Saturday, February 18, 2006

Decontamination @ Table Five
Or, Don't Shit Where You Eat

I was out with a friend last night, parked along the street next to a café, and I was waiting in the car while they went in to pick up something for their dinner. While I waited, I saw a woman come out with a baby who was about one-year old dangling in her arms. She went over to her car, reached in and grabbed a diaper bag. While she was doing this, her other child was inside, watching Mom from the window and making faces.

Mom then marched over to an al fresco table in front of me, propped the kid up standing in front of her, pulled the child's pants down, ripped off a disposable diaper (which was muddy), grabbed a wipe from the diaper bag and proceeded to wipe the baby's butt in the eating area. Once the new diaper was in place she then walked over to a waste can between the restaurant and the curb, and she dumped the soiled diaper into it, walked back inside and rejoined her other child. I think my jaw was slack during this entire clean-up operation.

I thought, "At the very least, with her car right there, couldn't she perform this act in the back seat of her own car?" Wiping down a shitty baby where people eat??? Can you become so stressed, so jaded about your actions with your children that you lose any consciousness of basic proprieties? When the weather warms up in the next few weeks, think about what's been going on at that table before you sit down to eat, folks.


Blogger Stef said...

That's so disgusting. I hate those little reminders of all the gross things that happen when we're not looking....

8:51 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

I was "this close" to getting in her face about it, Stef, but it was Friday night, I had worked late & wanted to get home. I'm sure if I had, she would have looked back at me with ignorance. Some people are too far gone into their own little worlds.

9:05 PM  
Blogger trueborn said...

Tastes like E. Coli!

9:39 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

...and doesn't smell like teen spirit.

10:31 PM  
Blogger Siryn said...

Blech... and I just ate something before reading this, too!

10:37 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

So...was it a boy or a girl?

This may or may not sway how damaging she may be to the patrons.

Still. GOOD. LORD.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Sorry, Siryn. I felt queasy watching it, given it was all done on a dining table.

Miss Playful: Female, which also gave me pause since people were walking right by her on the sidewalk.

11:27 PM  
Blogger Merujo said...

People are idiots, I swear. This is why I nearly bathe in Purell whenever I go out in DC anymore...

11:46 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

:::passing Handi-Wipe™ to Miss Merujo:::

11:48 PM  
Blogger I-66 said...

[throwing used handi-wipes at Cube]


1:07 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

BRAT! :::tossing crumpled HandiWipes™ back at I-66::::

1:17 AM  
Blogger Megarita said...

Ugh. I've had something similar (but really not comparable) happen and I did make some comment to the ladymom and got my ass handed to me for my pains. I tend to avoid telling people how to parent or whatever, but when basic hygiene goes out the window (or on the table), then something must be done. I mean, she had a car right there?!??


8:50 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Megarita: Her car was parked directly in front of mine. I'm "assuming" the restroom didn't have a changing station. I don't know. If it wasn't bad enough her doing this on a dining table, it "squared" itself when she left a soiled diaper in an openly exposed waste can. I'm filing her under those egocentric individuals who think the world revolves around them. Blinders on. The ones who will pull their moving car into where you are driving, solely because they now want to be in that lane. Doesn't matter if there is already a moving ton of metal in that spot.

11:10 AM  
Blogger always write said...

Ummm, location please? I'd like to know where not to eat.

12:19 PM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

Interesting that the mother should go to anOTHER table understanding that she wouldn't change the diaper at her own, right? THAT would be disgusting, indeed!

Hopefully, the wait-staff saw the situation and cleaned up after her at both of the tables she used.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Gross, but hilarious. Hilarious only, of course, because I wasn't there eating. *Puke*

12:24 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

To play devil's advocate, I don't usually trust the surface of any outdoor table (I mean, birds are equally disrespectful), so I wouldn't get too worked up about this. Of course, I wasn't trying to eat at an adjoining table...

1:23 PM  
Blogger Tales From the Club said...

So sad to see a peson get to the point where they just don't give a shit ... er ... um ... well, I guess she kinda did give a shit, but in a different way ...


1:45 PM  
Blogger Larissa said...

ugh, that's just SO nast. sorry you had to see it!

4:42 PM  
Blogger mysterygirl! said...

That's just wrong. Like you said, her car was right there! Bad idea.

6:37 PM  
Anonymous Wrethcat said...

Grooooooooooooooooooooooooss! Do I really want to bring a child into a world where people are so inconsiderate and nasty?

OOOOOOOOOHHHH! Can I put them in a fashion colored bubble that keeps out germs?

>^, ,^<

10:27 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

OK. As a parent, I can tell you I've changed diapers in a whole lot of places. Including tables at rest areas on the New Jersey turnpike. Of course, anyone eating anything off a bare table on the Jersey TP deserves all the ecoli they get.

