I love the smoking ban in pubs – I really like it.

However, it seems that so do families. Since the ban, I have noticed a significant increase in families going indoors at pubs as opposed to sitting outside. Alas, they also bring their babies.

In itself, a baby is not a problem – but why are they invariably of the screaming variety, and accompanied by parents of the “leave them alone and don’t shut them up” variety?

My fav “local” in central London was overun with them yesterday and I eventually got up and left – especially after some of the more mobile versions decided to keep trying to sit on my jacket. It was that or get some earplugs to deal with the screaming that one particular one seemed determined to continue with for well over half an hour.

Don’t they ever run out of energy from all that screaming?

It’s very difficult to sit down quietly for a pint when there is that din going on around you. I might was well have gone to a gay pub and got deafened by the thump thump thump music instead.

So, parents – if you are going to bring your babies into a pub, please be the sort who get embarrassed by the noise they make and try to shut them up when in public. Thank You.


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  1. aqualung says:

    Hi Ian – and welcome to the 21st century!

    Once upon a time pubs were places for grown-ups. Desperate parents paid a small fortune to someone called ‘the babysitter’ so that they could enjoy, for a few hours, uninterrupted conversation in relaxing surroundings with other grown-up people.

    And then came the smoking ban.

    While you undoubtedly enjoy the ban for all the right reasons (the right not to go home smelling like an ashtray for one)it has rather spoilt the pub experience for those who can’t enjoy a pint without their noxious weed. Selfishly, they no longer go to the pub as often, or sometimes at all, and the publicans are worried. You can hardly blame them for taking the advice of their trade leaders, which is to attract families.

    The boozer as a place of adult refuge is a thing of the past. You can’t have your cake and eat it, and with every ‘improvement’ comes the inevitable down-side – in this instance young parents who are convinced other people adore their precious offspring as much as they do.

    So, in the words of anti-smokers everywhere, move on, get a life and change with the times.

    Failing that, you could always try standing out in the cold with the smokers. You’ll be safe from the babies there.

  2. IanVisits says:

    I don’t object to babies in themselves – I object to parents who lack the inclination to control their children.

    Had I run around as a kid screaming my head off – not only would I have been given a damn good slap in public, but probably sent to bed without supper when we got home.

    My parents would have been embaressed by such behaviour in public.

    It’s a pity that modern parents do not share the same attitude.

    “seen and not heard” doesn’t seem to be a particuarly popular moto anymore.

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