I serve at two different places. Both of them have candles on every table. One place has real candles that people constantly knock over sending hot melted wax onto the table, floor, chair, my uniform and if I’m lucky onto themselves. The other place has those battery operated candles that look like real ones. They even flicker and have fake wax drips going down the side of them. Once they are placed inside a classy frosted votive candle holder, no one knows the difference. Overall, I like the fake candles better because I never have to clean up wax, I don’t burn the hair on my forearms when I am reaching across a table, and it is someone else’s job to charge the batteries in them. Kids like them too. Therein lies the rub.
Countless times, I have had a family sit in my station and the kids gravitate to the “candle” like moths to a flame. Or like me to a bottle of Citron. The parents ask me to bring a couple of extra ones so the kids can play with them like they are flashlights. Yeah that’s a great idea, Mom and Dad. Let’s teach your two year old child that candles are something to play with so the next time they go to a restaurant that has candles with actual flaming fire, the kids can grab at it. How is a two year old going to differentiate? Again, I am not a parent (although my dog turned 13 years old yesterday and he is officially an old lady dog) but it just seems like a bad idea to let kids play with fake candles. Couldn’t they unknowingly be raising a perfect little pyromaniac? It’s stupid. What I would love to do is replace the battery operated candles with real ones for just one night so that every parent who lets their child immediately grab at them as soon as they sit down could learn a quick lesson in fire safety. Never fear, I wouldn’t actually do that. Just like I would never dip a toddler’s spoon in Tobasco®. Or turn the bathroom light out when a kid goes in there by himself. Or put honey in the seat of a stroller when a parent crams it into the side stand to “get it out of the way.” Or discreetly drop a child’s toy on the floor when no one is looking so they will leave it at the restaurant and I can throw it away. Or give a kid Diet Coke instead of regular just to see if they’ll notice. These are just things that I think about doing in order to pass the time at work. It beats refilling the salt and pepper shakers.
Anyhoo, back to candles. Fake candles=good. Efficient, money saving, safe and just as pretty. But don’t let your kids play with them. I don’t wanna hear about it when they see candles on their birthday cake and end up with blistered hands because they thought it was a toy like the one where that bitchy waiter works.