Get Out of Town July 2

Before we begin, I have a question. If you’re a fan of the Sioux Falls Storm, does that make you a Storm Chaser?
So this week’s episode of Get Out of Town is a bit different. No politicians are going to be skewered; no media ho’s will get their panties in a bundle. This week I’m bringing up a subject that has affected almost everybody at some point…but it’s rare that anyone will do anything about it.
No more. I’ve had it and will not take it anymore. What am I talking about? Unruly children in public. Now I’m not saying that I’m a perfect father, or that my son is perfect. There were times in his early years that he acted in appropriately in public, and his mother and I dealt with it appropriately.
But we must have been a rare example of people dealing with our responsibilities. I’ve noticed a trend lately – people seem to pretend that their children aren’t even around when they’re in public. They do their shopping; their eating; their touring; even their drinking without even caring what their little bastards are getting into.
Here are a few recent examples:
At the Tom Petty concert last week there were a number of extremely young children who had no business being around a bunch of drunk, pot-smoking, acidheads. They had no desire to be there. One young mother wasted a front row ticket on her toddler-aged child. Within two songs the kid was asleep.
Sitting next to me at the show was a young couple with a six or seven year old. Before Petty hit the stage, the child and her mother came and inspected their seats at least a half dozen times. They didn’t even sit down; they just squeezed their way in, looked at their seat for a second, and squeezed back out. To her credit, though, at least she was reasonably entertained by the show and wasn’t much of a problem once the show started.
The day after the Petty show, Alec and I went down to Omaha with the rest of my family to visit the Omaha Zoo. While the zoo was pretty cool, there were moments where I was tempted to give a swat or two to some screaming brats. While their parents were in their own little world, these kids couldn’t go a few seconds without some kind of scream-fest. Some were running around, hiding behind exhibits so they could scare their siblings, which generally caused another kid to come close to knocking over a few other brats. Was harsh words spoken by the parents? Hell, no.
Finally, there was an incident at Boomer’s this past Sunday morning. Not in any mood to deal with much of anything, I just wanted to scarf down some greasy breakfast food. Instead I had to listen to this nitwit scream for at least a half hour straight. I’m not exaggerating. This kid was out of control. Finally, an eating companion yelled, “tell your goddamn devil child to quit screaming!” Nearby tables applauded. A couple of minutes later, this trailer trash family walked out, seemingly oblivious to the discomfort caused by their children.
I’m no child-rearing expert, but common sense should tell people that they’re responsible for the behavior of their children. If they’re acting up, they need to take action to quiet them. Sometimes that does mean you have to leave your meal, movie, or concert. You can’t just sit their and ignore them. If they can’t behave in public, get a fricking babysitter.


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