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:11 AM
271

this group known as the Hash House Harriers

My dad's super into this nonsense. I've been to* hashes in Yerevan, Tblisi, Kigali, and Maputo. They were all equally annoying. I think I have t-shirts from at least two of those groups because my father is a man who loves to give people t-shirts with things printed on them.

*I didn't, like, run. I sat in the bar and guarded the belongings and drank beers and waited for the show to start.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:12 AM
272

270.last: Strike that 'all', I'm actually not sure that the Bohemian Beer Garden serves liquor, and I think it probably doesn't. But the archetypical bar I'm thinking of as reasonably kid appropriate does.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:13 AM
273

Is this what fishermen look like in the Southeast?

Megan, everybody here looks like that. Men, women, and children.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:14 AM
274

LB, I was just thinking of that place. My sense is that it started out as a kind of Euro-style family place, and was then discovered by hipsters, and that the two groups pretty much get along. But there are at least a couple of places in Astoria that meet oudemia's description in 254: very male-oriented, and not welcoming to outsiders. However, in my experience most of the restaurants in Astoria are very family-oriented: not that they have kid's menus and crayons and etc (which they mostly don't), but that it's just a given that a meal out will likely include both parents and children. I always thought of those places as child-integrated (as against either adults-only on the one hand, and child-centred on the other).

There's nothing wrong with zed.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:14 AM
275

Another possible distinction is the "restaurant that turns into a bar after 10pm or so.". Many of the bars in my college town (in NY state) were like this -- clearly a bar after 10pm, but a 2:30 pm just a normal restaurant where you could get a burger for a five year old without blinking an eye. I never would have said that taking a kid to a place like that during the day was "taking them to a bar."

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:15 AM
276

I would like to see someone sneak a small child into Milk & Honey.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:16 AM
277

The restaurant that turns into a bar is fine, but what about the cafe that turns into a bar, commonly seen in at least Greece? Nothing like sitting on the sidewalk with some ouzo and snacks, pretending to be much, much older than you are.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:17 AM
278

275: At this point, we're just arguing over terminology. I call a place where you can get a burger and a drink a restaurant or a bar based on mostly architectural/layout criteria -- if you can see the bottles behind the bar, and barstools are a large proportion of the total seating compared to tables, then it's a bar regardless of the atmosphere. Kid-appropriate or not is a play-it-by-ear problem, and may depend on time of day -- dinnertime on a Saturday, yes, happy hour on a Friday, no, or however it works out for that location.

Sounds to me like you're drawing the bar/restaurant line right where I'd draw the kid-appropriate/not-kid-appropriate line, down to changing categories depending on time of day. No real disagreement.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:21 AM
279

I'll make one more stab at justifying the ways of Kriston to man, which is to say that it is weird when a space you feel has a certain character is encouraged by the owners to change. Gay bars are an interesting comparison. Most male-oriented gay bars in NYC are really not friendly to women. They're spaces where guys can be guys together. If a woman or two pops in, with friends or possibly just ducking in for a drink and a little conversation (as a friend of mine and I recently did, not remembering that it was a gay bar), it's fine. Maybe a bachelorette party will meet up there and be truly disruptive. Not entirely cool (and it happens) but OK it's a fluke. But when the proprietors decide they could make a lot of money by officially hosting a bunch of bachelorette parties at random times, you're going to start wondering if it's really "your" bar anymore.

I've been feeling this way about the restaurant downstairs. I can see why people might want to host loud birthday parties out on the patio; it seems like a contained space where you can scream and scream and scream and it won't bother anyone. But it seems the owners have decided to market this little French patisserie and sandwich shop as The Place to have your wild, crazy, screamy party. It's not just kids' parties that are obnoxious; bridal and baby showers, late night adult birthdays are down there too. Apparently it wasn't loud and out-of-control enough, so they started serving alcohol and having amped bands play.

The temptation in Kriston's case is to get mad at babies, or at their mommies, or at the bachelorettes, or the birthday-havers. The people you should talk to about it are the bar-owners. Ask them how they feel about alienating you as a customer. I asked this at a local tea shop that booked mommy-baby singalongs basically solid from 8am to 5pm on weekdays. They said they were making a lot less money than they used to, now that all the daytime paying customers had moved to other cafes to work, drink tea, and have lunch. They ended up closing because they couldn't make the rent. They lost their clientele by allowing mostly non-paying customers to use the space like a public park.

Right now, it sounds like the Baby Happy Hour is not actually a huge problem. Kriston can plan around it and go elsewhere. But why not say to the owners that you really like this bar, and ask for a schedule of their planned loud-party events so you can stop coming during those times? If they're going to go the way of my tea shop, they need to know it's happening.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:25 AM
280

I'm annoyed that the library has story time in the morning. If I take Hawaiian Punch to story time, then we're left with a boiling fucking afternoon to kill. Whereas if story time was in the afternoon, we could go to the park in the morning when the heat is less likely to make you want to die.

If the hipsters took over story time, I'm not sure how I'd feel.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:30 AM
281

260: I'm with Knecht in thinking that Halford's vision of what a bar is seems very Red State to me

In my experience this does not really fall on the Blue State/Red State divide. Some regional distinctions, but more along class/ethnicity lines, and rural/urban/suburban.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:30 AM
282

But why not say to the owners that you really like this bar, and ask for a schedule of their planned loud-party events so you can stop coming during those times?

Every Wednesday from x to y isn't enough of a schedule?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:30 AM
283

273 - Oh my.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:30 AM
284

282: The point of asking is to make it clear that many more similar events would start to disrupt business. One event isn't a big deal. But if other groups find out and say, "Ah yes, that would be the perfect place for my [whatever]" the bar could get overrun pretty quickly. Word gets out.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:32 AM
285

279 gets it right. All venues are in flux to some extent.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:33 AM
286

If the hipsters took over story time, I'm not sure how I'd feel.

Story time, boys and girls! Everybody sit down and listen! Now this book is by a man named Bukowski. Can you say Bukowski?

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:33 AM
287

mommy-baby singalongs basically solid from 8am to 5pm on weekdays

I am pro-kids in public spaces, but ugh.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:34 AM
288

230: I understand Alex Ross has started DJing, so you might have hope.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:35 AM
289

286: Oh, lord. Now I am imagining Hipster Story Hour -- complete with public pj wearing and cuddle parties. Quick, someone get the Style Section on the horn!

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:35 AM
290

[I]t is weird when a space you feel has a certain character is encouraged by the owners to change.

This seems like low-hanging fruit, potentially exploitable in a manner not assuming good faith on the part of the hanger. Abjuring that, I will say that learning that what one feels about the character of a place cannot be -- ought not to be -- prescriptive is part of growing up, notwithstanding whatever that new HBO show says the many saving-Pop's-malt-shop narratives to which the average American is exposed.

Personally, I feel uncomfortable in any bar that fails to supply a ragtag band of adventurers for me to fight/join/quest with.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:35 AM
291

||This is making me laugh: "A female employee of the Marc Jacobs store on Mercer Street in SoHo received a package from California that contained cocaine -- but she called the cops because she thought it was anthrax." |>

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:37 AM
292

290.last: Funny, you don't look Elvish.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:39 AM
293

But when the proprietors decide they could make a lot of money by officially hosting a bunch of bachelorette parties at random times, you're going to start wondering if it's really "your" bar anymore.

Exactly this happened to divey drag bar in Boston. First they started letting bands come in on weekends (as a way to pay the rent). Then the bachelorette parties discovered the drag shows. Now it's the place to go for bachelorette parties. I hear from Blume that the drag queens are all super hostile and sort of scary when they're performing, but from what I understand the regular still frequent the bar, but mostly only on weeknights. And it didn't close, so hey!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:39 AM
294

"serious gay bars": I should have put more work into coming up with the correct appellation. What I'm thinking of is the kind of bar/nightclub that you see in a major metropolitan area, that's either a leather bar, or a cowgirl bar or a serious DJ dance club. The alternative would be (and these are pretty thin on the ground around here) the kind of gay bar that serves food, where you'll see lots of different types of people, who aren't wearing all of their subcultural signifiers, and who are only very rarely going there to pick someone up. I'm not sure how to make the distinction I have in mind more clear without referencing specific bars I've been to, which very few people here would know about, so it wouldn't really do any good.

"neighborhood/ethnic bars": This is the category that has a lot of exceptions. For instance, Nye's Polonaise is both a neighborhood and ethnic bar, for some values of those terms, and I dislike it, and you usually won't find kids there. Also, in Northeast Mpls. there are a lot of neighborhood bars on the shotgun model, where you walk in, there's a tables area that's maybe 16' x 40' and a long bar down either the left or right of the room, and if you keep walking you hit the restrooms. And some of those, while not particularly divey, are also not really a place to bring kids. But there are some, especially in South Mpls. which have a pretty significant family clientele, and it's totally appropriate. And the ethnic bars overlap a lot with those. Maybe those distinctions are too fine for the kind of list I was making.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:39 AM
295

I only like the bars where underdogs come to refresh after a training montage.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:39 AM
296

a ragtag band of adventurers for me to fight/join/quest with

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:40 AM
297

290: I didn't say it was prescriptive, but if you're a regular customer who is going to stop going somewhere you used to like, it's decent to say why. Maybe you, as an individual, are unreasonable, or maybe the change you dislike is otherwise popular and lucrative. That's fine! Goodbye then!

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:40 AM
298

There are kid-themed events at (otherwise 21+) music venues in LA (e.g. this sort of thing), along with (I believe) kid-friendly DJd events at nightclubs (on weekday afternoons).

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:40 AM
299

Unfortunately, The Dirty Dwarf is closed.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:41 AM
300

257: Yeah, now that I think about it, I'm also considering neighborhood/ethnic bars from my sojourn in Omaha, which has a somewhat different bar culture from Mpls, and a lot more Czech places.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:42 AM
301

298: It was after something like that that Jude Law's children were hospitalized for eating e they found on the floor.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:42 AM
302

The link in 298 might not have been the most apt one; there were shows with like They Might Be Giants and a couple of other increasingly kid-friendly yet otherwise reasonably well known rock acts that took place during the daytime and explicitly promised e.g. that the volume wouldn't be too loud and it was okay to bring the kids.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:42 AM
303

296: If a "Bar and Grill" sounds to threatening, there's always here.

Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:43 AM
304

you're going to start wondering if it's really "your" bar anymore.

I understand that feeling, but it isn't "your" bar now, and thinking of it that way can lead people to feel entitled to be able to enjoy a bar free of whatever the newer, disapproved patrons (or events, or bands, or menu items, etc.) are. To start wondering if you'd really prefer to hang out somewhere else is perfectly reasonable, though, and you should absolutely tell the proprietor that and hope they take it into account (of course, they may have already done that).

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:44 AM
305

301: ahahahahahahahaha okay that's terrible. Now I'm trying to remember if I've ever lost e there.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:45 AM
306

I went to a live show for kids (not especially cute-ified music, but aimed at the ten and under set). I decided it was just right for me. They started when they said they would; everyone there started to dance right away without leaning on the walls forever eyeing each other; they didn't do weird encores; the whole thing was over early and we went out to dinner. I didn't know, but I've been waiting for live kid's music my whole life.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:46 AM
307

I guess the link in 298 is exactly what I was talking about. I should have scrolled down.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:47 AM
308

235, 265: The rule of thumb in CA is that if they serve food, you can bring a child in. I know, because I've been kicked out before when I tried to bring a kid into a bar with a nice outdoor space. Their prerogative; I just hadn't realized they didn't serve food, since 95% or more of the bars in my area serve food, even when they otherwise appear to be "serious" bars. These are the sort of places where you can get a bite to eat but the main focus is on having a beer. I wouldn't say children are welcome in all of them, but many of them do welcome kids. And I call pretty much all of them "bars." Especially the ones that are bars attached to bigger restaurants. One side is the restaurant, the other is the bar!

I find the idea that consuming a few drinks while your child is present and you socialize with adults is a bad parenting choice terribly constricting! How else would I see my friends with kids? (I'm kidding, but really. It's an important venue for socializing in my circle.)

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:47 AM
309

I'm trying to think if there are any bars in my neighborhood that don't serve food. I don't believe so. Must be some weird local blue law thing.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:48 AM
310

301: I can't read that without thinking of the pack of chavs in Layer Cake who steal all the e and sell it to Daniel Craig's character. As the opening sequence, warehouse-lab-in-the-Netherlands-to-little-kid's-grubby-hands-in-LA would have beat Craig narrating around a pharmacy, hands down.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:49 AM
311

298, 302: I go to those Kidrockers shows in NYC with my five-year-old all the time. Great stuff.

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:51 AM
312

I did not bother complaining when the local library-styled bar where I used to quietly hang and chat with friends turned into a crazy, wall-to-wall packed nightclub with a bouncer and everyone in fancy dress. I have no idea how that happened, but obviously they don't miss me and my handful of friends having a few pints and chatting.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:52 AM
313

298, 302, 311: Flash forward to 2013, when the Lollapalooza reunion festival tour advertises day care, Jane's Addiction and Ice-T cover the Banana Splits theme song and I punch myself in the face repeatedly.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:53 AM
314

309: In North Carolina, a certain % of your revenue has to be from food in order to serve liquor, unless you are a private club.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:53 AM
315

280.last: Shoot them.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:54 AM
316

309: All the bars I go to in NYC serve food. The bar I mentioned above in Chicago did not serve food -- but they had a giant folder of delivery menus they'd hand anyone who asked. Many, many communal pizzas were ordered in that joint.

Oh -- I am now remembering a sort of reverse situation that happened at another bar in Chicago that *infuriated* me at the time. My friend D. was walking down the street with her pretty young baby on her way back to her apartment. It was a hot, sunny day and she decided to sit down at a sidewalk table and order a beer. They refused to serve her! The server got flummoxed and fetched a manager, who scolded her!

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:54 AM
317

291 is the perfect intro to the comment I was about to make about the Hash House Harriers. They apparently mark their running routes with flour or chalk, which I learned after the rich suburb south of here was essentially shut down because of an HHH run in the days immediately following the anthrax attacks in 2001. (My wife works there, and called to say that she was in a massive traffic jam that a state trooper explained was caused by "white powder, ma'am"). But surely everybody knew about the Harriers and their quaint traditions! Why were people so upset?

Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:55 AM
318

I wonder how my favourite bar, L'Arquer in Barcelona, would fit into Unfogged's taxonomy. It serves food, but it's definitely booze focused. Also, it has an archery range in the bar.

Probably not a place to take kids.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:57 AM
319

Jane's Addiction and Ice-T Liz Phair and Material Issue cover the Banana Splits theme song

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:57 AM
320

316: Yeah, I think of serving food as vastly more common than not, and not serving food as being dive-associated. Not all bars where you can't get food are dives, but more often then not they are.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:59 AM
321

318: One of the most kid-friendly pubs in the Bay Area has a bunch of toys set out for the little ones to play with. Right under the dart board.

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:59 AM
322
Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 10:59 AM
323

309: Much, much, much easier to get a license to sell alcohol if you sell food. Actually, where you live, it might now be impossible -- or close enough for government work -- that nobody would consider trying to open a bar that didn't also sell food.

