It happened again. Kids in a bar. I know I’m asking for shit when I talk about stuff like this, but my story is different this time, so bear with me for a minute.
I went to the Moose yesterday to meet up with friends and watch the KU game. I got there first. The bar itself was empty. I expected at least 2 friends, so I saved 2 seats. The rest of the bar area was full of KU fans taking advantage of the $7 Bud Light pitchers, and the upgraded brunch the Moose has started serving on Sundays. Because of the brunch going until 2 p.m., there were less tables than usual in the bar, and seats in there were at a premium. In fact, while I was there, only one table became free, and it was gone almost as soon as it opened.
It wasn’t long before someone came in and sat on my left at the bar. He respected the chair I was leaning on, and took the one on the other side of it. He was meeting 2 people as well…they showed up over the course of the next 30 -60 minutes, respectively.
On the other side of me (I like sitting in the center of the bar), I had my coat and scarf on the chair to signify it was taken. About 15 minutes before the game started I heard someone say, “You guys just wanna sit at the bar?” I looked over to see a family of 4, mom, dad, and their son and daughter – I would guess the kids were about 11 and 13. The dad had his laptop open as soon as he set it down...mmkaay. Then the mom started to try to take the seat I had my coat on, and I had to stop her…”I’m sorry, I’m saving this seat for someone.” Oh, she said. They scooted down one, and took up the final 4 seats at the right-hand side of the bar. (Who the fuck does that? There was a fucking COAT on the chair! Dude. Get out more. For those unaware, the coat/purse/jacket slung over an empty chair is the universal sign that (a) someone is sitting there, and will be right back from wherever they've gone to or (b) its being saved for someone that will arrive shortly. DUH.)
I called out to the bartender, “Hey Nick, have fun with this one. [pointing with my thumb in the direction of the family] Unbelievable, eh?” As most of you well know, I don’t mask my derision with families sitting at the bar. Particularly when they aren’t there just waiting for a table in the main dining room, and when they seemingly have no clue that a big game is about to start, and that maybe GROWN UPS who are there to watch it with their friends would like a place to sit and have a few beers while they watch the game unfold. I shot more than one dirty look their way while they were there, and when my friend Jim came in right as the game began and needed a seat, I moved my coat and said he was more than welcome to that one, as long as he didn’t mind sitting next to a kid.
The family ate their food that they had ordered, and went on their way as halftime ended, and the people who had been sitting back behind a post in the waiting area for the restaurant descended on the open seats like vultures. I had heard the bartender apologize to the family for something…not in a huge way. Just a “sorry ‘bout that” and I wasn’t sure if they had complained about my mouthiness, or if the manager had actually told them they couldn’t sit there and needed to move along, or what. As far as I’m concerned, Nick was too nice, and should have told them they needed to move into the main dining room as soon as they sat down. (Isn't it illegal for minors to sit at the bar? I can't find anything online about it, so correct me if I'm wrong on that. It should be if it isn't.) But he works for tips…I totally get that he makes a living from being nice to whoever may cross his path.
Anyway, it didn’t exactly set me off on the right foot for the rest of the day. I should have stayed at home, in hindsight. Because MAN! WTF???