Deluged by Republican presidential candidates who wanted to politic with the people dining at New Hampshire's Colby's Breakfast and Lunch restaurant -- and customers complaining about the interruptions -- a manager put up this sign: "No Politicians No Exceptions."
"There is a time and a place, and the customers should be able to choose -- when and where," Colby's employee Andrew Booth tells us. "We don't allow solicitation in the store, I mean we don't allow hobos in here to solicit..."
Harsh? Yes, but how much sympathy can actively campaigning politicians really hope to get right now with the economy still bruised-up, Congress making headlines every day for all the wrong reasons, and candidates like Newt Gingrich and Rick "Google Problem" Santorum slutting up our airwaves and interrupting people's meals?
Diners are fed up. Here are our top five reasons why campaigning politicians irritate restaurant diners -- and can we get a side of "get the f*ck lost" with that?
5. These guys and gals have fundraisers for that.
Fundraising dinners for candidates can cost thousands a plate -- and supporters choose to pay it, choose to be at them, choose to listen to choir-preaching stump speeches while they are picking at their plates of beef Wellington. So why do everyday diners have to hear that crap over the blue-plate meatloaf special? Sure, folks can choose not to eat where politicians are yapping, but why should they have to? Locals were there first, they'll be there after the circus leaves town. And having a candidate "drop in" over lunch in a diner is exactly as annoying as a crowd of jabbering idiots invading your kitchen.
4. Restaurant patrons have cable.
Thanks to our blessed 24-hour news cycle and 24-hour media outlets, people have unlimited access to every piece of information they ever wanted to know (and plenty they didn't want to know) about every political candidate. We all get that politicians who are running for office want to be seen as plain-spoken men/women of the people, but let's keep it real: They aren't Henry-mother-effing-Clay, and people generally recognize that the down-to-earth, folksy charm thing is affected -- so give the humble, hard-working masses a break. If regular people want to watch a staged performance while they're eating, they'll pack a picnic and do Shakespeare in the park.
3. Small restaurants don't need the clown brigades screwing up their volume business hours.
Andrew Booth, the Colby's employee, explains this perfectly: "We are a small business so we must have turnaround times with the tables, and politicians crowd up the place and slow everything down. Between this summer and two weeks ago, we had five or six politicians in here, and they would come in with large parties and security and tie up the whole place." A suck-up gasbag in a suit phalanxed by a goon squad and surrounded by glazy-eyed sycophants log-jamming peak breakfast hours is nobody's idea of a pleasant meal. If you really want to try and eat a stack of pancakes while surrounded by turd-waffles and liars, just hit up Denny's on any random weekend night.
2. Condescension makes a lousy condiment.
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If someone has to spend time, money and effort trying to appear like a normal person, then they probably aren't one. Americans have their class-warfare sensitivities, and one of them is broke-trying-to-act-rich. Another one is rich people donning jeans and flannels, pretending to be working class and making sure everyone sees them doing it. These vote-soliciting fakers would be easy to spot even if they weren't surrounded by staffers: They are the ones ordering the breakfast burrito with everything on the side and no hot sauce.
1. People really don't want to see/hear/smell bullshit while they are eating.
Seriously. Politicians have nothing on a day at the farm, and nobody likes Eggs Benedict with a side of fecal persuasion when they could have seasonal fruit or toast instead.