Beyond that, I wonder if the smoking ban has made it more common for bars also to be restaurants.

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:00 AM
324

To start wondering if you'd really prefer to hang out somewhere else is perfectly reasonable, though, and you should absolutely tell the proprietor that and hope they take it into account (of course, they may have already done that).

Of course, it's your right to choose not to patronize any place you want, but it's worth thinking carefully about why you think this is a "perfectly reasonble" thing to prefer if too many families start hanging around, when you presumably wouldn't have the same reaction if the complaint were, e.g., that too many Mexicans were starting to hang out there.

If there's too much disruptive behavior--accusations of which at Wonderland are still fairly thin in this thread, the ketchup incident notwithstanding--then it's perfectly reasonable to prefer to hang out somewhere else. But if the problem is just the presence of a class of people you don't like and are uncomfortable around, that's your damn problem, and I'm not willing to say you're being perfectly reasonable.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:01 AM
325

322: It was a good day.

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:01 AM
326

289: People used to have events just like that in the common rooms when I was in college. They read either actual children's books or Jane Austen, though.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:01 AM
327

if the complaint were, e.g., that too many Mexicans were starting to hang out there

You were at that Morrissey show?!?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:02 AM
328

It is funny that something about being outside makes drinking in front of kids ok. A baseball stadium is basically one big bar and no one is really worried despite the high number (but not percentage) of drunk assholes.

Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:04 AM
329

321: namely?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:04 AM
330

324: I don't mean to belabor this point, but there is a difference between being at a bar where there are a number of families, which I actually enjoy, and a bar that officially hosts many large, loud, disruptive events. But sure, deciding whether to complain to the proprietors should involve a self-analysis. And if you're complaining because this used to be, you know, a bar for whites, the proprietors should feel welcome to be happy to see the back of you.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:05 AM
331

LB made a similar observation, focusing mainly on the way that children can turn on a dime from "I love you man" to trying to pick a fight with you.

And back to "I love you man" in the space of a few seconds, and everything is drama! and passion! Raising my kids is basically what I expect running a bar in Naples would be like.

Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:06 AM
332

Beyond that, I wonder if the smoking ban has made it more common for bars also to be restaurants.

When they first banned smoking in bars in NYC, there was an exemption for bars that made more than X% of their income from tobacco sales. This saved the bacon of (gag) cigar bars, but also this 1 (one) bar whose schtick involved pretty cigarette girls and a multi-page cigarette menu. For months after the smoking ban, that was probably the most crowded bar in Manhattan.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:07 AM
333

332: huh. There are a couple of cigar bars still in Boston. I wonder if that's the deal with them?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:07 AM
334

314: Here, if your revenues are not 60/40 food/liquor, you have to have a full liquor license, with all of the extra fees, insurance and hoop-jumping that this implies. But, if you do have the full liquor license, you can do your food/liquor pretty much however you want. Unfortunately, I think that has the net effect of reducing the the food possibilities at a lot of bars, since it's usually low margin, and it's easier to just buy frozen Sysco crap and deep-fry it.

The thing that really screws people up when opening new places is the maze of entertainment regulations & licensing requirements. They're kinda byzantine. For instance, DJs and karaoke are not "entertainment" for the purposes of charging the entertainment tax on food and liquor. However, you do need some level of entertainment license to have dancing or karaoke. But sometimes you don't if it's only happening rarely.

And don't even get me started on raffles and burlesque. Sigh.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:08 AM
335

and a bar that officially hosts many large, loud, disruptive events.

This is funny. You're probably not wrong about an organized kids event being loud and disruptive, but still, generally I'd think of bars I'd be comfortable bringing my kids to and bars with rowdy, loud, disruptive stuff going on as at opposite extremes, not as the same thing. There's a funny tension between adult meaning calm and civilized, and adult meaning free of any restraint on behavior caused by the presence of children.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:09 AM
336

329: You trolling for single moms? Or do you have a kid we don't know about?

Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:09 AM
337

334: trivia, rightly, is not considered "entertainment" of any kind.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:09 AM
338

330: to be clear, despite the chain of comments connecting them, 324 wasn't really a response to any part of 279 other than "I'll make one more stab at justifying the ways of Kriston to man". 279 is perfectly reasonable, but I don't think it does much to justify the ways of Kriston.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:09 AM
339

Maybe he wants to throw darts at kids, Josh.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:10 AM
340

336: maybe the first. Maybe the second. Maybe I'm just curious.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:11 AM
341

Beyond that, I wonder if the smoking ban has made it more common for bars also to be restaurants.

It certainly has in the UK. So-called "wet led" pubs have been hit hardest by the ban and the recession, while those with a greater proportion of food income have fared better (almost all pubs are hurting, though). The vast majority of pubs serve food these days.

It's hard to separate out the effects of the smoking ban and aggressive competition from supermarkets, though. Beer sales at pubs have been falling for over a decade.

Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:11 AM
342

335: I dislike all loud raucous parties, no matter the age of the partiers. And yes, of course a loud obnoxious bachelorette party ranks at the top, along with venues that host Beer Pong.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:12 AM
343

304 I understand that feeling, but it isn't "your" bar now, and thinking of it that way can lead people to feel entitled to be able to enjoy a bar free of whatever the newer, disapproved patrons (or events, or bands, or menu items, etc.) are.

I hate to be always the one to bring the gay, but while I see your point, I think you're overlooking the fact that with gay bars (isn't this what we were talking about in this instance?) there's a historical piece: exclusion and the sense of our-ness was about safety and a basic sense of the right to exist, and in some places it still feels that way.

I do think there's some element of pernicious old-school 70s gay misogyny in the "get bachelorette parties out of our bars" meme, but I also think there's some historically justifiable defensiveness that's easier to forgive/understand.

(It's more complicated really, but I don't know where to start. The straight woman's sense of safety in a gay bar that ostensibly led to this phenom reflects the lovely historical symbiosis of gay guy/straight woman that apparently now looks a lot more problematic to many folks, or so I gather.)

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:18 AM
344

In North Carolina, a certain % of your revenue has to be from food in order to serve liquor, unless you are a private club.

Same in Virginia, although there are a few places that must be padding their food numbers. There's also a place in town (aptly called Two Sides, due to the fact that they have two sides, you see, a man-place-bar side and a family-friendly-restaurant side) that's openly flouting the smoking ban in a way that's almost certainly going to end up getting the owners zapped with a hefty fine sometime soon.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:19 AM
345

EVERY STRAIGHT GAL NEEDS A FIERCE, WISECRACKING GAY BEST FRIEND, SMARTYPANTS.

Posted by: OPINIONATED EVERY ROMANTIC COMEDY | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:20 AM
346

342: I dislike all loud raucous parties, no matter the age of the partiers.

I'm with you there. You have no idea how much I wish that there were more bars that were literally quiet -- no or really low music, and acoustics so you could talk without shouting. I'm a cranky old woman who doesn't hear well.

Places like ChuckECheese make me long for death. Luckily, I think I've managed to only go twice, and my kids are pretty much aged out.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:21 AM
347

I do think there's some element of pernicious old-school 70s gay misogyny in the "get bachelorette parties out of our bars" meme, but I also think there's some historically justifiable defensiveness that's easier to forgive/understand.

This is all complicated by the fact that bachelorette parties are really awfully annoying -- you don't need misogyny to want to minimize your exposure to women wearing penis antlers.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:23 AM
348

Yeah, I think the bachelorette party problem is that there is often no similar "safe space" for straight women. In Cleveland, the only time I went to a straight dance club, my breast was grabbed painfully on the way in, I told another guy to get his hands out of my ass crack, and on the way out, someone tried to put his hand into my vagina. None of these are guys who spoke to me or were dancing with me; they were just hands in a crowd. So mostly we went to gay bars. No one likes feeling they're taking over someone else's scene, but it's not like you could have a bar where the idea behind it is that straight women can get together and a few other people would be welcome to come along; "Ladies' Night" is how you market bars to straight guys.

I find lesbian bars to be pretty friendly and comfortable with a wide range of people--trans, straight, gay dudes and ladies, etc. But in NYC, especially, I try to avoid waltzing into a gay bar, and was pretty embarrassed when my friend and I did so a few months ago.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:25 AM
349

And also, yes, bachelorette parties are horrifying, and I am embarrassed for my gender every time I see one.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:27 AM
350

Well, you could go to lesbian bars.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:27 AM
351

What's better than kids in a bar?
Kids in a bar that has giant heaps of scrap metal and a 10 story slide.

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:28 AM
352

349: Of course, after I was bitchy about penis antlers, presumably there are non-awful bachelorette parties that aren't conspicuous as such.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:28 AM
353

Maybe they're like wigs. Maybe bachelorette parties are going on around us all the time.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:29 AM
354

I do. The one in our neighborhood can border on being even a little too friendly, in that everyone there talks to everyone, and it turns into one big conversation, so you can't go to talk in private with your friend. For that, it's best to go to sullen hipstery places where everyone's too busy hating everyone to be molesty or talkative.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:30 AM
355

343: Well, I don't think we were talking about just gay bars, but using gay-bars-overtaken-by-straight-women as the ne plus ultra of the phenomenon.

Have I previously recommended The Evening Crowd At Kirmser's? It's so good.

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:31 AM
356

Oh, I have no problem women wearing penis antlers, just not as part of a bachelorette party. In fact, I'd encourage everybody here to reclaim the penis antler.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:34 AM
357

348: Yeah, I think the bachelorette party problem is that there is often no similar "safe space" for straight women.

You know what the market needs? Humorless Feminist™ bars. They could be gay/lesbian/queer friendly, and could welcome straight men who were comfortable with the atmosphere, but essentially your basic coffeehouse run by an egalitarian womens' collective except with more whiskey.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:35 AM
358

problem with women, that is.

I think everybody has at least one problem woman with penis antlers.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:35 AM
359

357: What happens when the light bulbs burn out?

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:43 AM
360

essentially your basic coffeehouse run by an egalitarian womens' collective except

Man, I remember the one in Wellesley (because my best friend went there). They were always banning things -- Earl Grey owned slaves!!!, etc.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:44 AM
361

359: That's not funny!

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:44 AM
362

359: THAT'S NOT FUNNY!!!

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:44 AM
363

Pwnt! Which isn't funny either! LB is trying to erase me.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:45 AM
364

Actually, it's funnier that it came from a chorus of humorless feminists.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:46 AM
365

347 is my first exposure to the term "penis antlers" and all of a sudden I am aware of a gaping void in my life. I want to experience crowds of rowdy women wearing penis antlers. It's probably not as much fun as it sounds, but still...

Also, my first impression of the term is that it's related to ass antlers, but I assume it's actually some sort of headgear.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:58 AM
366

So -- just checking, I'm pretty sure I know the answer -- "Penis Antlers" would be a bad name for the humorless feminist bar, yes?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 11:58 AM
367

||Christ on a crutch. I have just now peeled myself off the ceiling. Every stereo in the house just turned on and played a Crass song at top volume. This was CA amusing himself action-at-a-distance-wise with the SqueezeServer. |>

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:01 PM
368

367: oh man. I'm super jealous. I need to get the stereo power on remote control; I keep trying to do that but something or other is off and sound entirely fails to erupt from the speakers.

I don't try to play Crass, though (never heard 'em). Usually Lightning Bolt.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:04 PM
369

365: I want to experience crowds of rowdy women wearing penis antlers.

If nattarGcM's to be trusted, you want to go to Scotland for the fullest experience.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:11 PM
370

368: CA did it on his laptop from his office. When he's being more subtle he'll just turn on, say, the upstairs speakers, and it will take me 40 minutes to realize that the neighbor hasn't overnight developed musical taste identical to ours.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:16 PM
371

368: I don't try to play Crass, though (never heard 'em).

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!

Posted by: Natilo Paennim | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:19 PM
372

Well, you could go to lesbian bars.

Along with Jonathan Richman.

Posted by: NickS | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:26 PM
373

370: yeah; I can do it from my phone, except for turning the stereo power on. Not from outside our network, though. Hella security risk!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:42 PM
374

371: just googled and I was like "oh, them!" and then I was like "yep, not my thing."

You're welcome!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:44 PM
375

ssentially your basic coffeehouse run by an egalitarian womens' collective except with more whiskey.

Yet another reason why liquor licenses should be much more widely available. When the expense of obtaining/maintaining a license is too high, the bar owner has to push the liquor for all its worth. A coffee shop that occasionally pours a shot of whiskey is hard to realize in the U.S., but quite common in Europe.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:45 PM
376

Did no one else feel sucker punched by the infant about to get chemotherapy?

I think I come down half way in this thing. I'm for pro-child cities, because until people feel they can raise their children in cities, we are fucked. But I'm also for assigning a lot of responsibility to parents as well. Needlessly giant strollers in the city? Not okay. Letting your kid climb on top of someone whom they don't know? Not okay. Letting them grab someone's stuff out of their hands (like the child who grabbed my phone out of my hand on BART and then ran around with it it while his mother just stood there and laughed---not okay.) The same kind of thinking applies to dogs, though too---your dog should respect a person's personal space, which is larger for a child, and you have to make sure they do it, unless the person clearly wants to get closer and meet. That first example in the story is pretty ridiculous. Basically if your kid or your dog or your stroller is in my personal space, running over my feet, breaking my stuff or somesuch, you will hear from me. I'm not going to hold that behavior against everyone in your category though. I'm not even going to hold it against your kid and your dog, I'm just going to tell you to make the behavior stop so that I don't have to wrestle your kid for my phone or knock your stroller down to free my foot.

Clearly, though, what 'smasher really needs to do is quit fucking around with this art writing stuff and open another DC beer garden with an outdoor patio and a separate outdoor playground. That will solve his problems and make him eminently husbandable, I'm guessing.

Posted by: Ile | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:46 PM
377

Sometimes I'll mail myself a note, reminding me to turn on a lamp or some such appliance. Then when the note arrives and I complete the indicated task, I'm all, "Whoa. That lamp was turned on by someone from history."

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:46 PM
378

Humorless Feminist™ bars

I want to go to there.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:53 PM
379

309: Off the top of my head, I can't think of any bars that simply "don't serve food" at all. (As I'm writing this, it occurs to me that some places that are primarily dance clubs probably don't serve food.) However, I would call a place primarily a bar rather than a restaurant if any of the following are true: if bar stools make up about half the total seating, if the beer and/or wine and/or mixed drink list is twice the length of the list of food on the menu, or if 99 percent of the food they serve is unhealthy and fried or otherwise really quick and easy to prepare. I'm not surprised to learn from comments that the legal distinction might involve percentage of revenue, but my criteria are the kinds of thing a layman can eyeball, at least.

324
If there's too much disruptive behavior--accusations of which at Wonderland are still fairly thin in this thread, the ketchup incident notwithstanding--

... but other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play? OK, sure, that analogy is an overreaction, but 324 is definitely an underreaction. Blame the parent mainly for letting the kid climb on and slobber ketchup over strangers, definitely, and I can't blame a waiter/waitress for not wanting to deal with it on top of all their other problems, but all else being equal, the manager should have told the mother something like "I'm sorry, ma'am, your child is disturbing our other patrons, you'll have to keep him in the "Baby Happy Hour" area or leave." I'd say the same thing about a Chuck E. Cheese, if there were two parties there and a kid from one was over the line or something.

