An eyeful at breakfast [UPDATED]

An eyeful at breakfast [UPDATED]

One of our Sunday traditions is going out to breakfast after Mass. For nearly the past 10 years, I’ve gone to Brother’s Deli in Salem, across the street from Immaculate Conception Church, with friends, and in the last couple of years it’s mainly been Melanie and me and my sister and her husband and kids, and it’s one of the high points of my week.

The restaurant has changed hands over the years and the new owners have installed three HD televisions on the walls, which has created problems. You’d think that Sunday morning TV would be safe for all ages, but … The first problem came several months ago when they would have ESPN2 on one of the TVs, which on Sunday morning had shows on deerhunting. How does one explain to a 6-year-old and a 4-year-old that the man shot the deer and that it’s dead. Does anyone even want to see that while they’re eating the eggs and bacon?

But yesterday was the most embarrassing. One TV had a talking-head political show on CNN, another was showing something from Discovery, but the third was showing “The Bounty”, the story of the “Mutiny on the Bounty” starring Mel Gibson as “Mr. Christian”. I glanced at it from time to time, mainly to see the images of the great square-rigged sailing ship, but since my back was to it, didn’t pay much attention. That is, I didn’t until my brother-in-law’s eyes nearly bugged out as he tried to cover his son’s eyes. Because if you’ve seen the movie, you may remember there’s a scene where the mutineers are frolicking in the water with the Polynesian island girls who are naked from the waist up!

My sister jumped from her chair and ran over to one of the deli’s employees to ask them to change the channel, which they did to a nice safe Italian opera.

We may have to find a new breakfast place because I don’t think I want eggs with a side of dead deer on my Sunday morning, never mind boobies and breakfast.

Update: Here’s a sample of some our “deer hunting” conversation between me and my four and six-year-old nieces:

“Uncle D, why is the deer lying down and why is the man on his back holding his head by the horns?”

“Um, yeah, they’re playing a game. Eat your bagel.”

Update 2: Since many insist on reading this as me being some sissy East Coast liberal vegetarian who doesn’t want to know where his food comes from, let me reiterate (since writing it multiple times in the comments apparently no one reads before writing their own redundant and condescending comment doesn’t work): I’m not a PETA member here. It’s not the idea of hunting that’s a problem.

Would any of you like to be eating your runny eggs and look up to see a deer take an arrow in the side with blood spurting and then see them following the blood trail to the dead deer?

After all, ESPN itself put up a “Warning: the following segment may contain disturbing and graphic violent content” banner (which I only saw after the first deer got shot.) If people think that letting a 6-year-old child watch blood and gore on TV—especially when it’s real blood and gore, not fake movie blood—is a good idea, then remind me not to let my kids hang out with theirs.

I’m no namby-pamby, “don’t hurt Bambi” liberal, but that’s a little much.  And what about the half-naked cavorting women? No one seems to be upset by that.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
29 comments
  • So they changed it from simple nudity to singing about a prostitute dying of Tuberculosis, or stabbing an unfaithful wife to death, or poisoning,  etc.?  Swell.

    I’d stick with the boobies. smile

  • Deer is a delicious meat. And much healthier than bacon. I had thought that most hunting shows these days didn’t show the kill shot up close anyway. The only person I can think of who does that is Ted Nugent, and that’s on the Outdoor Channel. Oh well, sorry it made you squimish.

  • Not having a TV at home, we miss this stuff My11yr old son listens to football, baseball and basketball games on the radio, and there are plenty of ads running about remedies to increase one’s sexual stamina, performance etc. If around, I try to change the dial.

  • Marco: At least it’s in Italian so the kids don’t understand it. grin

    Chris: It doesn’t make me squeamish—I know where food comes from—but I don’t think it’s quite right for little girls.

  • Dom, hunting is a reality of life, and killing animals is part and parcel of rural culture even today in this country.  There is no need to shelter young children from this reality, in my opinion.  I understand that for those who live in more urban areas this can be a tough thing, but kids can handle it if you approach it properly.  Kids who grow up on farms see all kinds of things city kids never see and do just fine.

  • Whether and when to explain to a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old girl who grow up nowhere near anything to do with hunting is each parent’s choice.

