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.
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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.