My Version of Hell

Does anyone else live near a Caffe Nero (or the like)? I’ve been spending a horrific amount of time in the one across the street from where I live because I’ve moved to a new flat and my broadband hasn’t been connected yet (a rant for another time). There is a nice open wi-fi connection there where I can work.

What I’m wondering is: Is it just mine (Lordship Lane, East Dulwich) or do they all basically serve as mums-and-screaming babies clubs during the day? It is truly unbelievable. They just converge every day and take the place over. Today, I counted six screaming kids at once. And because they have a critical mass, the mothers just go on as if everything is normal — chatting about breast feeding and rashes. Why is it acceptable to let kids scream in this particular public place, when it wouldn’t be tolerated in most other settings? Parents obviously know that you can’t take your kids just anywhere, like, say, the opera. But who decides where is acceptable and where is not? I need to speak to them.

7 Comments so far

  1. DP (unregistered) on July 26th, 2006 @ 9:12 pm

    Have you ever noticed that some people treat public places, like coffee bars, as their own private offices and become annoyed when others dare to speak, laugh, or make merry.

    What I’m wondering is: Is it just mine or do they all basically serve as offices for hack writers and bloggers? It is truly unbelievable. They just converge every day and take the place over. Today, I counted six peevish keyboard peckers at once. And because they have a critical mass, they act as if everything is normal — pecking away for hours and seldom purchasing anything. Why is it acceptable to expect quiet in this particular public place, when quiet is not tolerated in most other settings? Misanthropes obviously know that they can’t go just anywhere, like, say, the opera and avoid people. But who decides where is acceptable and where is not? I need to speak to them.


  2. sean (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 1:43 am

    Touché.


  3. Alex Maws (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 10:26 am

    Well, sort of touché. a) I’m the first to admit that coffee shops are a terrible place to work (aside from the screaming kid issue, there is the repetitive soundtrack issue and lots more) — I’m only doing it until my broadband gets connected; b) whilst the whole laptop-and-latte thing is a bit pretentious, it is hardly as annoying as a screaming kid, now is it? And c) why is is misanthropic to dislike the sound of multiple screaming children? I’m not anti-merriment, just anti-enclosed space shrieking.

    Anyway, a well executed piss-take.


  4. Sean (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 1:32 pm

    Over so soon? I was looking forward to a long drawn out feud. :-)


  5. Tomas (unregistered) on July 27th, 2006 @ 4:20 pm

    Me too. As far as I’m concerned it’s still all up in the air between negligent parents and laptop layabouts. Round 2 dingding!


  6. PFC (unregistered) on July 29th, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

    were you never a child????

    *giggles*


  7. Alex Maws (unregistered) on July 30th, 2006 @ 1:09 pm

    Although my memory of it is hazy, I do vaguely recall once having been a child myself. Because of this, I don’t blame children for being annoying, I blame their parents for subjecting others to this annoyance.

    Having kids involves changing your lifestyle. I know that this is often difficult for people to accept, which is why contraception is readily available to all. If you are going to have kids, you have to be prepared to deal with your kids. That doesn’t mean that you can’t ever take them to ‘grown-up’ places, but it means you should probably bring things to keep them entertained whilst you are there (and no, screaming does not count as entertainment). You also have to teach them how to behave in these settings, and, if all else fails, be prepared to pack up and leave.

    Like the mothers at Caffe Nero, I personally wouldn’t want to have to deal with this level of micro-management either… that’s why I don’t have kids.



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