Unfortunately, that strategy of mine doesn't help with kids physically climbing on you or playing with your stuff or anything. I'm at a loss.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 12:55 PM
380

I don't mean to be all that hard on Kriston, but I was wondering if the ketchup incident was a little hyperbolized. Not a lot of kids old enough to walk are going to actually climb on a stranger. Certainly, if it happened as described, the kid, the parent, and the bar for not stepping in were all out of line.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:01 PM
381

kids physically climbing on you or playing with your stuff or anything. I'm at a loss

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:03 PM
382

Going wwwayyy back to LB's 278, yes, I think we're in total agreement and are just disputing terminology a bit.

The Kidrockers shows sound like hell on earth to me, but that's my problem and aesthetics, and has nothing to do with my kid. But, Jesus Christ, I will do everything in my power to keep my child from having the musical taste of Matthew Yglesias.

And I finally just read 'Smasher's original post, and agree that he is being quite dickish.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:05 PM
383

380: Happens all the time. The big difference for me is between a parent who notices their kid doing this and looks me in the eyes and at least says, "Oh hey, my kid's really friendly," even if they're not going to apologize, and the parent who doesn't even see me because I am, at that moment, a piece of furniture for their child. I have lowered my expectations of being treated like a human being so much that just looking me in the eye and smiling makes me feel grateful to the parent in this situation.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:09 PM
384

Not a lot of kids old enough to walk are going to actually climb on a stranger

Stranger's kids are surprisingly grabby and climby with me, which doesn't bother me, 'cause, hey, temporary kid; maybe it'll say something funny. I've taken to assuming this friendliness is due to my beard, and that all children believe I'm a brown-haired Santa Claus.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:09 PM
385

376: A kid grabbing something out of my hand and the parent not immediately intervening is one of the few situations in which I'd lay a hand on someone else's child. Not try to hit them, just grab them and retrieve my property.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:10 PM
386

Kriston needs to develop a Brock-intimidating scowl like LBs. Then those tiny bastards'll stop treating him like Mt. Funmore.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:11 PM
387

A ten-year-old whose dad left her and her siblings to play with me in the park (again, the dad did not ask me if this was OK or even look at me, just told the kids to sit with me and walked away) decided it would be a fun adventure to go through my bag, open up my wallet and stuff. So now I'm in the business of yelling at other people's kids because dad wanted an hour to himself under a tree out of sight?

There are things that parents do with kids that really are inexcusable violations of sociable behavior, which is behind some of my defensiveness on this issue. I am pretty good with kids, and generally like them. But I do not enjoy being treated like a piece of babysitting furniture by parents.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:15 PM
388

380: "Climbed on" might be an overwrought way to simply say "patted" or "run into" or something. Maybe. I guess. But "beketchuping", despite being a made-up word, doesn't seem to allow much room for interpretation, exaggeration or hyperbole. Either he was ketchupped by a kid, or he was not. I can't imagine a meaning of that term that is the kind of thing strangers are obligated to put up with.

From there, details vary. If the parent scooped the kid up and scolded him or her and apologized to Kriston, fair enough, that's the bare minimum of what the parent should do. If the restaurant kicked the parent and kid out or sent them back to the "Baby Happy Hour" area, again, fair enough. I'd personally want to avoid such situations in the future, but this thread already has a hundred comments about exactly how to do that.

If none of the above happened, I'd be sorely tempted to buy a mace sprayer thingie in case of future infractions. (Not for the kid! I'm not a monster! Just the mother.)

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:15 PM
389

386: That's what I was thinking -- maybe I just look mean.

I don't spend that much time around little little ones these days, now that mine are older. Could be my memory's just off.

"Climbing on" still sounds hyperbolic to me. "Touching" or "grabbing", maybe, but it's hard for a toddler to climb on you if you're not cooperating some. Is the taboo against restraining other people's kids so strong that people let themselves be scaled without putting an arm out to fend the kid off?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:19 PM
390

A ten-year-old whose dad left her and her siblings to play with me in the park (again, the dad did not ask me if this was OK or even look at me, just told the kids to sit with me and walked away) decided it would be a fun adventure to go through my bag, open up my wallet and stuff. So now I'm in the business of yelling at other people's kids because dad wanted an hour to himself under a tree out of sight?

This is crazy and unacceptable of him, but why wouldn't you just leave? You shouldn't have to, but you really shouldn't have to babysit strangers kids for free.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:20 PM
391

Not a lot of kids old enough to walk are going to actually climb on a stranger.

The ones that do, though, are invariably covered in ketchup. I have had kids I don't know come in for love, which is generally fine by me.

Along with Jonathan Richman.

Odd that you mention him. I had no idea who he was, but a friend took me to his show last week, where I was reminded that inner Sacramento is a small town.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:21 PM
392

just told the kids to sit with me and walked away

Now this is just completely bizarre. I can't imagine what sort of person thinks that's acceptable, and I know some really, really terrible parents. Not that anybody's going to leave their kids with some long-haired, middle-aged guy in a park, but had I found myself in your situation, the urge to take the kids to some other part of the park not visible from where you'd been would have been irresistible.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:22 PM
393

Is the taboo against restraining other people's kids so strong that people let themselves be scaled without putting an arm out to fend the kid off?

Yes. If a child is intent on climbing into your lap, dissuading the child with an arm can easily turn into the kid falling down and getting hurt. IME, the best thing to do is to let the kid try to climb, gently take him under the arms, and carry him to the parent. Otherwise it turns into a fun little game that lasts hours.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:22 PM
394

"Climbing on" still sounds hyperbolic to me. "Touching" or "grabbing", maybe, but it's hard for a toddler to climb on you if you're not cooperating some.

Yeah, I'm the parent of a not particularly well behaved toddler, and that seemed weird to me, too. I can't think of any situation ever where my kid has just randomly climbed onto someone uninvited.

And 387 sounds pretty unforgivable, but (a) can't be remotely common and (b) has absolutely zero to do with the subject of the OP.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:23 PM
395

390: Told the kids to go find their dad. They said they didn't know where he was and that they were going to hang out with me. Left.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:24 PM
396

has absolutely zero to do with the subject of the OP

This has been a concern since when?

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:25 PM
397

I've had some pretty surreal conversations with some of the African refugee parents about kid supervision. One dad's response to us being called after he left a bunch of little kids alone at a McDonalds playground for like four hours...

"What's the big deal? I do not see any lions or cobras."

Touche, refugee dude. I concede that your children were not in danger of being eaten by wild animals.

Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:27 PM
398

If a child is intent on climbing into your lap, dissuading the child with an arm can easily turn into the kid falling down and getting hurt.

The parents allowing their kids to hassle you are completely and utterly wrong, and very badly behaved. To the extent I can hand out dispensations, though, if it would make your life easier, I would worry about this much less than you seem to. Fending the kid off with your arm doesn't make them any more likely to hurt themselves than if they were trying to climb on an uncooperative inanimate object, and if the kid falls down, they fall down. They're short, and don't fall far, and they fall down all the time.

You're not responsible at all for the safety of other people's kids, barring the sort of extreme emergency where a decent person would protect any other person. But you don't need to worry about children just because they're visible; they're really not your problem. Anything you can do to minimize their impact on you that's not actually aggressive toward them is completely all right.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:28 PM
399

I do not see any lions or cobras.

Awesome. But it's the lions and cobras you don't see that are the most dangerous, of course.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:29 PM
400

Cyrus: I wouldn't object to a post complaining about unreasonable parents letting their children beketchup innocent bystanders, and I'd be annoyed if that happened to me, regardless of whether it occurred in a bar or at Chuck E. Cheese. (I'm annoyed enough when my own kids inevitably do it, the little shits.) And I wouldn't even object to a post complaining about unreasonable parents generally, and how annoying they make things for everyone else, if there was a beketchuping pandemic (or other similarly unpleasant activities), and that's what the post focused on. But just complaining generically about parents who have the gall to bring their kids to the bar patio*? Totally unacceptable.

*DURING "BABY HAPPY HOUR" AT THE BAR, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:29 PM
401

396 -- Since never. I was picking up on an implied connection between "parents are inconsiderate assholes, like the random guy at the park who demanded that I watch his kids for an hour while he went off by himself" and "parents are inconsiderate assholes, like the ones who take their kids to a kid themed-event at a kid-friendly restaurant/bar and keep me from smoking in peace when I'm trying to grade papers."

You probably didn't mean to make that connection, at all, so apologies.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:30 PM
402

letting their children beketchup innocent bystanders, and I'd be annoyed if that happened to me, regardless of whether it occurred in a bar or at Chuck E. Cheese

It's true. Parents who let their kids put ketchup on pizza are what's wrong with America.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:32 PM
403

402: No, the real problem is that the parents at the Baby Happy Hour didn't give their kids guns. After all, the kids aren't drinking, so can be expected to handle firearms safely. And while a kid armed with ketchup is an annoyance, a kid with a gun is sure to generate the proper amount of respect.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:36 PM
404

Quit picking on Billy Ray, Stanley.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:36 PM
405

The connection I guess I'd imply is that, in both situations, a little conversation between the parent and the childless person would go a long way toward reducing the tensions described in the article. When those conversations don't happen, both sides can end up just feeling bitchy about each other. Would Kriston be as annoyed if the parents came out on the patio and said "Hey, the kids were inside being pretty rowdy and it's such a pretty day." The situation is the same, but there's less animosity about it. Maybe the parents did have this conversation with Kriston, but it didn't sound like it from the post. I don't think they should ask him for permission or even apologize; just acknowledge the situation.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:40 PM
406

Does the waitstaff serve on this patio? Places with people walking around holding trays of glassware and hot things are really bad places for kids to run around rowdily. But something will certainly happen and they'll figure that one out. (It really is easy for kids to get hurt in restaurants; my father was kind of hyper on this topic.)

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:44 PM
407

400: Well, OK, so we agree that there's something to be annoyed about and that the establishment and/or at least one parent were acting unreasonably and irresponsibly. Comity! However, I also feel, and your mileage may vary on this part, that slightly overly broad phrasing is understandable in this context. First, because the annoying thing was a consequence of the apparently innocuous activity, a consequence which I would argue is foreseeable. And second, because even if you would dispute the "foreseeable" part, being a bit irrationally irate in Kriston's shoes seems understandable.

DURING "BABY HAPPY HOUR" AT THE BAR, FOR FUCK'S SAKE.

According to Kriston's post, the "Baby Happy Hour" was at a designated indoor space and Kriston was doing his thing at an outdoor table in peace. If so, the fact that a "Baby Happy Hour" was going on somewhere nearby seems immaterial. If there was a designated BHH space and he wasn't in it, then he had a reasonable expectation of not being ketchupped, I think.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:48 PM
408

The connection I guess I'd imply is that, in both situations, a little conversation between the parent and the childless person would go a long way toward reducing the tensions described in the article.

I don't think that works. The situation with the sociopath who ditched his kids on you wouldn't have been improved by his addressing you directly about it, except insofar as it would have given you an opportunity to say "If you walk away and leave your children with me, I will call 911 and ask the police to come pick them up/sell them to carnies." That's not really a situation on a continuum with parents and kids being present at Kriston's bar.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:49 PM
409

407: he has a reasonable expectation of not being beketchupped in any space. And it's reasonable to complain about any beketchupping that occurs, either in person at the time or later on the internet. But that's not how I read his posts, or his comments in this thread.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:52 PM
410

406: Oh, man. I used to work at this restaurant that had a spectacular design flaw: the bathrooms were right next to the kitchen's main server entry and exit, such that it was not uncommon for a server hauling a tray full of hot food at top speed to get in a blind collision with a patron exiting the bathroom at exactly the right moment. I witnessed some serious trainwrecks.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 1:53 PM
411

407: That's a rule that Kriston made up entirely for the purposes of self-pity. If the bar owners make no effort to enforce such a rule, then there is no such rule.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:01 PM
412

The article in the OP (and 'Smasher's blogpost, and 407) is making me somewhat more sympathetic to Sybil Vane's thesis that there's mileage to be gained in comparing kids to other marginalized groups. Yes, there are these creatures called "children," who may inconvenience you sometimes. Get over it. I mean, parents need to not needlessly allow their children to treat others badly, but, really, a public restaurant that explicitly allows children might just cause you some slight annoyance when there are children present. Oh noes.

With that said, I totally agree with 405; in a world in which we didn't distinguish as strongly between the child-free and parents, I think that such conversations would be much more natural. (And I also agree with 408, in that the guy in the park AWB was dealing with sounds like a psychotic sociopath, and not really a good example of anything other than the fact that psychotic sociopaths exist.).

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:01 PM
413

You people want him to shoot up in front of his kids? What kind of monsters are you?

Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:09 PM
414

Serious question for people who have had negative experiences with children in public places -- do you expect (or have you gotten in the past) aggressively hostile reactions from parents when you politely ask them to peel their kid off you? Bear and Kriston sound as if a quick "Excuse me, can you get your kid off my leg? I'm afraid he'll hurt himself trying to climb on me." isn't a useful solution. If that's not a useful solution, the parents are worse than I'd thought.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:10 PM
415

409: he has a reasonable expectation of not being beketchupped in any space.

Precisely. Using this incident as if it being a common result of kids invading bar patios is something of a ketchup-smeared herring.

But that's not how I read his posts

I initially read the posts as somewhat tongue-in-cheek and intentionally hyperbolic.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:12 PM
416

I'm not comfortable branding someone as a psychotic sociopath for assuming a single childless woman won't mind watching his kids. A sexist selfish asshole who takes for granted that this entire neighborhood is the village it takes to raise his kids, yes. But that is part of why people have kids here. Look at the restaurant reviews from this area, and they're full of parents saying it's so nice to find a place where the owners will take care of your baby so you can eat in peace, etc. The pizza restaurant around the corner has hired kitchen staff who play with the kids, who have a special raised platform to stand on so they can make dough sculptures while their parents enjoy a beer. It's part of the culture here, and it's neat that kids have so much freedom. The elementary school across the street lets the older kids out at lunch to buy one of the special kids' lunches offered at the neighborhood restaurants.

Overall, I think it's great for them, and I'd wish any kid could grow up feeling that safe and valued by their community. I don't wish them to feel less cared for. But I also appreciate the one cafe in the neighborhood that has a quiet policy during the day.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:17 PM
417

415.last: posts and quotes in the Post.

And I'm trying to remember if I ever had a stranger's kid ever do anything more than have quick, inadvertent contact with either me or any other adult that I was with at the time in a public space. Cannot recall any.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:19 PM
418

Right past the sign warning the cafe's customers that "children of all ages have to behave and use their indoor voices when coming to A Taste of Heaven," and right into a nasty spat roiling the stroller set in Chicago's changing Andersonville neighborhood.
The owner of A Taste of Heaven, Dan McCauley, said he posted the sign - at child level, with playful handprints - in the hope of quieting his tin-ceilinged cafe, where toddlers have been known to sprawl between tables and hurl themselves at display cases for sport.
. . .
"I love people who don't have children who tell you how to parent," said Alison Miller, 35, a psychologist, corporate coach and mother of two. "I'd love for him to be responsible for three children for the next year and see if he can control the volume of their voices every minute of the day."

