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Smoking, banshees and brats

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Smoking, banshees and brats

by Esther Lewis
08 Aug 2007
Peoples Post
Peoples Post

CHILDREN do not belong in smoking rooms. Ever since the legal eagles came up with that brilliant law of segregating smokers from non-smokers, I have had this one gripe.

The air is thick with smoke and one may leave the restaurant smelling like an ashtray. But hey, it's okay.

It's our choice to go in there. We're all adults capable of making our own decisions, right? Wrong!

About this issue, people have said, "poor children". Poor children? Poor me is more like it. Too often my friends and I have been faced with the same scenario when dining out.

We sit down, order drinks, and light up. Then something catches our attention.

There are two children at the table next to us. They seem to be aged five and two years old. The two-year-old starts screaming for dear life. Mom tries her best to calm the screaming banshee, but to no avail.

My friends and I carry on with our banter, but because the banshee has now upped the volume of its screams, we do too. My friend says a naughty word. The mother looks very disapprovingly at our table. Shaking her head, she mumbles something to her husband about us not noticing there were children around.

No my dear, we are quite aware of your children.

And we are quite aware that they shouldn't be in the smoking area.

In fact, wasn't a law passed about this very thing recently?

Just then the five-year-old starts jumping up and down on the seat.

The parents do nothing to stop this attention-seeking little brat. The brat runs around between tables, knocking into my back a few times.

I spill my drink all over the table. I give the brat the most evil look I can muster, hoping to intimidate it into sitting down quietly.

The mother catches me and once again shakes her head at me!

I think she should be directing her watchful eye to her brat, who at this point is seriously starting to annoy my friends and I.

The now sugar-rushed brat takes off its shoes and starts sliding about on the floors.

All I want to do is hold out my foot. But I don't.

Instead, I ask our waitress why on earth they still allow children in there.

She says they did try to enforce the ban once, but too many patrons complained about not being allowed into the smoking area with their children.

Well, as a paying customer I am now officially complaining about this.

I see a child at another table. Unlike the brothers Brat and Banshee, this child was very quiet.

Until she burst into a coughing fit.

I know smoking is bad for me, but it's a decision I've made as an adult.

But parents who drag children along with them, give these kids no choice - not to mention other patrons who have to put up with them.

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