Written by: Forro's girl
Last week my boyfriend and I were enjoying dinner at a local sit-down Mexican restaurant. While chatting casually and eating our nachos, we were rudely interrupted with an obscene version of Happy Birthday being hollered at a table 15 feet away. Loud clapping and some tune that neither sounded like Happy Birthday, nor resembled anything previously rehearsed, suddenly drowned out all attempts of relaxed conversation.
Disgusted, I rolled my eyes and complained to my boyfriend about these restaurants that find such a scene witty and comical. Of course, my comments went unheard drowned out by a military sound off version of Happy Birthday. I took this moment to myself (trying to disregard the noise consuming the restaurant) to look around. I saw an embarrassed birthday boy being screamed at by restaurant personnel, parents trying to keep control of their children as they attempted to groove to the annoying “tune,” and a boyfriend across the table from me that suddenly seemed separated from me by a Spanglish sound barrier. The cherry atop the fried ice cream was the baby on her mother’s lap that lost her balance and nearly lost her life because the mother used both hands to plug her own ears.
Who defines this as merriment? Who wrote these lame songs? The fact exists that Happy Birthday is a copywrited song, requiring that restaurants pay the rights for permission to sing it in their restaurants. They are too cheap to pay for it so they write their own crap. But really who cares? Who cares if it is somebody else’s birthday? In the words of Jerry Seinfeld, “You lived another 12 months without dying. Congratulations.” Birthdays are a time for celebration but not for over-exuberance and downright annoyance.
It’s obvious that the wait staff doesn’t care to sing the songs either. Their walking and clapping from the kitchen to the table with a loathing look of “I-should-go-apply-at-McDonald’s-because-at-least-they-don’t-sing-there,” presents the wonder of who really thinks this is pleasurable? In my opinion it’s almost as cool as all the pathetic and ridiculous buttons worn by the employees at a popular international food chain.