The subtext here, to which the Times does not refer, is that that "people who don't have children" is rather barbed -- the owner is a gay man, and a lot of the argument had a "homos hate kids!" flavor. In any event, that signs sounds totally reasonable. Parents freaked the hell out.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:20 PM
419

I'm not comfortable branding someone as a psychotic sociopath for assuming a single childless woman won't mind watching his kids.

I can't diagnose the man in any rigorous way, but that's really way past ordinary rude, and well into really, really bizarre and normviolating.

All your other examples are examples of people offering childcare for pay -- they're nice to your kids, you buy a pizza from them. It's a pleasant part of the neighborhood for parents, but it's got no relationship to leaving your kids at the mercy of a strange woman.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:22 PM
420

something of a ketchup-smeared herring

But why is it green?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:23 PM
421

418: Granted his "open letter" has some lines in it I don't love, but I never saw the whole thing, and of course that came after the parental freak out over his sign.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:24 PM
422

418: You've got first-hand backstory -- the article sounded as if the freakout was mostly "Fine, be that way, I'll go shop someplace they like my adorable children." Which, if you can't successfully make your kids abide by the store's rules, is the right thing to do. Did people get in his face about it?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:24 PM
423

By far the best part of that article is this

Many of the Andersonville mothers who are boycotting Mr. McCauley's bakery also skip story time at Women and Children First, a feminist bookstore, because of the rules: children are asked not to stand, talk or sip drinks.

All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:29 PM
424

422: Yes. It was a real live spat, sides were chosen, and as it was the only really good sit-down coffee/pastry place in the neighborhood, people couldn't easily take their trade elsewhere, unless they wanted to go to Starbucks or the hippie place whose name I forget. I wasn't living in the neighborhood at the time -- we'd moved a year and a half prior -- but the place is 50 yards from my old apartment and I was apprised of the ongoing drama by my former neighbor.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:32 PM
425

423: They want the kids seated at story time is pretty much Selma to you? Gross.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:33 PM
426

419: Ah, see I don't think the parents necessarily see the distinction, or feel that they're "paying" to have people take care of their kids. That's where the class thing comes in here.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:33 PM
427

or the hippie place

"Surely you wouldn't leave us to the wilds of the hippies, would you? They'll probably subject my precious Madison to *gasp* granola and Gaia!"

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:36 PM
428

The bottom line is this: If all children were as adorable and impeccably mannered as my own little treasures, none of this would ever be an issue.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:43 PM
429

In the interests of comity, can't we just agree to hate both over-entitled parents who think it's fine to let their kids run amok everywhere and over-entitled childless people whose days are disrupted by the mere presence of children, however well-behaved?

Serious question for people who have had negative experiences with children in public places -- do you expect (or have you gotten in the past) aggressively hostile reactions from parents when you politely ask them to peel their kid off you? Bear and Kriston sound as if a quick "Excuse me, can you get your kid off my leg? I'm afraid he'll hurt himself trying to climb on me." isn't a useful solution. If that's not a useful solution, the parents are worse than I'd thought.

The worst I remember was a couple who got really aggressively hostile with two middle-aged women who turned around and very politely asked their children to quit kicking the back of their airplane seats. They should have been escorted off the plane immediately. At 36,000 feet.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:48 PM
430

Also, yuck:

"I love people who don't have children who tell you how to parent," said Alison Miller, 35, a psychologist, corporate coach and mother of two. "I'd love for him to be responsible for three children for the next year and see if he can control the volume of their voices every minute of the day."

No one's asking you to control them every minute of the day, o entitled one, but if you're going to use a public space you need to figure out how to do so in a way that's consistent with others' being able to use it too.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:52 PM
431

Serious question for people who have had negative experiences with children in public places -- do you expect (or have you gotten in the past) aggressively hostile reactions from parents when you politely ask them to peel their kid off you?

Didn't something like this come up in a recent thread? I seem to recall some people here having strong opinions on other people interacting with their children.

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:54 PM
432

To that question, no I've never had a parent react well to a polite request like that. Either the parent saw the behavior happening and recognized that it was annoying before I said something ("Please don't kick that lady"), or I said something and it provoked a totally psychotic reaction, either directed at me or at the child, the latter of which is really scary to me. I do not like feeling that some kid is going to get whooped on my account. If the parent does not care about, or even encourages, a child throwing toys at me, racing up and down between tables, etc., and I say something, it's going to turn into a really ugly scene really fast, of the "I'd love to see you try to raise children!" variety.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:54 PM
433

426: Any parent who doesn't get that is very, very norm-violating. There are a bunch of parents here, in a bunch of different economic situations, up to and including the class you're talking about. And I will swear that there is no class in the US where there's a norm that strangers will watch your kids for free. Ghastly entitled people assuming that people who work in retail or food service will watch their kids while they shop or eat, yes, but that's about being an ass about how much your patronage is worth to the place. Strange women in parks? No.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:54 PM
434

429.first: Yup.

430: Man, this one I just can't take sides on without having been there -- it all depends on how reasonable/unreasonable the cafe owner was being.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:57 PM
435

431: Yeah, I was asking about how parents reacted to communication with them, rather than directly with the kids.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 2:59 PM
436

I have friends who tell me being left in a sandbox outside the Los Alamitos racetrack parks to play by themselves when they were kids (in LA in the 80's), but their parents weren't thinking that some nice lady would watch them, they were thinking the kids would go unsupervised, along the lines of the father gswift spoke with.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:01 PM
437

434.last: These really seem like borderline cases to you? I mean, assuming he's not lying about them?

Children were climbing the cafe's poles. A couple were blithely reading the newspaper while their daughter lay on the floor blocking the line for coffee. When the family whose children were running across the room to throw themselves against the display cases left after his admonishment, Mr. McCauley recalled, the restaurant erupted in applause.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:02 PM
438

Isn't it normal to be left in a park to play by oneself, as long as home is within one's walking distance?

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:02 PM
439

434.2: The examples given in the article of the sorts of youthful behavior that prompted the sign put me on the cafe owner's side. I suppose there could be more to it, but when the response seems to be coming mostly from the sort of people who don't distinguish between kids being kids and kids being horrible, it's not showing up in the linked article.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:04 PM
440

437: Those cases don't sound borderline, and asking those parents and children to leave would be perfectly reasonable. If he's cherrypicking the three worst moments that happened, and was also complaining about every time a baby was audible, then he's unreasonable. Hard to tell without being a local who knows what the situation was like firsthand.

Now, reasonable or unreasonable, it's his store, and whatever standard of behavior he wants to set, no one who can't comply should be there. Anyone who was being abusive toward him rather than simply not going there anymore was dead wrong.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:06 PM
441

Really, part of the problem with the whole Taste of Heaven drama wasn't that kids were new to the neighborhood -- there were always plenty of kids. It was that the neighborhood had become the white hot epicenter of suburban families from the North Shore moving back into the city, and a place that had been the neighborhood for gay families was becoming a neighborhood for families who had not too many years prior left the city because it was icky and scary.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:07 PM
442

And to defend Smasher a little bit, it's somewhat excusable for a non-parent who's bumping up against the wrong sort of parents to think that the problem category is "parents" rather than "assholes".

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:10 PM
443

431: That thread surprised me. If my kids were acting badly, and I didn't notice, then I wouldn't get mad at another adult who had to step in and tell them to cut it out. I'd be pretty fucking embarrassed, though.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:10 PM
444

423: 423: They want the kids seated at story time is pretty much Selma to you? Gross.

Yes, that would admittedly be very gross. Could you please tell me how it actually resembled anything I'd said? My only point was that it's awesome to name your store "Women and Children First" and then get boycotted for not, based on some people's perspective, actually putting Children First.

can't we just agree to hate both over-entitled parents who think it's fine to let their kids run amok everywhere and over-entitled childless people whose days are disrupted by the mere presence of children, however well-behaved

Yes. Although part of my defensiveness here is that I think some of the childless types may be underestimating how hard it is to NOT let your kids run amok everywhere. I would be surprised if at least some of the parents people here are perceiving as entitled parents "doing nothing" were not, in fact, trying but failing to get their kids to behave better. It's hard to judge from a distance, I think.

And I totally agree with 433, and I'm a bit surprised by 426. Maybe people are just more psycho about these issues in Park Slope, but I'm having a hard time believing that things are really that bad. How about a "Sweetie, that kicking is really hurting me. Please stop it. Could you go over and talk to your Mommy?"

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:11 PM
445

443: Me too. Even if I thought the adult was oversensitive, in a public situation like that I'd be all solidarity with the adult.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:13 PM
446

444: What's needed is a firm manly, "No!"

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:13 PM
447

And I totally agree with 443.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:14 PM
448

443: That's what seems to be the scary part about talking to parents. I've heard "How dare you humiliate me?" yelled either at the kid or at the polite-requester.

The worst was this one time at the Food Co-op when a mom got in the long line to check out without a single item in her basket and asked her kid to run around the store doing the shopping. It's bad form, and highly discouraged. The kid was obviously blameless in this situation, just taking instruction, so the woman behind me said something to the mom while the kid was off getting something. The mom starts throwing a fit and screaming about how anyone would dare humiliate her in front of her child, then grabs the child like a hostage when she gets back and says "This lady thinks I'm a terrible mother! She says I'm a bad person!" etc. A manager was called over and had to threaten to have her escorted from the building.

I know most parents are really decent normal people, but after a few incidents like that, it's much easier to bitch about it on a blog rather than face someone completely losing their shit at you, or at the kid.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:19 PM
449

Wow, like Oudemia I definitely thought 423 was criticizing the draconian and Orwellian policies of the storytime.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:20 PM
450

My wife and I were taken to coffee shop once by one of my wife's friends, that she described as a place that was very self-consciously kid-friendly (trying to attract that demographic, she said), and where they didn't mind at all if little kids rans around like hellions. I was surprised when we arrived at how small the place was, and how traditionally coffee-shopey it was. Nice leather furniture, in good condition, etc. It sure didn't look like a place where toddlers ran around like hellions all day, nor an especially good place for them to do so. And she turned her toddler loose, to run and jump and yell and generally make quite a scene. And ours really wanted to play too (this whole thing was basically a play-date for the two kids, mostly), so we somewhat hesitatingly did the same. Although: the staff sure didn't look like they were comfortable with the kids running around, messing with things. And neither did other patrons. Staff even said, crossly: "you're going to need to stop your kid from doing [x]", about a few of the more egregious/disruptive things, with a tone that suggested they were pretty damn unhappy about all of it, not just the named activity. And so we spent the whole lunch trying to corral our kid, who just wanted to play with the other kid, who was running around raising hell, all while feeling odd about being too conspicuous about the corralling, since whenever we did my wife's friend kept insisting "oh, let the kids play--they really don't mind at all! They love kids here!" It was very awkward.

All that to say: I'm well aware some people have terrible judgment, and can be completely oblivious to the way their kids can disrupt or impose on other people. No arguments here.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:21 PM
451

could you please tell me how it actually resembled anything I'd said? My only point was that it's awesome to name your store "Women and Children First" and then get boycotted for not, based on some people's perspective, actually putting Children First.

Sure -- you didn't actually say that, what you said was, "All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others" and before that, "there's mileage to be gained in comparing kids to other marginalized groups." It's a tiny activist feminist and kids' bookstore, with probably two employees. It's nice of them to even have a story hour, and wanting the kids settled and not eating and drinking doesn't seem to merit comparison to the treatment oppressed cultures under dictatorships. (Again, I think part of of the problem is that the neighborhood parents were becoming unlikely to have a lot of sympathy with the longstanding politics of the place.)

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:22 PM
452

I would be surprised if at least some of the parents people here are perceiving as entitled parents "doing nothing" were not, in fact, trying but failing to get their kids to behave better. It's hard to judge from a distance, I think.

There are certainly borderline cases, and there are certainly families dealing with issues that aren't obvious to the random passer-by. But there are also lots of plain old assholes, and sometimes it's perfectly clear that that's what you're dealing with.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:23 PM
453

451: I think he's actually on the same side of as you (and the bookstore) here, and was making a commentary on the left (here manifested by the parents wanting to go to the story time on their own terms) and its propensity for internecine warfare. But perhaps he is a monster.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:24 PM
454

452: Yep. Brock's acquaintance sounds very badly behaved to me, and so does Bear's co-op shopper.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:24 PM
455

All of this is purely theoretical for me, because I'm training my children in the fine art of instigating other children to misbehave so that they get in trouble instead.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:26 PM
456

453: OK! Confused comity!

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:26 PM
457

455: let's you and him fight elementary.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:27 PM
458

448: Although, while this is awful behavior, it's not much related to the sort of parenting sins we're talking about. The kid wasn't inadequately supervised, misbehaving, or causing trouble. The kid was obediently following its parent's orders on how to do the grocery shopping. The parent was a poorly socialized hellbitch, but the presence of the kid in public wasn't a part of the problem -- the hellbitch could have done the same thing with an adult accomplice.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:27 PM
459

George Orwell felt that children should be forced to stand, talk, and sip drinks. Fact.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:28 PM
460

Actually it's not just assholes, although that's part of it. Brock's acquaintance just sounds stupendously clueless, and there are plenty of that sort of parents running around too.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:34 PM
461

Does 448 have anything to do with kids at all? Wouldn't the situation have been exactly the same if the woman had gotten in line with an empty basket while she had her husband run around the store getting groceries? Or am I misunderstanding the nature of the complaint?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:35 PM
462

Sounds like there was a misunderstanding. I do not think that children being asked to refrain from eating in a bookstore is directly equivalent to the suffering of victims of the Stalinist gulag, in case you were wondering. I do think that the store's name makes the story mildly funny in the vein of the how-will-we-organize-the-bathrooms-after-the-revolution jokes, and was trying to make a joke along those lines, but clearly failed to be funny.

What I like about the Sybil Vane critique, although it initially seemed crazy to me, is that I do think that there's something seriously wrong with the presumption that children should be excluded from public spaces or that it's OK to just generally "dislike" children unconsciously. That really does seem like a far bigger problem for society as a whole than a bunch of overentitled yuppie parents in Park Slope or Chicago who could do a better job of telling their kids to be quiet.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:36 PM
463

Does anyone have a link to these oft-referenced Sybil Vane posts?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:38 PM
464

458: Of course. What I'm thinking of here is the reason I get nervous about interacting with parents. In all these "How dare you humiliate me?" reactions, whether directed at the child or the interlocutor, there's an intense terror of being judged by strangers. I think the problem is that the culture is really judgmental about moms, to the point that these moms are not crazy to imagine that they're being deemed unfit, and they take it out on someone. Sometimes, sure, the mom is doing something rude, or the kid is doing something rude. Single people are often rude, too. Everyone can be rude. But when kids are involved, the mild chastisement that any of us receive in public every day, whether deserved or not, takes on this symbolic rage on both sides.

