Restaurants, Mind Your Fucking Televisions

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Aw, OK, this one's kinda cute.
​Gut Check has begrudgingly accepted the sad fact that there will often be an illuminated screen of one type or another shoved in our faces when we eat. Sometimes it's a date that won't put his damn iPhone away, and sometimes there's a blaring flatscreen in every nook and cranny of a restaurant. No, we don't simply dine at sports bars and wing joints, either. We're talking about decent places with nice decor that really should not have a television, much less eight of them.

But, what can you do? It's an ugly, tacky sign of the times.

So, we deal with it when we, mid-sentence, catch our friends staring past us and at a Jersey Shore rerun. Because, rude as it may seem, it's nearly impossible to ignore the screaming flash of the screen (and orange tans), especially when the set is situated just behind/right next to your dining partner's face.

What we can't deal with, however, is a restaurant -- not a bar that serves food, a restaurant -- that has two televisions on display in the dining room and doesn't pay attention to what's on them while we're attempting to enjoy our sesame tofu.

Give us a King of the Hill rerun, Wheel of Fortune, an addictive VH1 countdown. Something food-friendly, please. And for the love of God, don't let Dr. Oz come on while people are trying to eat.

We'd never actually watched Dr. Oz (just a few clips that had been sent our way and a Saturday Night Live sketch) but evidently it stars a playful doctor who's really into juggling human body parts. Sure, it's probably educational as hell, or whatever, but why the fuck is this guy always carrying around pounds of human fat or tumors? A friend sent us a link once to an episode about pelvic prolapse. Do you know what that is? Google if you dare.

Imagine our surprise when, while taking a bite of our lunch the other day, we looked up at our friend, and behind her head saw the good doctor fondling a human colon.

Thankfully, the restaurant's employees at least had the good sense to mute the idiot box, leaving our ears exempt from the trauma our eyeballs endured. However, there were closed captions. Oh, there were. And while we averted our eyes as quickly as possible, we couldn't ignore that the word "poop" appeared in the dialogue. Twice! In one sentence!

We climbed onto a chair, gagging, to reach the power button. Meanwhile, two servers stood at the back of the restaurant, chatting and watching the same thing on another screen.

So restaurant owners, we get it, your patrons demanded it: Televisions. Perhaps, many televisions. But please, we beg of you: Pay attention to what's on them. We're significantly less likely to order dessert if we puke mid-entrée.


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10 comments
newpulse1
newpulse1

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Chris
Chris

So sick of ESPN being on when there's no game on.  Why do people have to so slavishly watch that channel and why do bars have to show it religiously?  There is no point in watching people talk with the volume off.

Knotdewildeman
Knotdewildeman

I was eating at a Mexican resturant this summer and they had a small tv getting a satellite feed from a Mexican network.  While waiting for my meal my eye was drawn to the screen.  Apparently there is a difference in our cultures about what should be shown on commericals.  While waiting for my meal my eyes were assaulted by pictures of the nastyest examples of toe and nail fungus.  And not a short 30 spot, oh no.  It went on for about 3 minutes.  I agree, if you're not a sports bar, leave out the tv.

GDM
GDM

i'd refuse to eat in a real restaurant that has TV's. thank God that trend hasn't made it to ohio yet. i feel for you STL, i really do

Nosorry
Nosorry

I absolutely detest TVs in restaurants.  I don't go to a restaurant to watch TV.  I can do that on my own time.  I go to a restaurant to eat food and enjoy the folks with me.  Saigon, in Belleville, one of my favorite Vietnamese spots, put in TVs this year.  I hate it.  Every time I go in I have to ask for them to turn down the volume because I can't even hear my wife over the racket from the idiot box.  Drives me crazy!

D Antsypants
D Antsypants

I still think only sports bars should have TVs. Any eat-in restaurant where I pay for than $6 for a meal should NOT HAVE A TV ANYWHERE!

nshelledy
nshelledy

At The Sports Attic (hey, it was the NLCS and I knew The Post would be too crowded) they were playing a show where people hunt lions, cheetahs, and elephants. They showed EVERYTHING, it was so disturbing. I asked politely if they could change it, as I prefer not to watch animals being killed for sport while I eat/drink, and the waitress was surprised I wasn't enjoying it. Luckily the game came on shortly afterward.

John
John

If you are going to shove a TV in my face, and you bought HD TVs, then pony up for the damn HD service.  If you aren't going to get HD at least adjust the zoom setting correctly.  Most channels broadcast letterboxed widescreen on the SD versions.  These should be zoomed to fill, not stretched horizontally.  Stretching should be illegal anyway.  I'm sure all these actors appreciate looking fat all the time.

Steve O.
Steve O.

Try having 'The Lovely Bones' playing while trying to digest delicious tacos. No mute, either, BTW...such a weird choice. haha...

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