Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Yummy, Blleh, Bbllleeehhh, Yummy

We decided to hit the town last night because I forgot to make dinner. After a brief discussion my wifewe decided to eat Italian… food that is. Like many parts of the country, I’d have to guess, WNY has a plethora of Italian restaurants to choose from so we decided on a local place instead of a chain, like Olive Garden or Carabba’s. This is by no means a slam against chains because we frequent some of them semi-regularly such as Friday’s, Applebee’s and Hooters.

The downpour taking place outside livened up the ride to the place of our choosing, because what kid doesn’t enjoy a little hydroplaning? Our chosen destination ended up being a banquet hall and take-out place so we continued on down the road. The trip was now one of forced spontaneity and we were no longer limiting ourselves to Italian.

We passed on a burger joint and an overcrowded place that I had heard good things about. Then we saw a familiar name that neither my wife or I had actually eaten at called Shannon Pub and everyone knows that the Irish are known for their good food so we decided to give it a try.

The establishment consisted of a near-empty eating side and a raucous eating and drinking side, so with us being the responsible parents that we are, we chose the latter. It was an excellent decision because the vice-ridden sights and sounds captured the interests of its two youngest patrons. We, the next two youngest customers, were equally enthralled by the gathering of people who obviously had at least one helping of the day’s special, loud-mouth soup.

Our daughter commented that the music being played was from Riverdance, which she went to the other day, before she started coloring in a coloring book that we don’t leave home without and our son played with cars, of course, while we ordered our food and beverages. Being an Irish place, I ordered a Black & Tan, which is half a Guinness and half a lighter beer. My friends that drink Guinness think that I’m a wimp for doing this to a perfectly good stout.

The salads and dinner rolls were delivered to our table in a timely fashion, so we all started munching on something. The boy must’ve chipmunked his whole dinner roll without us noticing until it was too late. It started with a few small pieces exiting his pleading mouth, and then progressed rapidly from there. By the time I grabbed a napkin to catch the ever-flowing vomitus, his bib, his crotch, the highchair and the carpet were blanketed with chunks. The whole thing seemed to come in three waves, each one a little more violent.

My wife and I looked at our soiled son and waited to see if the show was over. It appeared to be so when he smiled. I immediately started wiping him down and my wife went to get more napkins. I looked around for a second and noticed amazingly that no one seemed to notice any of this.  Maybe the fact that this is an Irish bar, they’re just used to people puking at their tables.

Because of the lack of making a scene, we undressed and redressed our two-year-old with fresh clothes right at our table. Having a change of clothes with us came in handy this time, and saved us from having to make a parental decision to leave or let the puker sit in soggy, stinky clothes.

When my son smiled I hoped knew he was okay. When we sat him in the newly retrieved highchair the boy immediately resumed playing with his cars. At about this time a man and his guitar took the stage to sing some Irish songs.

The entrees arrived shortly after this and like I hoped knew, the boy devoured his mac ‘n cheese and fries. My wife’s Guinness stew was out of this world and my shepherd’s pie scalded the roof of my mouth repeatedly. I think they have time-released heaters inside of it because every time I took a bite something in the middle branded my tongue. When I was finally able to taste it, it was delicious.

The kids were enthralled with the singer and we all gave a well-deserved round of applause after each tune. A man eating dinner right next to the stage played the spoons on a few of the songs. He took bites in between and I swear I almost got hit with a piece of corned beef during one of the fast ones. My son was actually the culprit, not the spoon player, but the oddest thing about it was that none of us were eating corned beef.

We boxed up the leftovers and packed up the coloring book, crayons and cars and walked toward the deluge taking place outside. Before we left my wife warned the waitress about the original highchair and all the nasty napkins sitting on it. She smiled and said no problem. I’m sure her facial expression changed rapidly when she actually saw the carnage.

Last night was a great experience for us because we proved to ourselves that we could handle an unexpected change in plans and a little lot of projectile vomiting without missing a beat. Shannon Pub be warned because we will be back.


April 27, 2007 - Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting


  1. Well, you are certainly right about the massive choices of Italian restaraunts in NY. I live in the Hudson Valley and am so sick of Italian food. It doesn’t help that my husband is Italian and used to cook pasta every night until the family revolted. Although we’re eating Pizza for the second night in a row so go figure!

    Oh the patience you have! We haven’t EVER taken our kids on vacation because my husband can’t even take a short trip up the street in the car with everyone without losing it more than once. Sad really but there’s no point the misery out and subjecting everyone to his tirades, so I never forced the issue of taking a vacation.
    Although this summer we are going to try. Do you think you can taste crushed prozac if it’s mixed in your food really well? 40 MLs should do the trick ya think? :0)

    Anyhow, Kudos to you and your wife for breezing through a night out with the family! If you can get over projectile vomiting and go on enjoying the evening, you can get through anything!

    Comment by Zoning Out Again | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  2. Pay no attention to the incorrect spelling above.
    I was too focused on pouting after eating pizza the second night in a row. ;0P

    Comment by Zoning Out Again | April 29, 2007 | Reply

  3. Zoning,
    My wife’s the patient one, I just try to follow her lead. As for taking the kids places, we still try to go to the places where we would have went before they were born. The strip joint was a little difficult, but the door man accepted their fake I.D.’s because it was a slow night.

    I can’t answer the prozac question, because I’m the one that would need it mixed in my food.

    You can mispell whatever you want without being judged at my site… as far as you know.

    Comment by linusmann | April 30, 2007 | Reply

  4. Well, since you need the Prozac anyway, try the mixture for me and let me know if you can detect it. :0)
    Wow, you’re kids can afford lap dances? What kind of allowances are you forking out?

    So about that nursing comment you left me, was that meant to be sarcastic? :0)
    These days I feel burnt out on growth and expression.
    I’m a Realtor, need I say more. I’m looking for something that is automatically perceived by the public as noble, instead of have to prove myself and change the mindset of almost every person I talk to. A guaranteed paycheck at the end of a long exasperating week will be great too. :0)

    Comment by Zoning Out Again | April 30, 2007 | Reply

  5. I just read your amusing Pessimistic Optimism piece. It so happens that I remember the evening–although not in quite the same level of detail. I was the singer that night. I’m glad the projectile vomit was not my fault. At least not on that occasion. By way of exonerating Tim, the spoonman mentioned in your piece, he never uses the same cutlery to eat that he uses to play. All his instruments have been stolen from fine hotels in Galway. Seriously.

    Comment by Tom Callahan | May 30, 2007 | Reply

  6. Mr. Callahan,
    I think your excellent performance was just the remedy the boy needed.
    Thanks for clearing the good name of the spoonman and revealing his favorite instrument “shopping” places.

    I look forward to seeing you perform again… hopefully soon.

    Comment by linusmann | May 30, 2007 | Reply

  7. […] lot before we went inside.  This was kind of odd because our boy’s usually the puker (see Yummy, Blleh, Bbllleeehhh, Yummy), but she’s a trooper and decided to carry on with the mission without any prodding from […]

    Pingback by The Waiting « Pessimistic Optimism | September 18, 2007 | Reply

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