March 9, 2010

The Ghost of Parental Responsibility

One night, Keene and I went out to dinner (sans kids) to Beau Jo's Pizza. For those unfortunate souls who have not experienced this place...well, that sucks.

So, there was a family at the next table: a mom, a dad, a grandparent (presumably), and two little girls. The girls looked to be maybe 5 and 7 years old respectively. These girls were wild. They ran around the table, jumping, yelling. The parents didn't do or say anything to control them.

The only thing I dislike more than bad children are bad parents.

Even though Keene and I joked about them and had some laughs at their expense, it was still annoying. They were quickly ruining our lovely, kid-free evening. Our conversation was constantly interrupted by their screams. Since the restaurant's floor was made of wood, their stomps reverberated throughout the room.

I jokingly said I was about to go apeshit on the mother.

Except that I wasn't joking at all.

All of a sudden, a heavy iron, antique pan (which had been hanging on the wall above the mother's head) fell from its place, narrowly avoiding the mother and smashing a light on its way down. It had obviously been shaken loose by the jumping girls, right?

The entire room went dead-quiet and everyone stared at them, waiting to see what would happen next. Then, the mother said very quietly, "That's enough jumping."


I looked at Keene and, in awe, said, "I used The Force!" We finished our dinner in the kind of awestruck sense of peace.

Later in the night, the family stood up to leave. Managing to still ignore their children, the parents paid no mind as the younger of the two girls stood up and nearly pushed through the emergency exit.

Keene and I were in hysterics, wishing against all wishes that the little girl would reach the exit before her parents noticed. Unfortunately, the grandma stopped her. Maybe next time, though. Because with parents like that, you know there will be a next time.

We've since determined that the Ghost of Parental Responsibility was with us in the restaurant that night. It was the Ghost that made the pan fall from the wall as a way to say, "Pay attention to your damn kids or I'll pay attention to you!"

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