I tend to change diapers on changing areas in bathrooms or on floors, but if a restaurant doesn't provide a changing area and their bathroom is cramped and filthy, I will make a point to change the diaper as close to the wait station as possible.

11:14 PM  
Anonymous drew said...

Was there no one from the resturant around? It was the duty of the manager or waiter/waitress to ask the patron to find a more suitable place for their unsanitary and offensive conduct.

I am CERTAIN that if you had complained to the manager, you would have gotten your meal for free due to their neglect. Small compensation, but it would draw appropriate attention to the inexcusable and inappropriate inattention.

2:06 AM  
Blogger Sharkbait said...

Those tables are gross as they are anyway, there is no need to add to it.

Sheesh. Talk about inconsiderate.

8:29 AM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Yikes! Ugh. Wasn't there a changing table in the restaurant bathroom?

9:41 AM  
Blogger VP of Dior said...

i agree that you could have tracked down a waiter/manager the minute mommy broke out the huggies. that's just gross.

10:41 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

From the description, its sounds as if she's not too concerned with her little girl's hygeine either.

As a father of 2, I can attest that there's a lot more going on down there than one would care to know when it comes to changing a dirty diaper.

The car should always the be the first option if no changing area is available.

11:02 AM  
Blogger NubianTemptres43 said...

i agree with always write and vp of dior . . .

11:34 AM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

Remember, friends, that Cube was "waiting in the car" while the events unfolded. Had Cube been in the restaurant I'm sure she wouldh've alerted the wait-staff and the decontamination squad to gel-ignite the table.

The parent was inconsiderate of everyone and it wasn't up to Cube to get out of the car and approach the mother. Why didn't the mother change the baby on the hood of the car? Heh, probably because she didn't want to ruin the finish.

4:11 PM  
Blogger Chairborne Stranger said...

Cubie-your stuff has sure gotten more graphic! well, maybe strange? or interesting?

3:38 AM  
Blogger Smash said...

Some people think that worrying about germs is being paranoid. I had an old roommate who made fun of me for using paper towels to open the door of a public restroom after I had washed my hands (because I didn't want to get them all diseased and dirty on my way out of the bathroom).

10:15 AM  
Anonymous drew said...

Apologies for neglecting the part where Cube was waiting in the car. I had it in my head that she was at a nearby table. Thank you, thaimex1 for pointing that out.

Surely, the only remaining civilized solution would have been to start honking the horn from the parking spot and pointing at the dastardly diaper-doer while shrieking like a bloated, birthing yak on cocaine with a massive case of Tourette's syndrome.

I'm sure the manager's attention would have been obtained. };>

1:17 PM  
Blogger Mr. Anthrope said...

I wonder if the same oblivious mother would take issue if I uriated in a trashcan near her because the restroom was occupied when I felt the need to go - ?

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have a cat

2:49 PM  
Blogger Sub Girl said...


5:10 PM  
Blogger DC Cookie said...

I just vomited in my mouth.

6:45 PM  
Blogger ThaiMex1 said...

DC Cookie? "If you can dodge a wrench..."

*I* got reference!!!

8:10 PM  
Blogger Heather B. said...

You handled this much better than I. Because I would've had no problems with telling her how completely disgusting that is as well as throwing in a few choice words.

10:57 AM  
Blogger Blue Dog Art said...

OK. I'm a mom of two small boys. I, like Mass, have changed diapers in all kinds of places. NEVER on a restaurant table. Eeeww! The changing tables in restrooms are in my experience germ infested and nasty. I'd rather change the diaper (using a changing pad)in my car.

Not to steal your thunder here, but many years ago, long before I became a parent, while watching a parade, I witnessed a woman allow her child to drop trou and shit right on Constitution Ave. Right there on the street in a crowd of people. I'm sure I said something, probably not directly to her, but certainly loud enough for her to hear. People can be nasty.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Matt said...

I agree that diaper changes should be performed discreetly. Yet, I fully support breastfeeding--anywhere. It's natural AND beautiful.

6:41 PM  
Blogger Glibbidy said...

I would choose a discrete area out of view of the public. In the car works best, hell even under the table, but on the table, that's just plain wrong.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Janet M. Kincaid said...

Oh. My. God. Oh My God. Are you kidding? Just when you think you've seen it or read it or heard it all, there's something to astound, dismay, baffle, and leave you speechless.

Gross. And the sick thing is, as you pointed out in your comments, she probably would have looked at you like she didn't know what you were talking about or why you were so upset.

People are becoming so much more self-absorbed, self-center, self-interested, just plain selfish, it makes me want to pack it in and move to Siberia.

8:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once a mother take her little boy's poop filled pull-up's diaper off on the beach, and she let the kid run around with poopy butt. Personally I don't mind the smell of dirty diapers, I used to work in daycare, but to let your toddler run around naked with a poopy bottom that another story.

10:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

POOPY BUTT? i seen plenty myself from little naked kids at the beach no big deal.

4:51 PM  

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