A couple took their infant to a Denver Starbucks this week, and when they didn't find a changing table in the restroom, they decided to do a ragey protest-change on a table in the dining room. This incident didn't end well. After being confronted by store employees about the public diaper change, the dynamic duo threw a hissy fit, one of them dumped coffee on the floor, and the cops were called in to keep the peace.
It's pretty gross to change a dirty diaper on a table where people eat and drink, with other people eating and drinking at tables around you. But sadly, this isn't the only bad behavior exhibited in dining rooms. Here are five things people shouldn't have to be told NOT to do in public eating spaces.
5. Sucking face past the cute point PDA has levels, and the first few aren't so bad -- hugging, some cutsie hand-holding, a few subtle neck-nips, even a kiss or two with mild tongue action generally don't offend. But when these sweet, semi-innocent acts turn into stuff you have to pay-per-view to see on late-night cable, then take it out of the restaurant (hint: hotels offer private rooms with beds and everything!). And those people who feed each other little bites of food from their plates might think they are being romantic, but even zoo monkeys would shriek and hide their faces if they were forced to watch.
4. Digging into bodily orifices From time to time everyone has an itch that really needs to be scratched -- welcome to the human condition. But it should go without saying that it's inappropriate to scratch at, or tunnel into, certain body parts in public view, especially in front of other people who are eating and drinking. A discreet trip to the restroom to handle that sort of business is the best way to go -- but unfortunately, some people never quite learned that nose-picking, butt-digging, pit-raking and crotch-adjusting (we can blame music videos for the last one) aren't activities that endear them to fellow diners, or anyone else.
3. Doing a mani or pedi Watching someone get their fingernails or toenails done is boring, and watching someone give themselves an impromptu manicure or pedicure is even more boring, but watching someone take a file to their nails or smelling the acrid stench of nail polish while you're trying to eat? Boredom is quickly replaced by fully-justified wrath. My Grammy used to give me a good smack if I started to brush my hair at the dining room table, but I've seen folks sitting at café tables over lunch bust out emery boards, shove wads of tissue between their toes and go at their piggies like the restaurant was a Beverly Hills salon. I had a coffeeshop co-worker once whip out a bottle of polish and start swiping away at her nails while I was trying to eat; when I asked why she was doing that there, she replied that it was her lunch break, as if that made the mani perfectly okay.
2. Using body spray There are people who never got the memo that their personal aroma rituals should be just that -- personal. It's bad enough when you have people who bathe their skin-sacks in AXE or those aerosol perfumes that make farts smell like fresh cupcakes sit next to you at restaurants, but when they add injury to insult by squirting a few refresher gusts at the table? That should be a hanging offense, up there with cattle-rustling or taking all the cheese samples at the grocery store.
1. Changing diapers The Denver couple who changed their kid at Starbucks made big news this week, but they weren't the first people to plunk their kid on a restaurant table and expose baby junk and baby waste matter to a roomful of strangers trying to sip their coffee and eat their crumb cake. And I betcha dollars-to-disposable-diapers that they won't be the last.
Starbucks isn't a McDonald's playland; it's geared toward coffee-drinking adults who go there for a reasonably low-noise, low-drama environment. The parents blaming their bad behavior on the lack of changing tables was shittier than the diaper they changed. After all, childfree adults don't go to a Chuck E. Cheese and expect baristas to make them double-whip vanilla lattes.
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