Bars are adult playgrounds

Their interactions practically oozed sex. She had her leg over his and his hand kept moving up her thigh. Granted, it was not possible to actually view this from my side of the bar, but it was the gist of the later complaint from table 32.

Funny how people often complain about remedial situations after the fact. We can’t do anything about your overcooked steak after you have left, or after you have consumed it. It’s the same with that glass of wine you finished. If you really didn’t like it, then why did you drink it all?

But this couple wasn’t complaining, at least not in any noticeable way. And what they were doing noticeably was enough to keep anyone at a distance — or at least looking away.

But not the two kids at table 32. Granted, the live performance was in the same direction as the large TV on the wall. But it paled in comparison to the one in front of that TV. That real live performance wasn’t exactly rated R but it was definitely PG-13. And that you could tell, not just by the performers, but also by the wide eyes of the two 10 year olds.

Public displays of affection are always a slippery slope, because not everyone has the same ideas about what is appropriate and what is not. Granted, some behaviors are actually against the law. For instance, for some light R-rated softcore reading, I might suggest that one read the California statute regarding pubic hair, nipples and on sale booze. The PG version is under the California Code of Regulations (CCR), Rule 143.2, Attire and Conduct, under subparagraph three, where it reads that a licensed establishment must not allow anyone to “encourage or permit any person on the licensed premises to touch, caress or fondle the breasts, buttocks, anus or genitals of any other person.”

And they say reading legalese is boring.

But these days a see-through shirt or meticulous grooming could make for some uncomfortable positioning. Imagine having to tell someone too much of their whatever is showing. And now further imagine the resulting online review by that person.

Bars are adult playgrounds. No good bar spends too much time legislating behavior. People (adults) go there to forget their troubles, not add to them.

But sometimes they bring their kids along, too. The California ABC specifies that if a bar serves food and doesn’t prohibit (either by statute or policy) kids from being in the bar, those kids can be anywhere in the bar, up to and including sitting at it.

But that is a choice that the parents are making. Technicalities are technicalities, just ask anyone who has had to deal with potential “fake” service dogs. People get pretty righteous pretty quickly. And in my experience, the more righteous that they get, the less “right” they usually are. And that is with a pet. Imagine what happens with their children. So, if you are going to push the legal envelope on bar seating with your children, don’t expect anyone else to fall all over themselves trying to control what they might see. And trust me, they will see and understand just as much as you do.

Later that night after my shift had ended, I swung by the apartment of some friends. Their apartment just happened to be behind one of the late-night bars in the area. When I pulled into the only compact parking space available, I was wedged in between a lifted SUV and a non-lifted one. The non-lifted one seemed to be moving, but it stopped once I pulled in. When the light from my opened door intruded onto the night, it also intruded into that vehicle.

“Hi, Carrie,” I said to the blonde in the foreground, through the open window.

“And hi, Kurt, wasn’t it?” I said to the man all over her.

Leaving me with these thoughts:

• If that’s what they do inside of a bar, imagine what they do outside of it.

• Children are not dumb. Sometimes they are even smarter than their parents.

• How does one explain a thong and/or mismatched tan lines to a 10-year-old? Asking for a friend.

• If you choose to take your kids into an adult environment, don’t expect those adults to grow up.

• For every law written, there is someone who will try and argue that it doesn’t mean what it says. And vice versa.

• Vice. Get it?