Each week that I sit down to write this column, I become more convinced of one thing: journalists are not very creative. Scrolling through 200+ stories about restaurants this week I discovered that every newspaper in the country reported: a) huge snowstorms are bad for business and b) restaurants try to entice customers with specials for some game that is played tomorrow. Yawn. Fortunately, there was just enough happening this week to keep this column afloat. I have some big updates on past stories and tales of vigilante justice in America’s dining rooms.
As always, let’s start with updates on stories covered in the past:
Longtime readers of this column (ie skippy mom) will undoubtedly remember the protests in Naperville, IL of a restaurant called “Show-Me’s.” The protests were unsuccessful and the restaurant opens this week. I was sort of disappointed not to get an invite to the grand opening. (Naperville, IL)
Of course there is still hope for the invite to the grand opening in Muncie, where there were no protests and the restaurant is slated to open in March. (Muncie, IN)
I generally don’t do this in this column, but I am going to take a moment to tell why this story bothers me so much. When I was 15 an “adult store” opened not far from where I grew up. It replaced a liquor store, which brings up a debate of its own about societal ills. There were protesters outside this store for months. One day a man crested the hill by this store and was so distracted by the protestors that he didn’t see the car ahead of him that had stopped to make a left turn. The man driving the car died that day in front of a crowd of protestors who had brought their children out to help advance their cause. Just short of two decades later a Show Me’s opened up about 4 blocks away. It went out of business in less than 6 months. No protestors, no deaths, and no children scarred for life in the process.
Last week, I wrote about a server fired for shaving her head. She did so to support an uncle who had cancer. This is the third time I have included a story like this, but the first time that sufficient outrage was generated to do something about it. The paper followed up by interviewing the waitress. Even with a shaved head, she still looks better than I do. (Minneapolis, MN)
Earlier this week my girlfriend and I were out shopping. She was hungry and I suggested the Chick-Fil-A across the street. She looked at me as if I had suggested robbing the place. I didn’t get the memo, but apparently Chick-Fil-A donated food and money to organizations that oppose gay marriage. Will someone “cc:” me on these memos? (South Bend, IN)
Not to be outdone, a Christian activist is pushing to boycott Chili’s for supporting the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. He claims they push for “Sexual Freedoms” while promoting a “deviant agenda.” I try not to take sides on this blog, but I tend to be pro-freedom and against calling people “deviant.” I am not usually one to support Darden, but I have a pretty strong craving for some baby back ribs right about now. (I’m not going to click on this dude’s website to find out where he is located)
Speaking of family values, I think both sides can agree that overdosing on heroin in a restaurant bathroom while your kids are eating is wrong. (Cincinnati, OH)
We just hired a new training class at my restaurant. I imagine they will stand out far less following me around the restaurant than these “trainees” will. (Minneapolis, MN)
I’m not sure where I come down on this next story. A restaurant in Hawaii has decided to add a 15% gratuity to any guest who does not speak English. Discrimination? Definitely. We will soon find out how many former servers sit on the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission. (Honolulu, HI)
In an incredibly uplifting story that gives me renewed faith in humanity, a Twilight themed restaurant is closing. (Forks, WA)
Finally, I wanted to end with a trio of cautionary tales. Criminals who targeted restaurants this week were in for a rude awakening. Customers are fighting back and stopping crooks. So if you are thinking about robbing a restaurant remember that you just might:
Get caught in the office. (Tacoma, WA)
Be left standing in the drive-thru. (Rochester, NY)
Get beat up by two women and a 12 year old boy. (Shenango, PA)
That is all for this week. I personally am about to start boycotting newspapers that refuse to include which state they are in. “Springfield’s News Leader” is not sufficient to determine which Springfield they are referring to. I blame it on the homosexuals and their agenda. If this keeps up, I will be asking you to shave your heads in solidarity since I will have pulled all my hair out. We will not be holding our organizational meetings at Chick-Fil-A though.