If Kriston had been bitching on the blog about how a group of dudes showed up at the bar and were loud and drunk, and he told them to cut it out, and they were all, man, it's douchebag happy hour, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:39 PM
465

It's always douchebag happy hour.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:41 PM
466

461: The difference is that if you tell someone they're being rude in a public space and kids aren't involved, the stakes are a lot lower than if someone drags a kid into it and makes it a battle between parents and the childless. I'll tell anyone to stop annoying me in public as long as there's no kid in sight.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:42 PM
467

463: Here's the first SV post, and the second is still on Bitch's front page, titled "So, OK".

464: Sadly, to the extent that's what's going on, it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. The presence of parents with kids in public is perceived as a burden, because non-parents think they can't interact with them at all without unleashing irrational rage. And parents get cranky about feeling like second-class citizens, because people think of their presence in public as a burden. Not much to say about it but 'can't we all just be brothers?'

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:44 PM
468

462.last: I'd strongly prefer a presumption that kids are OK in all public spaces unless otherwise noted, but that preference goes along with an assumption that in such a world I could tell other people's kids to shut up, go away, or otherwise indicate my feelings directly to the kid. If telling a kid to leave me alone is going to lead to a confrontation with the parent I'd rather the presumption be that kids are sent away to the countryside to be raise like cattle until they are in their mid thirties.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:45 PM
469

Further to 467.2: And of course, any parent unleashing irrational rage on someone interacting reasonably with them or their kids is dead wrong. I guess I just don't want to take the assumption that there will be irrational rage as the norm, and then figure out workarounds for it.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:46 PM
470

These problems seem to occur most when the neighborhood is contested. People don't back down when they are territorial.

My kids are well behaved most of the time in public places. Sometimes they are not though. I can't really take them to restaurants that they don't hand out crayons or it gets too stressful for me.

431: That thread surprised me. If my kids were acting badly, and I didn't notice, then I wouldn't get mad at another adult who had to step in and tell them to cut it out. I'd be pretty fucking embarrassed, though.

I agree with this. People act pretty poorly when they are embarrassed though.

Posted by: lemmy caution | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:48 PM
471

feeling like second-class citizens,

Right, and the single and childless often feel like we have less financial and emotional security, less respect, more fear that we will choke on Chinese takeout and be found half-eaten by cats... At some point, we all have to give up the contest for More Loathed By Society. (For the record, I do think parenting is more actively stressful than being single; if I didn't, I'd be a parent by now.)

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:48 PM
472

The childless have less financial security? Huh. That's a new one on me.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:49 PM
473

One of the things I like about living where I do is that it's still a bit more Leave it to Beaver-ish about keeping an eye on kids. Not that anyone would expect to get away with the sort of stuff AWB mentioned upthread, but a raised eyebrow or a "hey, calm down a bit" to a kid who's acting up isn't a big deal.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:50 PM
474

471: I'm not talking about misery poker generally, I'm talking about the specific assumption you seem to have that parents can't be interacted with about their own or their kids behavior without reacting with extravagant hostility, and so their presence in public places is a burden on you.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:51 PM
475

472: I figure the financial security bit was about being married, not having kids.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:51 PM
476

. The presence of parents with kids in public is perceived as a burden, because non-parents think they can't interact with them at all without unleashing irrational rage. And parents get cranky about feeling like second-class citizens, because people think of their presence in public as a burden. Not much to say about it but 'can't we all just be brothers?'

Yeah, this seems to be the dynamic that's going on. But (a) I find it somewhat surprising that it's causing so much anxiety. Most people who are parents are pretty understanding about the fact that their kids can be annoying -- they're usually the biggest victims. Without discounting at all what AWB is saying, I can't help from having a nagging feeling that she would be totally fine worrying about the parental reactions less and just being willing to say, in a sweet and understanding voice to either the parent or the kid, what specifically is bothering her about the interaction. Not to generalize myself to the world, but having a third party do a little mild behavior assistance can be great, particularly since my kid is a little bit more likely to listen to strangers.

And also, I do think that, to the extent one is forced to choose sides in this debate, Team Kid is clearly in the right. If annoying yuppie parents are the price we have to pay for more humane and family-friendly spaces in cities, it's not that much of a cost.

Now I feel like I'm just repeating what others have already said.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:53 PM
477

472: I mean the single, specifically. A double-income family sharing a living space can make decisions about who is going to work, how much, what to save or spend, etc. It costs more to have a kid, but if one partner loses a job, they might be able to avoid losing their home.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:53 PM
478

I do think that the store's name makes the story mildly funny in the vein of the how-will-we-organize-the-bathrooms-after-the-revolution jokes, and was trying to make a joke along those lines, but clearly failed to be funny.

Don't joke! If you have ever seen the Carrie Brownstein/Fred Armisen feminist bookstore skits, I am certain it is based on this place. (Armisen, at least, is a Chicago guy.)

Posted by: ahah | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:54 PM
479

478: Ahahahha. That "ahah" is my typing in the wrong box while IMing.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:55 PM
480

467: thanks. I suppose it's no surprise to anyone that, having read those, I completely agree with them, given that 324 was written without my having read them.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 3:58 PM
481

If you all would pretend that 476 was written by someone who knew how to write, that would be awesome.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:01 PM
482

481: Actually, I'd much prefer to have written 476 than 474. Trade?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:02 PM
483

Feminist Bookstore.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:04 PM
484

476: ...since my kid is a little bit more likely to listen to strangers.

This seems to be quite generally true, and is one of the reasons I'd like to see the taboo on talking to other people's kids weaken. Having a stranger tell you you're being bad is much different from having a parent do it when you're a kid. It reinforces social as opposed to family norms. The problem is that there isn't a generally accepted standard for what's appropriate for kids to do in given situations.

Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:07 PM
485

474: I have not said that parents in public places is a burden to me. Where did I say that? I said that I never, ever tell children in public that their behavior is inappropriate, and I never initiate a conversation along those lines with the parents, unless it is to compliment a kid.

Part of the reason is that I've never had a good experience with doing so. Possibility 1 is that every parent who isn't watching their kid act crazy in public is going to be embarrassed and psychotic about it. Possibility 2 is that parents don't tend to be as aware of uncomfortable touching and loud repetitive noises as single childless people are. I really never know whether it's a 1 situation, a 2 situation, or a combination of the two.

If I am really bothered by a kid in public, I tend to assume that I am sensitive to things that clearly don't bother the parents, and that this is not a place for me to read my book or whatever. There are other places to go. I'm not saying either of us is right or wrong, but it's easier for me to go somewhere else than it is for the parent with kid to do so, and since they're not having a problem, why should they? If nothing else, I can go home.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:15 PM
486

I absolutely agree with 484, but, just to be clear, if you are angry, threatening, or scary in the interaction with my kid, or unable to judge your own ability to project anger or threatening-ness, I do reserve the right to be very, very cross with you.

I think that part of the issue is just that many childless adults don't have experience with kids in public spaces and have a hard time knowing exactly how to protect their own space from the kid without seeming angry or threatening. It's possible, and not that hard! A world that is more comfortable with kids generally will also be more comfortable with third-party/kid interactions.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:20 PM
487

485: You're saying now that you (presumably often enough to notice it as a pattern) are harassed by children in public, and you assume that every parent who doesn't intervene before you're bothered is going to be "embarassed and psychotic about it". So you can't protect yourself: "I'll tell anyone to stop annoying me in public as long as there's no kid in sight," implies that you won't tell people to stop annoying you in public if there is a kid involved.

Saying that you haven't said parents in public places are a burden to you, because you can just leave, doesn't make sense to me -- if there's a category of people who harass you and who you have no defense against other than flight, because you're afraid to interact with them, their presence in places where you want to be is a burden.

I think you may be overgeneralizing from some bad experiences about how likely the risk of abuse from parents if you ask them to keep their kids from bothering you is, and so overestimating how burdensome it is to have parents around. But if your sense of the odds in your neighborhood is correct, then the presence of parents with kids anywhere you want to be is a burden to you.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:24 PM
488

I think you may be overgeneralizing from some bad experiences about how likely the risk of abuse from parents if you ask them to keep their kids from bothering you is, and so overestimating how burdensome it is to have parents around.

To be fair to AWB, while I think that most parents would react sanely to someone else politely raising an issue about their kids behavior (whether raised with the parnets or directly with the kid), it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a fairly high correlation between parents who obliviously let their kids harrass or annoy other people, and parents who react very poorly to someone raising this as an issue.

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:30 PM
489

488: But see 383: she's talking about something that happens to her "all the time," not an unusual occurrence -- she's in situations where she's taking harassment without complaining for fear of a psychotic response frequently. Either Bear is worrying about the possible responses more than she should, or Park Slope is truly hell on earth.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:36 PM
490

487: I just don't think there's an easy answer to this. It is reasonable that parents have a very high tolerance for things that childless people have a very low tolerance for. If parents are worried that other people are judging them all the time, then I should be allowed to worry that maybe my childlessness makes me hypersensitive. (Or that my hypersensitivity makes me childless?)

I got a lot of deference for parents out of dating one, because being around the boys meant having two fidgety hot little dudes glued to me for hours, poking at me, asking me questions, kicking my feet, eating everything on my plate. My ex was used to this all the time, and got kind of a kick out of seeing how stressful it was for me. On one hand, I've never felt so loved as I was by those boys, and we had some great times together. On the other, I don't think I could be in that situation all the time. I just don't have the constitution for it.

So when I say that kids in public make me nervous or disrupt me, I tend to think, this is fifteen minutes of my life. I can either deal with it or not. But I'm certainly not going to tell someone who manages it all the time that fifteen minutes is intolerable.

Does that make more sense?

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:37 PM
491

it wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a fairly high correlation between parents who obliviously let their kids harrass or annoy other people, and parents who react very poorly to someone raising this as an issue.

Perhaps because their self-image as parents depends on protecting their belief that their little darlings' amok-running is normal kid behavior and not something that they can reasonably expected to do anything about.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:38 PM
492

486: Listen, I identify as Not a Kid Person, but the fact is I'm basically just not very interested in kids, and I like some of them. I don't think I'm much good at talking to them, so I just count on not interacting with them a whole lot. But when I'm clearly being marked as a fair target for very-very-crossness for not adoring them and making sure my reactions to them are parent-approved, I get defensive. When I'm being condescended to about it ("It's possible, and not that hard!"), well, that's when I start identifying as a non-kid-liker.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:40 PM
493

So when I say that kids in public make me nervous or disrupt me, I tend to think, this is fifteen minutes of my life. I can either deal with it or not. But I'm certainly not going to tell someone who manages it all the time that fifteen minutes is intolerable.

Now that actually feels like just the right attitude to me, and pretty much a necessary corollary of having kids around in public. Of course, this is speaking as the selfish parent of a toddler.

(I still don't think it should prevent you from some mild correction with the kid or empathetic conversation with the parent in extreme situations, e.g., being "ketchuped").

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:42 PM
494

490: It is reasonable that parents have a very high tolerance for things that childless people have a very low tolerance for.

The thing is, if you're talking about noise levels, that's one thing -- I totally believe that a public place with kids may be both unpleasant for you and not something the parents perceive as unreasonable, and that they're not going to make their kids quieter (often because they can't) or leave (because they won't) for you. And who's oversensitive and who's unreasonable in that situation is a case-by-case judgment call, and hard to settle on the internet. And so quietly avoiding places with kids when the noise level makes you unhappy is a reasonable reaction.

But you've been talking about kids climbing all over you when you don't want them to and being afraid of the response if you ask for help from their parents. And that's a situation where it's not hypersensitive at all to not want to be mauled. You shouldn't be terribly upset that a kid touches you at all, but if the kid's clinging to you or crawling on you or kicking you or any kind of "uncomfortable touching", that's something the parent should step in to stop proactively, or shouldn't be hostile at all about being asked to make it stop. If you're afraid of hostile reactions in that kind of situation, you're either hypersensitively afraid of hostile reaction when you shouldn't be, or the parents in your neighborhood are truly incredible assholes.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:46 PM
495

Of course, this is speaking as the selfish parent of a toddler.

Not that this needs saying, but anyone capable of writing that line is not one of the parents we're talking about.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:46 PM
496

492 -- You don't have to adore kids, or interact with them. Just don't be angry or aggressive or threatening, be understanding about parents, and be tolerant of both parents and kids in public spaces, and you'll be fine in my book. If you do find yourself around kids a bunch, perhaps because families have moved into public spaces you like, and you find them annoying, it might be worth your while to figure out some ways of talking to kids and their parents so that you can protect your own boundaries without coming across like an asshole (not that you are coming across like an asshole right now, I have no idea).

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:47 PM
497

If Kriston had been bitching on the blog about how a group of dudes showed up at the bar and were loud and drunk, and he told them to cut it out, and they were all, man, it's douchebag happy hour, we wouldn't be having this conversation.

"Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child douchebag shall in no wise enter therein."

Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:52 PM
498

Just don't be angry or aggressive or threatening,

I don't want strangers to scare my kid either, and everyone should definitely avoid being an asshole, but including "angry" in here strikes me as a little too forbidding. Please don't yell and be scary, but (a) if someone is really egregious, you're going to naturally be pissed off and not necessarily able to/required to entirely squelch that, and (b) some kids are really really easily freaked out. If everyone needs to be super completely on their guard against being imperfectly soothing at all times, I worry that they're going to be too intimidated to make the attempt.

Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:55 PM
499

492 well but with the words "or unable to judge your own ability to project anger or threatening-ness" you are kind of making me think I have to be on guard at all times because possibly I don't know that I'm coming off as a firebreathing kid-hater instead of just this awkward guy who doesn't know what you say to a four-year-old* and would rather leave it to people who think they're delightful. I don't imagine I do come off as threatening but knowing that it's enough of a concern to one parent (you) that he mentions it as some kind of typical occurence makes me want to go exclusively to leather bars and other uncontested kid-free zones so I won't incur very-very-crossness from my untested-on-kids projection of intentions.

*"Look at him--what could you say to a thing like that! Did you go to the circus this year, what's your favorite kind of ice cream, how do you spell cat?" Dorothy Parker (about an adult) in "The Waltz.) I'd love it if I could talk with everyone in the world in a way that made us both happy, but I've resigned myself to the fact that I am inept at talking to children.

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 4:58 PM
500

498: This sounds right to me -- if you've got a reasonable beef about my kids' behavior, there's nothing wrong with being annoyed/stern/pissed off about it. Shouting aggressively at my kid would make me upset, but a failure of warm-fuzziness, no.

But after the bar/restaurant conversation upthread, I'm wondering if Halford, who's generally reasonable, is mentally drawing a different line for what counts as angry, and is really only ruling out scary displays of rage.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:01 PM
501

499: I think the one question four-year-olds hate most is "What are you learning in school?" They seem to do OK with "What's the coolest thing you've ever found on the ground?" and "What do you know about flesh-eating parasites?"

