Source: The Independent

Brunchers Behaving Badly

by Heather Buchanan

December 03, 2008

I knew the state of American holiday revelry had reached a dark place when my eyebrow waxer who was Irish said that she couldn’t believe how much people in New York drank on Thanksgiving, noting that they were already toasted before noon when she got on the bus to come to the Hamptons. Clearly these were late risers as the rest had already kicked off early morning turkey stuffing with a Bloody Mary.

I said that certainly there was a difference between a festive glass of bubbly and a sexy Pocahontas outfit and a drunken debauchery ending up with personal insults and Rover with the turkey carcass on his head.

I explained to the sweet Irish lass that alcohol and close proximity to one’s family while everyone is in a tryptophan haze while playing with one non-edible side dish which becomes fodder for a food fight is just a bad combination. Luckily there is one last bastion of civility where one can escape on such holidays. The American Hotel. Simply the formal Victorian décor and European accented greeting by the manager in suit and tie hints at proper boarding school manners.

Well, on this holiday, not so much.

Apparently a group of diners who were doing far more drinking than dining got quite loud and then belligerent. When they were cut off, the alpha male of the group started screaming or more likely slurring at the top of his lungs. Other patrons were more than miffed as they had already left their drunken, surly relatives at home and were paying good money to sit quietly at the bar without having to listen to someone else’s.

When said, gentile manager approached to politely ask them to leave, the offender turned to him, announced he was a hit man, and informed my fine German friend that he was going to kill him.

The manager replied, “If you would like, you can come back tomorrow and kill me, but today you have to leave.” Belligerent and humorless is another bad combination and at this point the police had to be called in.

Look, it is called Thanks – giving. It shouldn’t be a day where the dog is desperately trying to eat his way out of a bird’s rib cage on his head and a restaurant manager shouldn’t have his life threatened. And certainly it shouldn’t be the day before a security guard is trampled to death on the opening bell of Wal-Mart. It used to be that our ancestors were using this holiday to celebrate being alive, but that meant being saved from starvation, not hoards of people clamoring for a cheap plasma TV or up-Island hit men.

A little Emily Post holiday training might be in order because with Christmas and New Years soon to be upon us it makes Thanksgiving look like a spin around the trauma block with training wheels. Like alternate side parking enforcement, a few general golden rules should be in order: if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all: pets dislike stuffed antlers even more than turkey carcasses because they can’t eat your way clear: martini/breast rules should be in full force that three are too many; stuff is just stuff even if it is a half price plasma TV; and you should always be kind to the staff at the American Hotel.

And most importantly, you should take a moment to be grateful for all the blessings you do have in your life, like the amazing Irish girl who makes your eyebrows look great.

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