The Pissociated Dress
CAROLINA BEACH, N.C. – Several children’s rights advocacy groups today are sounding off after hearing reports a 17-year-old boy was asked to leave a restaurant recently for violating its policy regarding screaming children.
A spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Youngsters – a for-profit group of people who claim to be for the ethical treatment of youngsters – said the situation was a “blatant act of child abuse … (that) humiliated an otherwise masculine individual.”
That’s why the group has sprang into action, according to PETY master-at-arms John Claggart.
“What these people have done,” Claggart said of restaurant staff, “is made someone who’s almost old enough to look at pornographic websites feel like a child … like an outcast who isn’t welcome in their restaurant.”
The reported incident reportedly took place at Olde Salty’s restaurant, which serves steaks, chops, chicken and barbecue, but will not – as of earlier this month – tolerate screaming children, according to signage in front of the store.
The policy was first reported by local media around Sept. 6, reaching national media outlets almost immediately thereafter.
Claggart said in the time since, PETY offices have been “almost inundated” by children’s rights advocates and parents, many of whom “can’t believe a business would allow their child based on the nature of their behavior.”
Claggart also said children of most who the concerned “aren’t even close to being 17,” but age makes no difference in this matter.
“Basically, the boy walked in with his mother and sibling and was trying to play a handheld video game he’d brought with him,” Claggart said he was told. “When his mother refused to unclip the leash she was pulling him with so he could play his game easier, he began to cry and – I was told – scream a little bit.
“It was at that point a waiter or somebody asked the mother to take the boy outside.”
The boy is Billy Budd of nearby Wilmington – a private high school student who does not participate in sports. Attempts to reach Billy via e-mail were tailed off by his mother, Starry Vere-Budd, who monitors all of her son’s internet activity.
She said the matter comes down to equal treatment for her teenager, who was “kicking,” “screaming,” “jumping up and down like a pogo stick with his arms at his sides,” but – most importantly – also had tears streaming down his face.
“And to take someone like that and just throw him outside like a dog … is just awful,” Vere-Budd wrote.
Witnesses and restaurant officials didn’t seem as moved.
“He sounded a lot like a hyena,” one diner said. “First he came in with his family, then came over to our table and asked my 5-year-old if he wanted to trade Silly Bandz … I told him he better go back to his table and finish his macaroni and cheese.
“Next thing I know, he’s being asked to leave. Pitiful, really.”
Restaurant owners said “the danger from screaming children is grave, it is real, and (their) goal is to eliminate this threat.”
Three people in this coastal North Carolina community have suggested adding a “crying children” section to the restaurant so non-crying children and their constituents can continue to feel more significant to humanity than their weeping counterparts.
However, that could just make crying children feel even more stereotyped and – all in all – “add fuel to the fire,” a Mothers Against Restaurants That Hate Adolescents spokeswoman said, adding people have got to take a stand against restaurants that hate adolescents.
According to the spokeswoman, when news of Olde Salty’s policy broke, MARTHA members immediately began considering plans to have automobile stickers showing support for their mission printed. They’re not traditional bumper stickers, the MARTHA spokeswoman said, but are intended for the back windshield of a minivan, car or minivan.
It is not known when the stickers will be finished.
“They might could go right alongside those stick figure stickers you have for each person in your family,” the spokeswoman said. “It’s just something to show some mothers – good mothers, anyway – are against restaurants that hate adolescents.”
The spokeswoman – who asked her name not be revealed but suggested an outlandish alias – would not say how many MARTHA members roam the Earth since “they are like ninjas.” She insisted, though, the group came before the “screaming children” sign, and the national media coverage only “awakened a sleeping giant.”
PETY, meanwhile, has plans to mobilize already in place.
Beginning Sept. 31, TV commercials featuring Motley Crue guitarist Nikki Sixx sitting on a couch with a youngster on his knee as he asks for money over “Dr. Feelgood” playing in the background are expected to air nationwide. Viewers will be able to make donations via phone, internet and by text messaging “SUCKER” to 54321.
Money raised, Claggart said, will be used to fund frivolous lawsuits that allege someone treated a youngster unethically. Including, potentially, one against Olde Salty’s.
“Maybe a teacher didn’t discipline a student who wrote ‘You suck’ on another student’s trapper keeper well enough that the victimized student didn‘t think he or she sucks anymore,” Claggart said of potential lawsuit foundations. “Maybe a parent washed their child’s mouth out for saying a bad word with non-organic soap … or maybe there’s a restaurant in town that won’t let a 17-year-old boy inside because he gets very emotional about things.
“We are here to make sure these youngsters get compensation for being mistreated in hopes it prevents the same thing from happening to another youngster.”