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:03 PM
502

I mutter "Trapped like a trap in a trap" to myself in difficult social situations frequently.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:08 PM
503

I usually do OK asking kids who would win a series of fights. Shark or alligator? Racoon or eagle? You know. The same stuff you want to talk about.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:08 PM
504

I talk to children the same way I talk to adults and it seems to work ok, though I admit that when I read to my nephew from A Dynamic Systems Approach to the Development of Cognition and Action he didn't seem very interested.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:08 PM
505

"If it were legal to own any kind of animal, and it wouldn't attack you, what animal would you get?"
"Know any good bars in the neighborhood?"

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:08 PM
506

I talk to children the same way I talk to adults and it seems to work ok, about as well as talking to adults.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:09 PM
507

OT or pause: does anyone sciency have a recommendations for a good microscope to buy a child? We want something that will work well and won't break. And I'm having a very hard time finding a source that will sort out the various options -- stereo, compound, digital, etc. -- for me and then tell me what to buy. Thanks. Resume play.

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:10 PM
508

difficult social situations

You mean the ones where you are forced to talk to other people?

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:11 PM
509

"Let's pretend we're real."

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:11 PM
510

508: That's them.

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:12 PM
511

Yeah, of course you can FEEL anger (and certainly annoyance). I just mean don't project it at the kid. And here, I am specifically thinking of younger children; I do think that the degree of acceptable sterness goes up with age. I worry a lot about that dude who was so impressed with the power of his firm "NO" to impress an 18 month old and don't really think that I'd enjoy his interactions with my child. And there are lots of folks like that, particularly men, out there.

To 499, you probably will think this is condescending, and it probably is and may be totally unrealistic, but: why not spend a bit more time in a more kid-friendly space? You'll probably figure out pretty quickly what is and is not OK, and how to protect your personal space. If you're getting annoyed by a kid doing something along the lines of climbing up on you, etc., maybe try to use a little gentle suasion to solve the problem. You don't need to be "good at talking to kids" to do this; the point isn't to charm them with your knowledge of kid-culture, just to get a little more familiarity with sharing space with families in a way that's reasonable for everyone. Or, if you don't want to be around kids at all, don't.

And LB, thanks for (quite incorrectly!) calling me "generally reasonable."

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:13 PM
512

507: How much are you looking to spend? I bought two a few years back and can say, get one with a light in it, rather than a mirror one, as kids have a hard time lining up light sources. You don't need anything super-powerful--three magnification powers is plenty. Be sure to get one that comes with a good selection of pre-made slides and buy a box each of extra blanks and covers. Beyond that, it's a matter of cost, I guess.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:19 PM
513

Or maybe, kids can suffer through an unpleasant interaction with a grumpy unskilled adult, especially if the little started it. Won't kill them. There might be fuming afterwards, in different directions, but so?

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:20 PM
514

I'd be mad if someone snapped at my nephews, but I bet the nephews themselves would recover pretty fast.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:22 PM
515

499: I think you have completely misinterpreted Halford's intent. You don't have to be good at interacting with kids, or show any interest, or anything. You can respond to everything they say with a monosyllabic grunt. Kids are not entitled to an appreciative audience 24-7. I presume Halford has something closer to the "I'm going to rip off your head and shit down your neck!" type of interaction with kids, which I would have to agree is dispreferred.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:23 PM
516

512: Thanks. That's helpful, though I'd be really grateful if you could tell me precisely which one to buy ($100-$150 -- unless I really need to spend more than that to get a good one, in which case this is probably the wrong gift). Also, you'll look after my kids for the next few hours, right? I mean, you obviously aren't doing anything important.

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:24 PM
517

516: \$100-150 is more than enough, and you can get a nice one for that. Check Ebay--there are often nice ones from school-surplus-type places. Don't get the USB one, which is cute, but a handheld thing, not a real microscope, and don't get a dissecting microscope, as the powers don't go up high enough. Something with these qualifications seems about right (4x-400x is a good range), but I think you could get a better deal than this.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:28 PM
518

509: My daughter likes to act out little scenes with plastic animals. Whenever I do something that breaks the fourth wall, she complains "But Daddy, you're not real."

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:28 PM
519

By "real" microscope I mean the kind with slides and a light.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:29 PM
520

Wow, kids microscopes have gotten a lot awesomer since I was a kid. Check out this bad boy!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:29 PM
521

515 - See, I was totally with that until Halford suggested that Mr. Smearcase spend time with kids to get to know how to handle them (at least a little). Then I thought about relative hassle. Mr. Smearcase doesn't particularly want to (as Halford recognized). That's a pain for him. An unskilled reprimand from him would be a pain for a kid, but probably not a big one.

No one wants to see their own kids snapped at; that'd feel awful. But it isn't actually the end of the world, and might be the least hassle overall.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:29 PM
522

518: I found that asking that question makes a kid's eyes go really wide. "But... we aw weew. Wight? Wight?"

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:30 PM
523

"Celestron"? Microscope or telescope?

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:30 PM
524

520: Some of the feedback is worrisome, but it does look fun.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:31 PM
525

Celestron is primarily a telescope company; they've apparently branched out into the manufacture of other types of scientific lenses and equipment.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:34 PM
526

Thanks, AWB!

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:35 PM
527

One reason not to go with the light plastic kind is that they're too easy to jostle. Get a metal one that will stay solid on the table even if it's bumped.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:36 PM
528

Yeah, 515 makes my point better than I could. I seriously doubt that coming across as rageful is going to be a big problem for Mr. Smearcase (though, perhaps he is 6'8, 300 lbs, and likes to bite off the heads of live chickens for fun in real life). Really, all you need to do is to say, in a gentle but firm voice, something like "I'm sorry, sweetheart, that's bothering/hurting/annoying me and I don't like it. Could you please stop it, and go over to your Mommy? Thanks." And if that doesn't work, calmly tell the parents in a quiet voice, "I'm really sorry, and I know how hard it is to keep track of kids in here, but your daughter has been kicking me. Is there some way you could get her to stop?"

Perhaps in Park Slope this produces a violent rage on the part of the parent, but I'm skeptical.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:38 PM
529

You could splurge, ari!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:43 PM
530

528 strikes me as a very benign scenario. Frankly, I think a straightforward "Don't do that, kid." is fine, especially for an adult who has no intrinsic interest in speaking contemporary kid-talk.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:46 PM
531

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:53 PM
532

Splurge, splurge, splurge, splurge, splurge. Splurge.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:55 PM
533

530: Would you speak that way to an adult, Megan? I mean, as a first-order response to bad behavior?

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:55 PM
534

332: Well, it is 65% off the retail price. I don't see how I can not buy it!

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 5:56 PM
535

I don't mean to be all that hard on Kriston, but I was wondering if the ketchup incident was a little hyperbolized. Not a lot of kids old enough to walk are going to actually climb on a stranger. Certainly, if it happened as described, the kid, the parent, and the bar for not stepping in were all out of line.

I wish I had left that detail out, frankly, because I feel like the arguments rests on this one isolated incident that was clearly an accident. But yes, this kid, who could walk, smeared me with ketchup. It wasn't a big deal, and my own rant notwithstanding I have incredible patience about this kind of thing; my mom ran a daycare center out of her home for a while when I was growing up and I've always been surrounded by other people's kids. I mean, it's a harangue, it's all a little bit over the top.

The thing I resent is sitting out in the smoking section and feeling anxious about smoking around kids. It might be my right to smoke on that patio but I do not feel good about it with children around -- whether or not any parents might say have to the gumption to say anything about it. Also, the general crazy-making din and rambunctiousness of kids running around wild. It was a real Chuck E. Cheese out there. The smoking anxiousness, which I don't feel like I ought to have to deal with on a smoking patio (privilege!), bothered me a lot.

Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:03 PM
536

522: That's funny. I wonder what it is that they think you're saying?

535: You could take a constructive step, and advocate that Chuck E. Cheese get a liquor license.

Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:06 PM
537

Oddly, you seem much more reasonable in person than you do as a quote in an obnoxious article. No wonder journalism is dying.

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:06 PM
538

To someone who approached me uninvited and was too familiar in the manner of children? Yep, at the least. An adult who rammed me with a toy car, or careened into me on the sidewalk would get a "DUDE. Watch it." if not a "What the hell?!" With real kids, of course, I'd speak contemporary kid-talk, because I've picked it up from being around kids a lot.

In real life, my usual response to adults and children is now to use the shorthand we use with the nephews. "Hey!" I should to passersby who are eyeing the cherries in my tree. "OUT MY!!!" "You!" to the nearly-grown skateboarders on the sidewalk in front of my house, "Out the street!"

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:06 PM
539

ari: As reported in the Washington Post, I'm childless, but I can recommend the Celestron 44104 500x Power Advanced Biological Microscope. It's awesome for home use. No complaints. Not only is it a great microscope, it's intuitive to use.

Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:07 PM
540

534: Frankly, sir, those cigarettes were sitting in a cowshed for six months. Turn to page four of the menu if that's your price range.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:07 PM
541

539: And more reasonable still! But of course you can't be trusted, childless one. That microscope is probably filled with cigarettes.

Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:09 PM
542

You could take a constructive step, and advocate that Chuck E. Cheese get a liquor license.

Too late!

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:13 PM
543

"Hey!" I should to passersby who are eyeing the cherries in my tree. "OUT MY!!!"

I certainly hope no part of your cherry tree overhangs the street.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:14 PM
544

The cherry tree is on the island between the sidewalk and the street. It is surrounded by tall-ish flowers, which offer some protection, but people very much want to harvest it. I spent a good deal of the weekend on my front porch, chucking frisbees at birds who flew up to the tree. I'm this close to pegging pedestrians who slow down to ponder their access.

There is no overhang; the branches make a pretty steep upward U-shape.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:18 PM
545

They already serve beer at Chuck E Cheese. And this is what happens, people. A 40 person mass barfight. In Wisconsin.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:20 PM
546

The cherry tree is on the island between the sidewalk and the street.

How usufructable.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:21 PM
547

It is not either usufructable. Those cherries are mine, ALL MINE.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:22 PM
548

Unless the island is also your property, I guess.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:23 PM
549

546: mmm.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:26 PM
550

Yeah, I just found that. WTFever.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:26 PM
551

They already serve beer at Chuck E Cheese. And this is what happens, people.

And it gets worse.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:26 PM
552

535: It might be my right to smoke on that patio but I do not feel good about it with children around

Interesting, because if I were a smoker, I would not feel the least compunction about firing up in the circumstances you describe.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:28 PM
553

532: I am pretty sure that 1000x is pretty much the limit of light microscopy and for that you need oil immersion so I would question a microscope that says it goes to 1600x.

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:31 PM
554

551: And worser. Despite all of the reports, and the apparent inability to stem its woes, the brand's stock has traded higher and has been rated a "buy" by many experts.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:32 PM
555

553: I am not sure I could have made that sentence sound more equivocal. Maybe if I used the word pretty a couple more times.

Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:43 PM
556

Ari should get his kids a microscope that goes to 11.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 6:50 PM
557

Mr. Halford, you are a good sport about my peevishness. And, in fact, at 5'6"*, I can pull off "peevish" a lot more easily than rageful. Your guess is correct.

The thing that makes me laugh (not in a defensive, derisive, hooting way, I promise) is when people tell me "just talk to them like you'd talk to anyone else."

Smearcase: Hey, what's your fave Almodovar?

4-year-old: What, you're kidding me with this, right?

Smearcase: No, I'm serious. Isn't it fucking nuts how they took this really sincere turn around "All About my Mother" but still kind of didn't lose their edge?

4-year-old: What I wouldn't give for a sock filled with horse-manure! I happen to have Mr. Almodovar here behind this plant.

Pedro Almodovar: You know nothing of my work.

Well ok maybe I've misrepresented the 4-year-old in this dialogue but I guess what I'm getting at is, as Megan already said, it's probably also fine for a 4-year-old to interact with someone who isn't making a huge effort to speak kid and learn that some adults are not that fun to talk to. Or one day I could practice using that voice one uses and asking one of AWBs suggestions, which are after all kind of fun.

*driver's license height. Actual height: 5'5".

Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:02 PM
558

Chuck E Cheese: it's like you're trapped in the arcade at a dingy mall on the outskirts of a deindustrialized city, and it's 1981, and you're never going to get out of that place. Also: that mouse looks like a rat.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:02 PM
559

558: Rat Day. "You want a prediction about the pizza, you're asking the wrong Chuck. I'll give you a pizza prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life."

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:11 PM
560

559: You can't taste it for much more than a week.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:13 PM
561

557: Another entertaining gambit is to have a conversation that will involve the child saying the word "swirl." I guarantee it will come out "suhl" or "suh wuh wul." Either is good fun.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:18 PM
562

I can't really take them to restaurants that they don't hand out crayons or it gets too stressful for me.

Pro Tip: Bring your own crayons! (Or magic markers, which show up better on white tablecloths.)

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:19 PM
563

562: They now make markers that only make marks on the special paper that comes with the markers.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:21 PM
564

Yeah, the product in 562 is totally awesome.

Also, since the thread has calmed down, am I allowed to boast at how awesome my 2 1/2 year old kid is in restaurants? She's totally great. The last time we went out, she not only sat quietly, charmed everyone with her smile, and ordered her own kind of pizza (ham and pineapple) but told the server "Thank you so much for working so hard to bring me food."

(I will carefully keep all non-boasting anecdotes off of the internet. And I'm sure posting this means that our next trip out to eat will turn into a gigantic meltdown of epic proportions).

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:28 PM
565

Er, 563.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 7:29 PM
566

504: I thought we determined that book was all bark and no math? Is the little tyke unable to see through their physics envy?

Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:06 PM
567

It might be my right to smoke on that patio but I do not feel good about it with children around

Fuck that, dude (which I say as both a parent and an ex-smoker). The fact that everybody has to go outside to smoke now is compromise a-plenty. To expect that you or your kids won't even see it or ever be within ten feet under an open sky is absurd.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:08 PM
568

Now that I'm a parent and really need to smoke, I can't. That's the real absurdity.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:10 PM
569

567 is correct. The real problem here is Kriston's sensitive nature.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:11 PM
570

Anyway, I decided that I'm not going to vote in 5 Senatorial primary races while wearing a nicotine patch, so I'm 3 days clean.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:12 PM
571

Once again it all comes back to PERSNICKETY LIBERALS RUINING OUR FUN THEIR OWN FUN.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:12 PM
572

I thought we determined that book was all bark and no math?

I interpret those bits as expository metaphors to be kicked away once they get into explaining the actual developmental data.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:15 PM
573

That book sounds cool.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:18 PM
574

I think the book I actually read to my nephew was Action in Perception, though.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:19 PM
575

I daydream about someday getting that snide question "Oh, don't you like kids?" and have the gall to say thoughtfully, "Well, not yours...". But the kids would have to be well out of earshot and the parents irredeemable and avoidable.

Because, see, what gets up my nose about the parents I don't like is the simultaneous claim that children are citizens just like the rest of us, and the claim that childhood is valuable specifically because they have no control over their emotions and are Pure! and Honest! (There's a book I like on this, The Cute and the Cool.) I generally prefer the citizen side of things, and would like us all to cooperate in making them good and independent citizens promptly; but the more they are equals with adults, the more it's possible to dislike them for themselves.

