Mama Sass

Diners behaving badly

Did you hear about the Seattle area family that had 4 bucks subtracted from its restaurant bill as a reward for having well-behaved kids?

I applaud the thoughtful Italian restaurant for encouraging polite behavior among guests, but why stop at diners under the age of 8?

I certainly have sympathy for anybody who has to put up with ill-mannered children when they’re trying to have a nice meal, but my history of fine dining has been far more disrupted by rude adults than pint-sized patrons.

Why are we always picking on kids? I propose discounts be applied for well-behaved adults who manage to avoid these annoying habits:

•  2% off for dog owners who refrain from plopping their puny pups and their nasty paws on the table.

•  10% off for dog owners who leave their dogs at home.

•  4% off for those not talking into their cell phone so loudly that everyone within a 10-table radius feels like they’re part of the conversation.

•  1% off for guests who don’t snap their fingers at the waiter to get his attention.

•  5% off for bridal parties and baby showers that refrain from screaming.

•  6% off for customers who adhere to the 18% gratuity built into most bills without leaving nasty messages on the receipts.

•  3% off for being lovebirds but refraining from excessive PDA in front of us (it spoils our appetite).

•  6% off for diners who refrain from blowing their noses into their cloth napkins (that really spoils our appetite).

•  8% off for patrons who don’t scowl at our kids and assume the worst.

Mama Sass, a Miami mother of two, blogs at, where she welcomes comments.

Read more Lifestyle stories from the Miami Herald

Diver Frank Notte gets ready to go over the side of the St. Nicholas VII and demonstrate old-fashioned sponge harvesting on the Anclote River in Tarpon Springs.

    Tarpon Springs

    Dive into Greek culture on the Florida coast? Opa!

    First we saw a few bubbles. Then so many that the water seemed to boil. Next appeared a bulbous brass helmet, big as a beach ball, trailing a long rubber hose. A human hand clasped the side of the wooden boat. A minute later, the diver had climbed back aboard the St. Nicholas VII. Clad in traditional early-20th-century diving getup, he appeared to have stepped directly from a Jules Verne novel.

The work 'IMAG_NE' by Australian artist Emma Anna, coming to Boca Raton this fall, on display in Sydney, Australia in 2008.

    Florida notes

    It’s the season to see Key Deer

    Dear to the hearts of many are the miniature deer that exist only in the Florida Keys. Fully grown, these Key Deer stand only two to three feet high, but resemble their bigger siblings in every respect: Stags grow a full set of antlers, does charm with their limpid eyes.

  • Skin Deep

    What’s the difference between skin rejuvenation and skin resurfacing?

    Although the terms “skin rejuvenation” and “skin resurfacing” are often used interchangeably, there is a distinct difference. Rejuvenation is anything that makes the skin look better—i.e. skincare products, treatments or in-office procedures—while resurfacing refers to a treatment or procedure that physically removes the top layer of the skin. Simply put, skin resurfacing is just one way to accomplish skin rejuvenation.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category