    It’s not up to the uncle and certainly shouldn’t be up to a restaurant.

    While you’re having breakfast at a public establishment is neither the time nor the place. I think parents should have a reasonable expectation that they won’t have to be confronted with potentially objectionable and/or delicate matters during a meal.

  • “Whether and when to explain to a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old girl who grow up nowhere near anything to do with hunting is each parent’s choice.”

    This is the age range where my daughter started to ask questions about life and death.
    Last year before my birthday, she asked “how old are you going to be?”  I said, “43”.  She then asked if I was going to die.

    When reading through a children’s book about Saints, she often asks if this or that saint is dead. Interesting to see how she is trying to grasp this fact of life.

  • Dom, I don’t think you will find non-objectionable-during-a-meal programming on any television station. Even EWTN! I think it’s time to ask the owners to turn off the tv and WHEN they refuse, find another restaurant.

  • Wow. I literally can’t remember a time when I didn’t know that hunters killed deer. Also, rabbits, squirrels, partridges…. I know you guys live in the big city, but… don’t they show the Pilgrims hunting stuff or anything? *plaintive look* Man, this is as weird as that chick from NYC who’d never met a Republican in her whole life—like she was from the South back in the thirties or something.

    But yeah, folks, it’s not Unca Dom’s business to break the news about these little facts of life.

  • Look, folks, I’m not a PETA member here. It’s not the idea of hunting that’s a problem.

    Would any of you like to be eating your runny eggs and look up to see a deer take an arrow in the side with blood spurting and then see them following the blood trail to the dead deer.

    I mean, ESPN put up a “Warning: the following segment may contain disturbing and graphic violent content” banner (which I only saw after the first deer got shot.)

    I’m no namby-pamby, “don’t hurt Bambi” liberal, but that’s a little much.

  • How about trying to watch some sports events on TV with your kids. Then suddenly come the ads promoting their sex sleaze comedy shows with some of the most immoral and “X”-rated scenes used as “come on” material. And if there’s not that there are the ads for grossly violent and bloody movies and TV shows that suddenly pop up. The corrupt and greedy for ratings TV networks are making even sports events into productions that a good parent wouldn’t want his children to be exposed to.

  • Why do we need to watch TV when we are having a meal?  Conversations over a meal are to be prized.

  • Dom, love always requires telling the Truth.  For example, all you needed to say was, “That deer isn’t breathing.”  That suffices.

  • It’s horrifying how pervasive TV has become.  I used to look forward to the waiting room at the cardiology dept. at Children’s Hospital because there was a huge open space, accompanied by play tables and toys, and NO TV.  Alas, since last year they have installed a TV on the wall and an electric train in a glass case in the middle of the waiting room.  The kids’ play space has shrunk dramatically.  The sad thing about it is that the little kids who were there were totally uninterested in either.  They just wanted to play, and were hampered by the new arrangements.  My 11 yo (the patient) ignored the TV and did his reading—but my 6 yo (older than the other children) was distracted by the programming that was supposed to be for them (Sesame Street type stuff).  Yes, it was Nickelodeon, but the junior version of fresh-kids-dumb-adults doesn’t impress me, nor do condescending adults (Blue’s Clues).

    Guess I’m old-fashioned.  Glad we don’t have to go back for three years—and when we do, we’ll sit in the separate “adult” part of the waiting room.  Hope they don’t add a TV there!

  • Oh, Dom, sorry this sounds a little silly to those of us from the fly-over region (specifically, Kansas). Yes, I can appreciate that it is for the parents to explain where food originates, but for those of us who live in that area where a lot of it does, it is a bit amusing. Believe me, my younger daughter is very sensitive to this issue, but I made it clear from a very young age that if we didn’t have butchers, hunters, grocery stores, etc, then we would probably have to be vegetarian. I can’t kill them either. At least, not intentionally—in many places in KS, we have a registry so that we can get on a list to pick up (fresh) roadkill deer and have them butchered. I have no problem with that. (Sorry if that shocks east coast sensibilities!) BTW, Dom, love your blog and congrats on your new one! May God bless your family.

  • To prevent me from blowing my top at having to repeat myself over and over again, especially at being characterized as some east coast sissy vegetarian liberal out of touch with where food comes from, I will suggest you read my reply to Maureen at 8:10 pm.