Enough about me. Skimming the thread, I keep hearing that the places that can't resolve this don't have enough outdoor or gathering space to start with. Really? Or is it just that once the groups are circled up and defensive, they make the claims sound more important ("That's the only good lego!!")? ...and if there isn't enough public space, is there really not enough safe public space, or just not enough faux-public buy-your-way-to-comfort space? Finally, if there isn't enough safe public space, is it because people aren't allowed to drink there, or because they do?

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 8:19 PM
576
When Miss Manners entered this august profession, she did not imagine that she would be called upon to protect salacious talk in barrooms. But she doesn't suppose she can convince you to hold ladylike conversation, not just for the benefit of any stray barhopping children, but for the sake of decorum.
So she will require only one ladylike moment from you before you get back to your adult conversation. And that is to seem sympathetic when you say, "Well, we'll try, but you know, this is a bar, and this sort of thing is bound to keep happening. The children will be better protected in the family section." Or you can just say, "Of course," and move away.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-17-10 9:33 PM
577

Because the bar owners can do whatever the fuck they want? They are not legally required to cater to your demographic only and at all times.

Right, so I really only have time to read big Unfogged threads early in the morning, so I'm always way too late commenting and such, but this and similar remarks down the thread? Super annoying, that automatic appeal to property rights, as if that trumps everything else and the only relationship you can have to a place is as a consumer, that you have to either take or leave what's offered you but you can't attempt to change it.

A common habit on the cool side of comics fandom (no sniggering at the back) looking down on the rubes actually attached and getting angry about the treatment of their favourite character.

Stranger's kids are surprisingly grabby and climby with me, which doesn't bother me, 'cause, hey, temporary kid; maybe it'll say something funny.

What I like about the Sybil Vane critique, although it initially seemed crazy to me, is that I do think that there's something seriously wrong with the presumption that children should be excluded from public spaces or that it's OK to just generally "dislike" children unconsciously.

Apart from those childfree wankers, though the pendelum has swung pretty freaking far in the other direction, with the assumption that any public space should be childproofed....

Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 12:37 AM
578

There's an interesting line somewhere in Eve Sedgwick's work, in reference to arguments in theory, where she compares theorists to two people sharing a bed under electric blankets, but the controls have been switched. So Person A feels cold and turns the heat up. But Person B's blanket is the one that suddenly gets way too hot and he turns the heat down. And so forth. Eve Sedgwick is allowed to violate the analogy ban.

Replace Person A and Person B with parents and the childless in public spaces.

Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 1:01 AM
579

535 I don't. I might if I were at a playground, but if I'm in a bar space where smoking is permitted, then it's not my problem. If parents don't like it it's almost as crazy as bringing kids to a place which serves alcohol and complaining that folks are drinking in front of their impressionable babies. Of course the kids will be fine. Everyone above thirty spent their early childhood years in a world where folks smoked everywhere, all the time, including the playgrounds and nursery schools.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 1:11 AM
580

But in NYC, especially, I try to avoid waltzing into a gay bar, and was pretty embarrassed when my friend and I did so a few months ago.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:46 AM
581

re: 579

I've had adults tutting at me for smoking in their presence, outside, several metres away from them. You'd be surprised how touchy people are about cigarette smoke. If I was smoking in a beer garden and there were kids around I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone had an issue with it.

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:30 AM
582

You'd be surprised how touchy people are about cigarette smoke.

Why?

Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:45 AM
583

Why are people touchy? Or why would people be surprised at how touchy people are?

Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:49 AM
584

I hold some not-noticed-until-this-thread nostalgia for the pizza at Chuck E. Cheese (né Showbiz); I wonder if I can order some for carry-out so as to confirm that I'm wildly off-my-rocker.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:09 AM
585

Super annoying, that automatic appeal to property rights, as if that trumps everything else and the only relationship you can have to a place is as a consumer,

Um, no.

It isn't about property rights in the way you're thinking. Rather, it's about the assumption of a group of people that things are for them. That the relationship they have to a place is the most important one.

(Also, 577.2: thank you Jesus for the analogy ban, and let us all remain observant.)

Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:44 AM
586

Everyone above thirty spent their early childhood years in a world where folks smoked everywhere, all the time, including the playgrounds and nursery schools.

Nope, not out here at least. Cigarette smoke has been rare my entire life.

My Dad wouldn't marry my Mom unless she gave up smoking.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:31 AM
587

Martin was clearly talking about the rights of the bar owner to do what he wants with his property, which is orthogonal to whatever presumption his patrons might have regarding the bar. The quoted bit, and arguments like it, do seem to return ultimately to some property-right-esque consideration. (The bar owner doesn't have to defer to your thought that his bar is somehow for you because it isn't, but it isn't because it's … his!)

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:33 AM
588

I'm surprised, and I suppose I should consider myself lucky, at how very little public assholery gets aimed at me. Or at least, how much makes enough of an impact to be remembered. I can think of one instance of a stranger voicing disapproval of my smoking. (And, fair enough, I had stopped right in his path to light up as he opened a door and walked out onto the sidewalk.) Girlfriends have objected to it and some friends and family have called attention to it without explicitly criticizing, but no strangers have dared, AFAICR. I can think of a few instances of a kid being disruptive in public, but that was obviously a miserable kid spreading it around and in all but one case the parent was doing what they could to calm the kid down; the only instance I can remember of a strange kid bothering me personally was very mild, which I related in the thread discussing Sybil Vane's ridiculous post comparing not liking kids to bigotry. (Lest anyone think I'm being too anti-kid here, "ridiculous" was Halford's word: "The Jim Crow analogy is ridiculous.")

I don't know why. Do single women get targeted by this shit more? (No doubt they do, but some guys in this thread have had stories about bad experiences with kids, right?) Does it happen to me, but I just don't notice it or forget it quickly? (Maybe, but if I had any stories exactly like the ones in this thread, I think they would have stayed with me.) Maybe I've never lived in an urban enough environment. I spend most of my time in DC, but actually live in a suburb-like neighborhood in Arlington. Well, I'm looking for an apartment in DC proper right now, so I maybe this is something I should be prepared for.

Also, I really like 575, and it seems to get at the main problem, or rather, the main problem other than assholes who happen to also be parents, which of course doesn't include all parents.

Posted by: Cyrus | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:36 AM
589

587: is the right of a business owner to run their business in such a way that it remains financially viable a property right? I suppose after a fashion it is. But if you deny that right then you're jumping into a much deeper pool than just claiming that, you know, DC shouldn't have killed off Hal Jordan or whatever.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:36 AM
590

Anyway, "husbandable" surely means "able to be husbanded", right? As in "you can't save nice weather for later, it's not husbandable".
What he means to say is "eligible" or "marriageable" or "nubile". (The latter coming from nubere, to take as a husband.)

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:46 AM
591

I have no idea what your last sentence is on about, but if I decide to change my business around in ways that its current clientele dislikes, that by no means has to be because doing so is how I think I'll remain financially viable, so even if that right isn't a property right, it needn't figure in the present discussion. I can do it on a whim, or because I like the idea of having babies around, or whatever.

I'm not even sure how a right to run one's business in such a way that it remains financially viable could be a right. Sometimes no ways of running one's business will in fact result in its financial viability, so what's going on there? Have the owner's rights been violated?

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 9:47 AM
592

The expressive potential of going bankrupt has barely been scratched.

Posted by: clew | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 12:13 PM
593

I was thinking maybe nobody would notice how poorly phrased that was.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 12:16 PM
594

581 I wouldn't be surprised, I just wouldn't care. I believe I've mentioned an incident last year in Central Park where someone sat down on a bench where I was smoking cigarette and asked me to stop and was outraged when I said no and suggested that if they mind sitting around cigarette smoke, they shouldn't sit down next to someone who is smoking.

586 Neither of my parents have ever smoked, but that doesn't mean that there weren't cigarettes in every public space, indoor or outdoor with the exception of public transit.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:14 PM
595

The expressive potential of going bankrupt has barely been scratched.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:17 PM
596

594.2: I am not actually 30 yet but I am close (I know your original claim was age-modified) -- this was very much not the case for the part of California where I grew up. (And my father was a smoker.) Then again, I think we also had the very first indoor smoking ban.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:20 PM
597

594.1: An early David Sedaris piece for NPR was about smoking on a park bench and being asked to stop. "How about we make this a no-smoking bench?" "How about we make this a no-ugly-shoes bench?"

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:24 PM
598

583: Why would you be surprised about how touchy people can be about cigarette smoke?

Posted by: Ugh | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:26 PM
599

I think smoking is pretty strongly de-normalized in California, to the point that the cultural norm now is that it's the smoker's burden to avoid bothering other people in any public space, no matter what.

When I smoked, I wasn't even slightly offended if anyone, anywhere, asked me to put my cigarette out, because smoking itself seemed inherently antisocial. I mean, not that it should be illegal or anything, but that anyone bothered by the smoke had a right to ask to not be bothered. I definitely didn't feel like I had a strong right to smoke in public wherever I pleased. I guess this is a California thing.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:32 PM
600

KOBE SMOKES THE COMPETITION!

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:34 PM
601

My impression was that the big anti-smoking stuff started in the mid eighties. Which also makes me wonder about why so many people talk about how the constant smoking in Mad Men is so alien. That sort of thing continued for a long time. I know that my parents, who hate cigarette smoke, felt socially obliged to allow dinner guests to smoke in our apartment up until the mid or late eighties. We even had a couple ashtrays.

597 I can get being annoyed if someone sits down next to you and lights up, but the reverse situation takes chutzpah.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:38 PM
602

I'm willing to concede that this is unjustifiable, but I get annoyed if I'm running and I have to run by somebody who's smoking walking down the sidewalk, mostly because it kinda makes me feel like I'm going to puke. But yeah, weighing my right to get my exercise for free in public vs. their right to take their lung capacity out for money in public: see previous sentence, first clause.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:45 PM
603

That sort of thing continued for a long time, but not in all areas, is the point I think some are trying to make.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:45 PM
604

I don't really have a strong view on whether it's right or wrong, and I probably wouldn't do this, but, at least here, I wouldn't view someone who sat down on a park bench and asked someone to put out their cigarette as being radically outside the world of normal behavior. Smoking is shameful! And you should be able to go wherever you want in a public space without encountering it! (I'm just describing the attitude, not necessarily endorsing it).

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:45 PM
605

I loved Michael O'Hare's post about how once, "a properly furnished house had cigarettes set out on the sideboard and coffee table." But at least on the West Coast, I almost never saw smoking, indoors or out.

I believe people think the constant smoking in Mad Men is so alien. You know what looks like a different era to me? I've been watching Buffy (because my friend started me; normally, IDEHATV) and the early 2000s show a lost society, where people didn't have cell phones.

Buffy runs off to battle things, and her friends simply don't know where she is nor the outcome until she returns. They look remarkably undisturbed by the fact that in her absence, they don't know what is going on with her. That was only ten years ago and it already looks strange.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:50 PM
606

I get annoyed if I'm running and I have to run by somebody who's smoking

"Have to"?? Are you being chased by angry dogs?

Posted by: Brock Landers | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:57 PM
607

Hey! I just started watching Buffy too! (Netflix on my computer is great for procrastination.) And I had the exact same thought recently about cell phones. I thought it was a huge plot hole until I remembered, oh yeah - they don't really have cell phones yet.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:57 PM
608

604 And you should be able to go wherever you want in a public space without encountering it

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 2:59 PM
609

"Have to"?? Are you being chased by angry dogs?

There is such a thing as a route!

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:00 PM
610

oh yeah - they don't really have cell phones yet

Watching that brings out the Luddite in me. I'm nostalgic for no cell phones and pondering getting rid of home internet.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:02 PM
611

606: you know, I could turn around and run the opposite direction, or I could run out into traffic. But continuing on the path that I am on obliges me, yes. Or did you mean that I could just as easily run into them?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:06 PM
612

Except that by the beginning of the century cell phones were very common.

And to continue my previous comment, I find it a little funny that people are so unsympathetic to the idea of disliking having loud kids disrupting their reading or work or play in a cafe or bar, but fully understanding of expressing annoyance at cigarette smoke.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:08 PM
613

611: You could stop running and ask if they will bum you a cigarette. That would be the social thing to do.

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:10 PM
614

611.1: Buffy and I are pretty much exact contemporaries - there were very, very few cell phones in my high school (I don't actually remember anyone having one but I'm sure that's too far). They didn't become more normal until college (at which point I would assume the show starts picking them up, but I'm not there yet).

612.2: Pretty sure there's an analogy ban for a reason - cigarettes don't exactly equal kids.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:12 PM
615

I think I mentioned this here before, but Three Rivers Stadium had ashtrays in the locker room until the early '80s and Jack Lambert among others would smoke one or two at halftime. (They apparently went away when he retired.)

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:12 PM
616

cigarettes don't exactly equal kids

What are you talking about? Name one difference!

Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:13 PM
617

Obviously, that is supposed to be 612.1.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:13 PM
618

You could carry a water bottle and douse their lit cigarette. I mean, it's not like they're going to catch you. You're already up to speed, and they're a smoker, FFS.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:14 PM
619

I read an interview with the director of "Once" in which he said that the characters didn't have cell phones (even though their real-world equivalents obviously would have) because various plot developments required that one character not be able to just call up the other.

I am old enough (or something enough, anyway) that this hadn't struck me while watching the movie.

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:14 PM
620

612.2: I get that, but with cigarette smoke there's a feeling that people really ought to know better by now. I suppose it's unreasonable to feel that way and not feel the same about other sorts of health risks, but I don't think it's uncommon.

Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:15 PM
621

It is weird sometimes watching older movies where someone has to hurry to a pay phone, or make a phone call on the only phone in the house, or whatever, and thinking how these dramatic possibilities are no longer with us.

Ah! Lachrymae rerum!

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:16 PM
622

618: I just hold my breath.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:17 PM
623

616: I was going to make an argument about the dangerous effects of second-hand smoke versus kids, but then I realized that kids have gotten me sick many more times than cigarette smoke has caused me anything beyond passing discomfort.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:18 PM
624

621: or comedic possibilities; Blume and I were recently discussing the recurring joke in Annie Hall where whatsisface has to call his office to leave a litany of phone numbers at which he will be reachable over the next several hours.

(Tangentially, I said that this came across as "anachronistic", and Blume disagreed with my usage, so if you'd care to weigh in on that, anybody.)

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:20 PM
625

I'm with Blume. It's properly of its time.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:22 PM
626

Blume is right.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:22 PM
627

Well, I guess it could \text^H^H^H^H^Hcome across as anachronistic, if you didn't realize when Annie Hall was made or supposed to be set, or something.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:22 PM
628

But the movie is not cast as a period piece, and other than that doesn't come across as particularly rooted in its era.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:23 PM
629

627: right, that was my thinking.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:23 PM
630

What are you talking about? Name one difference!

