It is a melancholy object to those who choose to frequent brewpubs and breweries when they are forced to see communal tables, patios, and even bar tops populated by tired, weary parents sipping pints with their children in tow.
Almost everyone who chooses to go out to a local brewery for a tasting flight or just a pint or two would agree that having to see living breathing proof that other humans in your community have chosen to procreate is an experience that is inversely proportional to actually enjoying that beer-drinking experience. Human children are, at best, a nuisance. They’re loud, they spill things, and they demand unreasonable things like glasses of water, or, depending on their age, crayons or activities that can take the attention of bartenders or servers who could be doing more productive things like bringing more beer to legal-aged paying customers.
That said, it seems unfair to punish those beer drinkers among us who have had the misfortune of breeding, whether by accident or by design, simply because we may not be able to find childcare during the period in which we require alcohol, which, I can attest with certainty is just as often as the childless require it, if not much more.
Having had a child, I have, for my own part, turned my attention to remedying this deplorable situation for nearly five years and, while I’ve read recent treatises on the subject, I find them all lacking any real solution.
I do therefore humbly propose that the children of we suffering and thirsty breeders, rather than being cast out of drinking establishments along with their wretched parents, be put to service bettering these places.
Over the course of some vigorous trials and testing, I have found that children as young as four might readily be put into service in order to enhance the tasting room experiences of not just the important, childless twenty-somethings who frequent these places, but also these children’s previously burdensome parents who bring nothing to an establishment aside from an expendable income and a desire to consume three to five pints as quickly as possible. Indeed, a boy or girl as young as five or six might be readily trained to carry a small tray of beverages across as much as several hundred feet of dining room floor relatively spill-free and, in a controlled environment, I have found that small children can even be relied upon to make trips up and down flights of stairs carrying full beers, can clean up broken glass under moderate supervision, and can perform basic cleaning tasks when provided with non-toxic solutions and a modicum of training and discipline.
I am of course aware that turning children loose to walk freely around a tap room while carrying trays of glassware might at first seem likely to exacerbate a childless drinking person’s consternation rather than ease it, but there is a fairly simply solution. A basic electric collar not unlike those designed to keep pets in their respective yards might easily be put to use to keep children out of dangerous areas like parking lots or working breweries and even train them to avoid areas of heavy foot traffic like the men’s room. Indeed, after one or two administrations of a mild shock via a relatively inexpensive pet collar, I am assured that most children readily learn the boundaries in which they are permitted to roam or do their menial tasks.
In addition to freeing up seating space that these children previously occupied, a well-trained and properly disciplined team of worker children will presumably ease many burdens traditionally placed on a tap room’s staff, allowing them to focus on more taxing labours like changing kegs or coming up with witty things to write on the A-frame chalkboard on the sidewalk outside the bar.
Indeed, there is potentially no limit to the tasks to which a properly trained worker child might be put. Children upwards of 10 or 11, having been exposed to some basic math, might readily be put to use cashing out departing customers and the oldest worker children might readily be trained to extend the time they usually go to sleep so that they can even be trusted to close and lock up tap rooms at night, thus allowing staff to leave earlier in order to enjoy twilight slack-lining in their local park or to edit the latest episode of their podcast.
I think the advantages by the proposal which I have made are obvious and many, as well as of the highest importance. Instead of children being the despicable taproom burdens or eyesores that we currently know them to be, we might now prepare them for the increasingly bleak workforce they are facing by giving them real life skills and, in so doing, help tap rooms to more expediently provide their one essential service: efficiently delivering beer to millennials who so often find themselves exhausted and thirsty from blogging, vocally lamenting their inability to afford a home, or complaining about something as loathsome as other humans at a different phase of their lives trying to enjoy the same space as them.