Diners: Stop being disgusting!

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Welcome to In the Weeds. Kyle will be right with you -- most likely to complain about something. Usually he is pleasant, but this is his place to blow off some steam. Don't take it personally; he just needs to vent because he's been doing this for about thirteen years. Enjoy your meal.

As humans, we are factories of grossness. Babies don't know any better than to freely dispel horrific smells, sounds and fluids. But grown adults in public are supposed to have more control; we're supposed to know better:

Just because someone is being waited on doesn't mean he or she should disregard basic hygienic decency. A restaurant is a place for people to enjoy a dining experience, not a dispensary for their partially chewed food and waste. So diners caught doing the following things in a restaurant should be confined to eating in the privacy of their own homes until they can demonstrate some semblance of hygienic competence.

Handing me partially chewed food: A woman once decided calamari was not to her liking, and rather than pushing through the entire 0.5 ounces she handed me the squid wrapped in a napkin and said, "I'm going to give you this," as if it were a gift.

As a member of the customer-service industry, I forced a non-disgusted expression on my face and fetched her a new napkin rather than saying, "No, you're going to find an appropriate method of disposal like an actual adult." Ask for a paper napkin and leave it on the plate. Or if you're so devoid of manners as to hand me food that was in your mouth, try saying something like, "I'm really sorry, but could you throw this away for me?" Let's not pretend food covered in saliva is anything less than a repulsive nuisance.

Leaving snotty Kleenex all over the table: In no restaurant does visiting the bathroom entail a miles-long trek. Take your Kleenex to a trash can. Yes, being sick sucks -- but that's no reason to infest the rest of the restaurant with this illness, which is obviously the "snot-spewing lazy asshole" virus. Sticking gum under the tables and chairs: Really? We're still dealing with this? It's a terrible sign if an adult's behavior patterns resemble those of a thoughtless, uneducated, ADD-riddled kindergartner. Plastic gloves and a screwdriver should not be necessary tools for my job.

Dropping chewing tobacco packets on the floor: If frat boys and cowboys want to slowly kill themselves with some nasty shit that smells like a mix of mint and manure, that's their choice. Just keep it tucked in the lip. Chewing loudly or with the mouth open: Tongue and lip smacking. The sound of food mashing. Little bits of food flying on the table. Heavy nose breathing. It's all terrible and it makes me want to hold the offending diner's mouth shut. His friends probably want to stab him in the neck with a fork.

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