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.

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