Try smoking a child next time after sex.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:24 PM
631

Things that take place in their own period are rarely cast as period pieces, because they aren't period pieces.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:24 PM
632

This would be easier if I was talking about Sleeper.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:25 PM
633

I've caught myself constantly using "anachronistic" when I mean "archaic" or otherwise quaintly old-fashioned and out of date.

Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:25 PM
634

Except that by the beginning of the century cell phones were very common.

Not in the US in high schools and colleges.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:27 PM
635

"Archaic" seems a little strong, but given that the alternative is factually incorrect I suppose it might do.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:27 PM
636

I don't know about high schools, but they were pretty damn common among undergrads at my grad school. And I remember that living in Germany in 2000 pretty much every school kid on the buses was happily texting away.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:29 PM
637

Cell phones were way more common when I was in France in 1999 than they were in the US. It was explained to me as having something to do with exorbitant land line rates?

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:30 PM
638

And I remember that living in Germany in 2000 pretty much every school kid on the buses was happily texting away.

This happened much sooner in Europe than in the US. I was on study abroad in an eastern Europe country in 2002 and the local college students we met communicated primarily by texting, which none of us did. I figured at the time that this was because they probably didn't have computers at home like we did, for sending instant messages.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:32 PM
639

cigarettes don't exactly equal kids

They're small! They're a drain on one's finances and may irritate strangers! You sometimes have one after sex! I'm going to pretend I didn't see 630.

Posted by: persistently visible | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:32 PM
640

By "communicated primarily by texting" I mean "used their phones more for texting than for talking".

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:32 PM
641

Texting took off in Europe much earlier because of high voice call rates (if I remember, there were no plans with X number of daytime minutes -- you were charged per minute for all calls).

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:33 PM
642

I also salute Europe for evading the nerdview "cell phone" nomenclature that now seems unshakeable in this country.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:34 PM
643

doesn't come across as particularly rooted in its era.

Really?

"I'll have the mashed yeast."?
"Christ, I sound like FM radio."?
"I forgot my mantra."?
Tony Lacey?
The coke scene?
"Don't you know that the rest of the country thinks of us as left-wing, communist, Jewish, homosexual pornographers? I think of us that way sometimes, and I live here."?

OK, the last one is pretty much timeless.

Posted by: Mr. Blandings | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:34 PM
644

Okay, I think we've effectively established how very wrong I was.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:35 PM
645

635: "Archaic" seems a little strong, but given that the alternative is factually incorrect I suppose it might do.

"Dated", perhaps?

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:43 PM
646

No. No, I don't think that really covers it. It's not that it seems old fashioned, it's that it would seem genuinely mystifying to people who grew up in the age of cell phones.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:44 PM
647

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:44 PM
648

644.2: Tweety wants out of the van.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:46 PM
649

642 Cell phone in Polish is komórka (cell), short for telefon komórkowy.

Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:47 PM
650

Cell phones were way more common when I was in France in 1999 than they were in the US. It was explained to me as having something to do with exorbitant land line rates?

The explanation that had currency at the time has to do more with differences in call termination fees (the charge for using the last mile of the fixed line telephone network in a fixed-to-mobile call). U.S. cell phones had area codes like any other, so it was impossible to know whether you were calling a cell phone or a land line. Consequently, the termination fee was paid in the U.S. by the cell phone subscriber. In other words, as a cell phone subscriber, you got charged for every call you received from a fixed line, and monthly bills were high and wildly unpredictable. In Europe, mobile phones had distinctive area codes, and thus it was deemed possible to bill land line subscribers a premium rate for calling cell phones in order to cover the termination fee.

Partly in consequence of this difference, France adopted the forfait model (fixed fee for a defined amount of usage) much earlier than the U.S. Once the U.S. adopted the now ubiquitous X minutes plans (which adoption emerged from the consolidation of mobile companies and fixed line incumbents), cell phone penetration levels grew to European levels.

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:48 PM
651

I think the Europeans had unlimited texting rather than paying 10 cents per text at the time, as well. This was explained to us after our astoundment at their profligacy, sending three-word text after three-word text.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:50 PM
652

It's not that it seems old fashioned, it's that it would seem genuinely mystifying to people who grew up in the age of cell phones.

You know, I grew up in the age of telephones, but I don't find communication by telegraph and post, or the concept of a forwarding address, genuinely mystifying.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:51 PM
653

652: You date yourself, neb.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:53 PM
654

Well—to borrow a joke from Dilbert of all places—it's not as if anyone else would.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:55 PM
655

650: Thanks. I'm guessing this was also the explanation given to me at the time but my French was never more than so-so.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 3:55 PM
656

Parenthèses:

L'explication qui avait cours au moment doit faire plus avec des différences dans les frais de terminaison d'appel (les frais pour l'utilisation du dernier mile du réseau de téléphonie fixe dans un appel fixe-mobile). Les téléphones cellulaires des États-Unis avaient indicatifs régionaux comme les autres, il était donc impossible de savoir si vous appeliez un téléphone cellulaire ou une ligne terrestre. Par conséquent, les frais de résiliation ont ete payees aux États-Unis par l'abonné de téléphone cellulaire. En d'autres termes, comme un abonné de téléphone cellulaire, vous avez facturé pour chaque appel que vous avez reçu depuis une ligne fixe, et les factures mensuelles sont élevées et follement imprévisible. En Europe, les téléphones mobiles avaient codes domaine propre, et donc il a été jugé possible d'abonnés projet de loi des terres en ligne un taux de prime pour appeler les téléphones cellulaires afin de couvrir les frais de résiliation.

En partie à cause de cette différence, la France a adopté le modèle de forfait (prix fixe pour une quantité définie d'utilisation) beaucoup plus tôt que les États-Unis Une fois les États-Unis a adopté les plans d'aujourd'hui omniprésents X minutes (dont l'adoption émergé de la consolidation des sociétés de téléphonie mobile et ligne fixe titulaires), les niveaux de pénétration de téléphonie cellulaire a augmenté à des niveaux européens.

Posted by: | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:10 PM
657

Buffy
My kid has consumed like three seasons in the past two weekends. Netflix is great, but it's really putting my claim that the commercials are the most damaging feature of TV to the test.

I am hoping to catch a few nights of the Colombian remake of the Brazilian O Clone, it's on Telemundo.

Posted by: lw | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:25 PM
658

656: Hey, what do you know, I can read that! (It probably helps that the English translation is directly above, eh?)

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:27 PM
659

For the record, Kriston doesn't hate cute babies. Indeed, one of his secret sorrows is that my children are, um, unenthusiastic about his beard.

Then they run amok. Then E. Messily catches them.

But that is not actually relevant.

(hi, unfogged)

Posted by: Elizamuqin | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:37 PM
660

one of his secret sorrows

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:38 PM
661

Everyone, but especially Josh, is now scrambling to determine who Elizamuqin is.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:40 PM
662

659: So you're warranting him as husbandable?

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:42 PM
663

In the end, that wasn't very exciting.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:42 PM
664

she's the mom of the kid I made that castle for, that one time.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:45 PM
665

662: Um, err, uh, drr, hm. I'm sure, one day. Eminently. Yeah.

Posted by: Elizamuqin | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:47 PM
666

665: Harsh.

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:49 PM
667

Seven things: one force for mobile adoption was CPP (Calling Party Pays), as KR points out. Another was GSM itself - outside the US, by the late 90s there weren't different technology islands. Yet another - national-level spectrum licensing. You never had to pay roaming rates between Yorkshire and London. Still another - SMS interconnection, which was general in the UK by '99 but much later. Even further - pre-paid (PAYG) service, which was widely available in GSMland by the late 90s and which made mobile telephony something you could buy in cash, therefore dodging the whole "! My kids ran up a phone bill of x!" thing. Further still, SIM cards - you can take your number and your contacts between phones. Even still further - mobile number portability - move your number between operators....

Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:54 PM
668

So, since we're still sort of talking about places not to bring kids, here's a link to Pedophile Island.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 4:59 PM
669

668: it's so crazy it... is really really crazy!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:03 PM
670

The "Island" pedophiles will write their own "Island" constitution.

Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:07 PM
671

668: the drug program also seems like a winner

Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:11 PM
672

||

I just got a phone call:

"We're in the car with the kids, on our way to vote. [Pause.] Tell us who to vote for."

Parents: Objectively too busy to follow politics!

(This is related with great affection and humor, not snarkiness -- the person who called me is actually a very dear friend and wonderful citizen, who was never particularly interested in politics even before she had kids, but feels strongly about supporting sane, liberal-leaning elected officials. She and her husband were just using me as a human version of the League of Women Voters guide.)

||>

Posted by: Witt | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:11 PM
673

A real-life Pedoph Isle? I see this getting a lot of play on certain comedy podcasts.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:13 PM
674

Inhabitants listed in the Pedo File.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:15 PM
675

I feel bad even taking it this seriously, but the smaller channel islands are incredibly refuges for birds and (now that they're being replanted to some degree) native species.

So it only makes sense to cover them with pedophiles.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:26 PM
676

668: Well, I guess one man's policy proposal is another man's plea for help.

Yikes.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:27 PM
677

Pedophiles need to nest somewhere if you displace them from their natural habitat, which is playgrounds.

Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:28 PM
678

incredibly refuges

Off to the Island with him!

Tweety, the pedophiles can live in harmony with nature. Or can they? I, for one, am not willing to write off the possibility disgusting sex offenders building a sustainable society. I'm imagining that they will come up with some kind of artisinal export crop to bring in currency, perhaps some kind of cheese or liqueur.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:30 PM
679

Fennel-flavored feral pig.

Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:34 PM
680

I only skimmed his crazy proposal, but it gave me the feeling that he yearned to be a frontiersman, colonizing somewhere beautiful off the coast of CA. I didn't get the feeling that he yearns to be a pedophile, only that he's spent some time fantasizing over being on the first team of arrivals.

Posted by: Megan | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:38 PM
681

Totstralia, the Pedoph Isle.

Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:40 PM
682

||

Has anyone been to the Jersey Shore? Advice? Recommendations?

||>

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:42 PM
683

If some guy steals your drink at the Beachcomber Bar & Grill, let him keep it.

Posted by: jms | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:47 PM
684

682: Where are you going? As in Monmouth Co. or Cape May? Sandy Hook National Seashore (or whatever it is called) is nifty -- that's about an hour from where I think you are now. Asbury Park is happening and all, but not a kid place.

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 5:55 PM
685

684: Honestly, I don't know where we're going. One of my sisters is coming to visit and she wants to see the Jersey Shore. We'll have three kids with us, so it has to be family-friendly. Preferably something in the middling range in terms of price and aspirations (not resort-like expensive, but also not too grungy/tacky). I'm in Montclair.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:01 PM
686

Sandy Hook is teh awesome!

Long Branch was great back in the day; I don't know what kind of shape it's in these days.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:05 PM
687

One of my sisters is coming to visit and she wants to see the Jersey Shore.

She probably just meant the TV show. Go rent the DVDs, and you're all set.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:06 PM
688

They have TV in Canada now, Stanley.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:09 PM
689

Drive back and forth between Asbury Park and Mantoloking and make the whole trip a lesson on late-stage capitalism.

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:09 PM
690

668: What?! That's outrageous. Did one of our scientists give up the technology secrets, or what? I demand a blue-ribbon commission.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:14 PM
691

Long Branch is nicer than when we were kids, in one sense -- it's filled with fancy condos. On the other hand, there is no haunted mansion or bumper boats, etc. Sandy Hook is sort of groovy and environmental -- there are probably pix of me there in 1984 in a Police tshirt and hipwaders on an 8th-grade science trip -- and not at all tacky (so if your sister wants to see the Jersey Shore to see fist pumpers, etc there won't be any!). There are many very nice restaurants nearby and many just nice restaurants. I can find out more . . .

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:14 PM
692

690: yeah, who leaked the dark science behind... PEDOPHILE ISLAND!

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:18 PM
693

?

Posted by: Beefo Meaty | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:19 PM
694

688, that should have been. Dammit.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:20 PM
695

I feel guilty that 692 made me laugh.

Oudemia, thanks for these suggestions. Yeah, we're not so keen on the fist pumpers, so.

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:22 PM
696

no haunted mansion

So, so wrong.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:24 PM
697

The Haunted Mansion of Long Branch

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:29 PM
698

I remember that commercial!

That same page also has an ad for Two Guys, for which I have serious nostalgic affection.

Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:49 PM
699

698: Me too! Deep in my lizard brain, it means "toy. for. me."

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:51 PM
700

KOBE!

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:54 PM
701

Guy covering Kobe.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:56 PM
702

Because he's a step behind.

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:57 PM
703

You know, if women can be pedophiles, they could create their own kids on Pedophile Island.

Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 6:59 PM
704

702: Take it to Standpipe's blog.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:01 PM
705

Posted by: Mary Catherine | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:06 PM
706

You know whose jingle I can still recite from childhood memory? Empire's.

Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:11 PM
707

705: Loon! (Yeah, not quite the same as community theater rejects in pancake makeup.)

Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 7:17 PM
708

706: That's still on the TV. How hard can it be to remember?

Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 8:00 PM
709

I don't know why, maybe it's because I'm avoiding leechblock by commenting in another browser, but I feel compelled to point out that Buffy as a tv series started in 1997. Cell phones started to become common where I was (Bay Area) about 1999. I remember people running off to the stairwell at the library to answer them, and not having seen too many people do that earlier. They were, by that time, already common in western Europe, or so I'm led to believe.

There's a car chase in To Live and Die in LA where the lack of cellphones or carphones was conspicuous to my anachronistic movie-viewing ways.

Also, in the early 80s, also in the Bay Area, my Swiss grandmother went outside to smoke specifically to get the smoke away from us kids. She quit for good around 1983 and this was not an unusual thing to do. She'd started smoking about 50 years earlier; this was also not unusual. If you want to go by anecdotal movie/film evidence, I suspect there was actually a real drop in smoking from the 1930s to the 1960s and after, even if there was nto much of a drop in people having cigarettes. I have not watched Mad Men, so I don't know what it looks like there.

Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 10:28 PM
710

There's a car chase in To Live and Die in LA where the lack of cellphones or carphones was conspicuous to my anachronistic movie-viewing ways.

"The French Connection" is really bad for this. This is an effect of the movie being ahead of its time in a lot of ways.

Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 10:31 PM
711

Buffy as a tv series started in 1997.

Yep, and she's supposed to be sophomore in high school. This was the year I was a sophomore, too. The clothes in the series make me feel slightly better about my high school wardrobe, which really was awful. But at least I can see that I was dressed terribly because pretty much everyone was.

Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 05-18-10 10:35 PM
712

here's a link to Pedophile Island.

Maybe the actually *want* to live on an island:

No one wants to live near them, but no one, especially law enforcement, knows where to put them. "Everybody says put them on an island," says Young. "Every sex offender I know would say, 'Where's the island? I'll go! Just tell me where it is.'"

Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 05-19-10 8:00 AM
713

709: even worse - saw a detective film once in which one of the characters had a mobile phone the size of a brick, and this was a) a sign that he was ultra-rich and a bit of a flash City type and b) central to the plot, because the unexpected plot twist was that he could have made a crucial phone call from anywhere!

Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 05-19-10 8:11 AM