Is there anything worse than bringing a baby to a bar?
Judging by all the anger that’s being vented online, this seems to be among the most grievous sins any parent can commit.
To begin with, it’s more than likely the lonely, bitter, child-hating singles who seem to be so put out by this are in the minority, and that the majority of bar-patrons either don’t care, or accept the fact that there’s really no getting around the situation because babies need to be with their parents and their parents need to relax and have a few drinks before they completely lose their minds.
(Though I might be more than a little biased about that.)
On the other hand, if the baby-haters are in the majority, then… well… at least they’re in a bar where they can just order another round to numb their senses, right?
But forget that for the moment.
It seems like the primary objection to babies in bars is that they do a lot of things that ruin it for everyone else.
Maybe that’s true, but is a suckling newborn any more off-putting or “obscene” than two semi-intoxicated singles groping each other in a back corner of the bar that’s not nearly as dim as they think it is?
If spit-up is the problem, it’s important to keep in mind that when babies do that — whether in the car, or in a bar, or in a country called Myanmar (sorry, too much Dr. Seuss) — they usually do it on themselves, their mom or their mom’s childless, single friend who suggested they meet for a drink in the first place.
The same can’t be said for the just-turned-21 winner of the “Let’s see how many shots of Jack Daniels I can do” contest.
(Though he, too, may spit up on mom’s single, childless friend:
JUST-TURNED-21-YEAR-OLD: You ever watch “Cougar Town?”
MOM’S CHILDLESS, SINGLE FRIEND: I do, actually.
JUST-TURNED-21-YEAR-OLD: Me, too. I… I…
MOM’S CHILDLESS, SINGLE FRIEND: You want to come over and watch it with me some time?
JUST-TURNED-21-YEAR-OLD: No, I think I’m gonna be sick. BLA-AAAAA-A-A-TCH.
Think baby spit-up smells bad? It’s nothing compared to the stench of half-digested bar nuts and bourbon.)
So what about drool?
Any two geezers who’ve spent the entire day knocking back $2 PBRs produce a lot more than an infant.
Ditto for diapers, and the whole Huggies vs. Depends thing, too.
Which leaves what? Crying?
Sure, that can be loud, grating and unstoppable, but even a 5-month-old with a bad case of colic can’t compete with the sobs and wails that ring out when those same two semi-intoxicated singles run into each other a few nights later and one claims to have absolutely no memory of the other, let alone the passionate night they spent together where they pledged their mutual love and promised to be soul mates forever.
Conclusion: Baby-haters 0, Babies 1
In fact, maybe more than “1″ when you consider that to singles, a baby in a bar might not just be a reminder that they should enjoy themselves while they can still get out of the house without hiring a sitter, but that they should be careful, too, lest some intoxicated encounter take an intimate turn and they find themselves having to do that way too soon.
Now… if there’s anywhere babies should be banned, it’s coffee houses, because nothing makes every coo, burp, squeal, shriek or sob more irritating than a whole lot of caffeine.
(Note: to be fair, of course, if we ban babies from coffee houses, we should also ban loud talkers, people who yell into their cell phones like they’re stuck in a hurricane, anyone with an iPod who sings along to whatever’s playing through their earbuds, people who push three or four tables together to have a staff meeting, teenagers who spread their textbooks out across all the tables but then sit there and text their friends instead of studying, anyone trying to sell anything, promote anything, or affect any kind of social change, anyone coming from, or going to yoga, because who needs that kind of guilt, politicians, dog walkers who leave their dogs outside, nannies who leave their strollers outside, and, of course, anyone trying to write anything on a laptop — especially if it’s a post like this.)
Links to the many online articles and rants:
“Babies in Bars”/New York Times Blog
“Babies in Bars”/CNN
“Babies in Bars”/Luke Constantino
“Babies in Bars”/Brownstoner
“Babies in Bars”/New York Blips
“Babies in Bars”/The Nervous Breakdown
“Babies in Bars”/Parent Dish
“Babies in Bars”/Gothamist
“Babies in Bars”/New York Times