  • I’m enjoying how many times the phrase “namby pamby”  is being used in this post.

    Oh and Dom you’re 100% correct.  (I hope that doesn’t cause you to reconsider your opinion)

  • I say that displaying dead deer at breakfast is bad taste.

    And that’s from someone who eats raw crickets, so ya better listen!

  • “especially at being characterized as some east coast sissy vegetarian liberal out of touch with where food comes from”

    Well.  Did you know that Bishop Gerald Kicanas of Tucson is not only a vegetarian, but <gasp!> a VEGAN?

    He also gets up early and runs a couple miles every day.  Might be the reason he looks so healthy.

    I’d love to see you call him a sissy liberal.

    Thanks for insulting all of us who have chosen a more human diet.

  • You’re welcome. I prefer not to eat humans. I prefer animals. Nice, tasty animals grilled over hot coals are the best, not too well done.

    I don’t know Bishop Kicanas, but he could indeed be a sissy liberal. I don’t know.

  • Okay okay, should have been “humane” not “human.”

    If it makes you feel any better about him he’s the bishop who refused to let Gumbleton appear in his diocese.

    Does that earn the removal of the label “sissy liberal” (and I still say he looks a lot healther than many of the portly omniverous bishops I see on tv from time to time)??

    Now, back to my fruits and veggies . . .

  • Oh Lord have mercy—it’s not you, Dom, it’s me—my writing skills today seem to have crashed and burned.  I meant does that qualify removing the “sissy liberal” label from Bishop Kicanas (really, he doesn’t strike me as a sissy at all from what I’ve read on his diocesan website—and he sounds like a pretty orthodox Catholic).

    I don’t mind at ALL if you call ME a sissy—I’m a female smile)

    Ten lashes with a wet whole wheat noodle for me !!

  • The problem is that there are TV’s on at all! Once they are on who knows what is going to be shown. Tv’s in restaurants, at gas pumps, doctors’ offices, we really are a sad, soft society. 
          I love going to a certain restaurant where multiple televisions are on AND a separate soundtrack (tape or radio) while I try to enjoy my meal and talk with my friends.  Is that really what people want?

  • Our local supermarket chains have televisions in the aisles and at the checkout counters. You can’t get away from the mind-numbing chatter.

    How long before our society is like “The Minority Report” or another one of those dystopian science fiction movies?

    Melanie’s ob-gyn has a TV in his waiting room playing a loop of some special health/medical programming from CNN. I just want to sit quietly and read my book without distraction.

  • “Look, folks, I’m not a PETA member here.”

    “I prefer animals. Nice, tasty animals grilled over hot coals are the best, not too well done.”

    So, you ARE a member of PETA, Dom.  Card-carrying, I’m sure. 

    That, of course, would be the “People Eating Tasty Animals” dissident offshoot of the more commonly-quoted whack job outfit.

    The PETA folks are a tolerant group.  They’d love to defend your right to consider yourself a PETA member in good standing as you wear your fringe leather jacket, snakeskin boots AND play “Cat Scratch Fever” on your iPod during their local chapter meetings.

  • Oh, Dom, I hope that attitude that you objected to wasn’t mine! Really, if I didn’t have access to meat killed by someone else, I would probably go vegetarian. Yeah, I’ve personally raised animals for slaughter, and have cleaned fresh killed chickens and pheasants, but I am truly a wuss when it comes to the actual killing. I deal with my hypocrisy when it comes to a juicy steak—and feel no need to confess such. I was really just trying to be funny by discussing the roadkill, but really, we do that out here—honest, we do. BTW, love your recipes—cooking with Bella is really awesome. I don’t hold it against you that you’re an east-coaster, really I don’t. smile

  • Dom, regarding a good place for breakfast—I lived in Salem from 1999-2003, in the old Custom House on Essex and Central.  A great place for breakfast was Nick’s.  If I remember correctly, it was on or near Church Street, across from the Lyceum.  There was a music store nearby.  The food and service were better than at Red’s.  I haven’t been in Salem for a few years and my memory for street names isn’t what it was, but we used to walk through the alley near CVS in the pedestrian mall to get there.

Archives

Categories

Categories