There are few things I find more disturbing than adult tantrums. It’s annoying but excusable for a child to throw a fit to get their own way. I am generally quite patient with the parent who refuses to give in to a child throwing a fit because his mother won’t buy him a toy gun. In fact, I admire the fortitude of those parents, while I move politely away from the noise. But when an adult does it it makes me feel a little sick.
I was enjoying breakfast with my paper (Javier Bardem in the Good Weekend) in a Marrickville cafe this morning . The cafe was busy but not full. I had sat at a corner table for some privacy, there were some high tables with stools still available. I had just finished my pancakes and was settling in comfortably with the paper and an orange juice when I heard an annoying whining sound. I tried to ignore it but it was very persistent and so I finally gave it my attention. A woman, much older than me and so definitely old enough to know better was whinging in an infuriatingly high voice about how she had canceled a reservation elsewhere so she could eat here but there were no tables available. She didn’t want to sit at the taller tables/benches. The waitress patiently told her there were tables outside, ‘but I don’t wanna sit outside’ she responded in a high pitched snivel. I stopped listening to her words but the ringing in my ears continued until out of pity for the waitress I huffed ‘I’m going’ and stood up to pay.
The waitress rushed over to the manager and by the time I got to the counter to pay I was told that my meal was on the house. I was surprised and insisted I would pay but he refused. He also refused to charge the lady who’d been sitting at the table next to me and had stood up to leave at the same time. He was clearly very embarrassed by the whiner’s behaviour. As I left she was sitting at my table while the waitress tried to placate her further. I heard her complaining ‘no, I am not at all happy’. I felt like throwing the nearby bucket of ice over her stupid whining head.