You Can Get Anything You Want…

…at Alice’s Restaurant. (‘Ceptin’ Alice. Go ahead, kids, look it up.) But this is my restaurant, and although you can get anything you want here, too, there are rules. Maybe if more restaurants would adopt my rules, more people would go out to restaurants.

Rule No. 1: We have a special area for families with small children. It’s called “take-out.” Really, folks, leave your kids at home. If you can’t, we’re running a special: Fussy children eat free. Honest. If you have a fussy child, we will pay you to eat. In fact, we insist on it. We will even box up your food and help you to your car. In fact, we will insist on that, too. Other diners have the right to eat in peace, and there are more of them than there are of you. Which brings us to…

Rule No. 2: If you plan on using your cellphone at your table, you might as well make it a long conversation, because your food ain’t coming any time soon. In fact, it may never come at all. We will, however, charge rent on the phone booth you’re occupying.

Rule No. 3: Take off your damned hat inside the restaurant! This ain’t a damn ballpark!

Rule No. 4: Always be polite to the people who handle your food. If you have a problem, please bring it to our attention, but if you’re rude to the staff, you take your chances.

Rule No. 5: Don’t linger over an empty plate when people are waiting for a table. They want to eat, too. If you want to continue your conversation, either order dessert or move to Starbucks, where you can stare at others taking up tables with their laptops and empty cups.

Yeah, these are all common-sense rules, and any civilized person should be able to follow them with ease. But just sit down at any family restaurant these days and you’ll see violations of at least three rules. And I’m sure none of these folks means to be rude, they’re just thoughtless morons.

And that would never apply to you, would it?

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