I've mentioned in the past that Corb works at a hotel, as a front office manager, and that as part of his job, he has to work week-ends, once a month. It's really not a bad deal, usually. I drive down with the kids on Fridays so they can stay the night, and then have the room to myself after I drop them back home on Saturday morning. I get a lot of writing done, and most of the time it's pretty peaceful.
Those times when it's not peaceful usually involve the presence of hockey teams, as the hotel is located about three mile aways from a ice arena. When the hockey events involve girls, it's usually a noiseless affair. It's when the boys are back in town that things get loud. Especially when the events are for boys under the age of 13.
This week-end seems particularly bad, too, because the parents of the kids in the hotel seem to have checked any idea of parental responsibility at the door. From what I've seen, the parents have mostly spent their week-end hanging out in the gatehouse area, drinking, and have given their kids permission to run around the hotel and do whatever they want.
Even then, I really don't care much. I mean, I come from a noisy family, so I can live with the sound of running footsteps up and down the halls and a few loud crashes every so often. I can deal with the sounds of screaming kids, fighting and laughing and cursing and blowing off steam. No problem. I can even deal with the kids running around and setting off the car alarms in the parking lot. Knock yourselves out!
However, the traffic did keep Corb hopping, and tonight, he was so busy that he couldn't get out of the hotel for supper until nine. Even then, he didn't want to go too far from the hotel, in case an emergency came up, so we decided to eat at a nearby Bertucci's.
The minute we sat down and had ordered, though, Corb looked over at the entrance and his face fell. "They're following me," he groaned.
"What do you mean?" I asked.
"There's been this one group of hockey parents that have really been the worst all week-end," he said. "They've let their kids do everything. And they're right behind us."
I glanced over at the entrance. There appeared to be about ten parents, and seven pre-teen boys. Then I looked over at the staff, and realized that they were clearing a table on the other side of the restaurant. Well, that's cool. No big deal, I thought.
I watched as the parents sat down at the table, and then I heard a commotion behind me. That's when I realized that the parents were the ONLY ones sitting at the table on the other side of the restaurant.
These people actually had the nerve to seat their kids at a separate table, far away from them, so that they wouldn't bother their meal. And guess which table the kids were being placed at?
That's when I started to see red. A hotel's one thing, but when you go to a restaurant and seat your kids far away from you, totally unsupervised and disrupting the dinner of everyone around them, you're starting to schnizzle my knizzle.
It was so bad that I could hardly hear what Corb was saying from across the table. The kids were screaming and yelling and talking and laughing. One kid kept talking about his penis and then laughing loudly. One kid appeared to be about five years old.
Every so often, a mother from across the room would come over and check on them. I noticed that it was the same woman, each and every time. Apparently the other parents couldn't be bothered.
"Some dinner," fumed Corb. "I was really hoping for some peace."
I looked over at the parents, drinking away. "Well, at least THE'RE having a nice time," I said, sarcastically. "You know, I don't work at the hotel. Can't I say something?"
"Please don't," said Corb. "But I sure wish someone had a gun."
"Or rat poison for their chicken parm," I said.
"Do you want dessert?" our waitress asked, as we were wrapping things up.
"What I want is some peace and quiet," I grumbled.
"Isn't it awful?" she said, glancing over at the kids.
"They didn't really ask for their kids to be seated apart from them, did they?" I asked.
"Oh yes they did," she said. She thought for a minute. "Do you want me to seat you at another table?"
"Yes, that'd be great," said Corb.
As we moved tables, I noticed that the scarificial mother was headed back to the kid's table. I decided to stare right at her, to let her know her little brats were being totally obnoxious. She kept her gaze averted, refusing to look at me.
"Ted, stop that," said Corb.
"Why?" I said, continuing to glare in her direction.
"Stop it!" he said. "You won't see them, but I'll have to deal with them in the morning, and if they see you glaring at them, they're going to be awful when I have to check them out."
"Why? You're not doing anything," I said.
"No, but you're with me, and they know I'm here. So cut it out!"
Reluctantly, I stopped glaring at the hapless hockey mom. I tell you, sometimes Corb doesn't let me have any fun at all.
At least dessert was good. We gave the waitress a nice tip, for being nice enough to take pity on us and let us eat in peace.
I guess I could see Corb's point, but really, what those stupid hockey parents did was the height of selfishness. They couldn't give two shits about the other customers in the restaurant, just as long as their little darlings were placed as far away as possible, so that they could enjoy their dinner. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for your own spawn? My mother would never have let us be so far from her at a public restaurant, growing up. Josie and I would never have let it happen, either! I tell you, I had half a mind to tell the waitress to send our bill over to them, so that they could pay for it.
I'm sort of hoping I see this family tomorrow morning, at breakfast. And if I do, they'd better pray they have their hockey sticks, nearby...I intend to do some high sticking...