Monday, March 25, 2013

Burger King Bingo

I found myself with the kids in a Burger King the other day.  This wasn't just any Burger King though, but one with a full scale indoor playground for children.

These play areas attached to fast food joints are an ingenious marketing ploy and should be applauded; the behavior of many parents and their offspring in these places, however, should not.

Now, to be clear, taking your kids to any Burger King should be considered a form of child abuse, but at least they're happy while goofing around in the play area. The problem is they don't bore that easily while there and the same cannot be said about dad.

To pass time, I found myself playing BINGO with the posted rules to see how long it would take before I could successfully check off that every single one of them had been broken or ignored or challenged.

Rules To Live By?

1) Kids must be supervised by a happy adult! I guess the operative word here is "supervised". Can you supervise a kid (or two) while sitting fifty feet away with your face buried in a Whopper texting on your smart phone? Probably not, but at least the aforementioned adults ostensibly have the "happy" criterion covered.

2) Kids must be 4 - 10 years old to play here. I saw toddlers. I saw adolescents with hairy lips. All the more reason to make sure (1) above is being followed.

3) Remove shoes. Keep your SOCKS ON!!! Put shoes and all loose items in the shoe keeper. I suspect that the wise folks at Burger King H.O. needed to emphasize "SOCKS ON" by capitalizing every letter because it's the rule broken most often. Judging by the number of little blackened feet I saw, this isn't a place where you want kids barefooted. Of course, the over cautious parents just let their kids keep their shoes on, thereby breaking another rule, but at least they're not part of the group who have left their shoes strewn everywhere, except the specified "shoe keeper" where they belong.

4) No running! No climbing on the outside of the nets or fences. To be fair, most parents will try to enforce this one. In fact, it would appear that some haven't had their kids running or jumping anywhere, EVER. Shame!

5) No food or drink allowed in the playground structure. There's nothing like wading through ketchup, ice cream, and half eaten burgers while frolicking around in your sock feet.

6) If you see anything weird, tell the manager immediately. I'm pretty sure this is politically-correct-speak for "Watch out for pedophiles" and I'm just as sure that the manager couldn't spell it.

7) We are not responsible for lost or stolen items. Ah, where would we be without lawyers adding their value? Is anyone responsible for anything these days?

There are certainly more important rules in life that our children will need to follow as they grow, but if we are unwilling to enforce the simple ones, good luck with others.