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Josh Hafner at USA Today asks, “Alexa, are you turning my kid into a jerk?” All these apps that allow kids to boss adult voices around aiding in the insubordinate attitude we all see in public?  Hafner’s point is that should we be adding another layer of insubordination to at least two already insubordinate generations?

By Pat Merriman

Nothing could better demonstrate this than my Wednesday last week. The Bear went in for a colonoscopy and, I was by her side where I was supposed to be. And, I was a little stressed. It wasn’t that I was trying to be a jerk…I think I only said maybe 5 words. But, my daughter has told me for 3 decades that I have this “wolf look” that gives people the bejeebies.

I don’t know about that but, just like Selena’s two births, I was uptight. So much so that, once again, my neck was so sore for 3 days I couldn’t turn my head and, the hospital staff was constantly reassuring me that she was going to be OK. Of course, she came through like a champ but, try telling me that.

Anyway, after the “procedure”, my wife was starving. I mean not eating for over 24 hours makes you hungry. Bringing home this week’s point. See, I was going to call this “To pee or not to pee” continuing to paraphrase William Shakespeare, “Whether ‘tis noble to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous millennials or retaliate by writing an editorial about their increasingly rude behavior.”

Back on August 12, 2015, I wrote “Hi, I’m Rude & I’ll be Your Server this Evening” about this topic. Well, it ain’t getting no better. When Bear, Sam, Ara, Jack and I all hooked up at this Dickinson restaurant (I was going to print the name but, the manager and hostess were SO gracious, I just can’t) last Wednesday, Samantha got her own taste of what I’ve been complaining about since the mid-90’s about her generation.

I’d finally wound down from the “procedure”, Jack and I are playing with crayons (actually throwing them at each other) and the women were chatting until Samantha sat down at the table, “Oh my gosh, I just sat in water…no it smells like…” Yep, someone’s kid had tinkled in that chair. The rude, pink-haired, 20-something waitress (who was already in a huff because our brunch mates were 5 minutes late) had not bothered to wipe off the chair.

So, Samantha has to head to Walmart for a change of drawers, the hostess (my age) is beside herself but, this snotty little waitress is now PO’d because it’s going to be at least another 10 minutes before Sam gets back and we can finally eat. I let it slide because I’m an “elected official” who has to be polite and, frankly, I know my daughter. The restaurant manager IS going to hear about this.

Sam gets back, the waitress asks, “what’s the problem now” and, Sam tells her about sitting in the wee. Miss Clueless pontificates that she’s been there all morning and no children sat there. Ignoring that this might have been there since last night and, insinuating that Sam’s a liar—dramatic pause.

Well, long story short, Sam’s food was free, apology from everyone except the waitress and life goes on. The next day, the manager called again to apologize. And, I know there’s a labor shortage but, hey, like I said 2 years ago, “the customer is always right” and, the tip I gave this waitress on the ticket? “Don’t call my daughter a liar” plus two pennies. Go figure.


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