At last, Olive Garden has done something that I can fully get behind. Gird you loins, parents, because they have an offer that you are not going to be able to refuse. What could possibly be better than free breadsticks and a bottomless bowl of wilted salad before carb loading on second rate pasta and pre-packaged sauce? Why, doing it without your kids, of course! Olive Garden, in a desperately pathetic move to boost lagging sales, is offering their customers free babysitting on Friday February 7th. They seem to think that giving parents a night out from their kids is going to make people love Olive Garden again. The restaurant chain has partnered with a kid’s fitness center called My Gym. If you make a reservation at one of the 145 participating drop-off centers, you can leave your bundle of joy there, along with a deposit, and then when you return to pick up your child, all you have to do is show a receipt from Olive Garden and it’s freer than an entree after you complain about how your 25th wedding anniversary was ruined because of overcooked salmon.
Space is limited to thirty slots at each location and it’s on a first come, first serve basis. This means that that are 4,350 slots for kids and since most parents who go to Olive Garden tend to have about five or six children, there are about 790 lucky couples are going to have this wonderful opportunity.
I get it. Parents deserve a night out and I have to admit that if I ever was going to go to an Olive Garden, this Friday the 7th would be a good day to do it because there won’t be as many kids as usual. The last time I went to one was in Victoria, Texas about five years ago and the place was crawling with kids. It was like a baby factory exploded in there.
What I want to know is what happens to all those kids who don’t get picked up? Imagine if you will:
Mom: Oh, dear. My Spicy Shrimp Vesuvio was delicious, honey. How was your Steak Gorgonzola-Alfredo?
Dad: That was mighty fine, mighty fine. And that Smoked Mozzarella Fonduta we started with was good too.
Mom: And so was the Lasagna Fritta not to mention the Black Tie Mousse Cake we had for dessert. Well, that you had for dessert. I only had one bite.
Dad: I’m more stuffed than the mushrooms we ate. I guess we should ask for the check and go pick up the kids now.
Mom: Do we really?
Dad: Do we really what?
Mom: Do we really have to pick up the kids?
Dad: Honey, of course we gotta pick ‘em up. We left a deposit on ’em and everything.
Mom: I wonder if we can just pick up one and leave the other three there. I like the baby alright, but the other three are kinda assholes, don’t you think?
Dad: Well, if we show up, they’re gonna make us take all four. How much was the deposit again?
Mom: A hundred dollars.
Dad: A hundred dollars, huh?
Mom: Yeah, just a hundred dollars. Let’s just leave ‘em there, what do you say? So what, we lose a hundred bucks? We’ll make that up the first time we don’t have to buy new goddamn sneakers for one of them. The oldest one needs fifty dollars tomorrow to pay for some stupid ass choir trip she’s going on. They’re bleeding us dry. Let’s just leave all four of them. This one night at Olive Garden has opened my eyes to what life could be for us. We could live like this every night if we didn’t have the kids; dinners out at fancy restaurants. Maybe tomorrow we could go to Outback or Red Lobster.
Dad: I think you’re onto something, honey. Okay, let’s do it. Let’s leave the kids there! Thank you, Olive Garden, for showing us that being a parent is a big fat pain in the ass!
Mom: Thank you, Olive Garden for showing us the error in our ways and for reminding us that we hate our kids. Honey, let’s order another dessert! How about an order of Zeppoli?
Dad: Yes, absolutely! And a toast! Let’s raise a glass to our future of childlessness.
Mom: And to Olive Garden!
Both: To Olive Garden!
Yes, to Olive Garden, indeed. Remember, parents. This Friday, February 7th, is the day you can drop your kids off and be done with them forever!
edit: Several people have informed that the sauce at OG in NOT pre-packaged. But who cares? I still don’t want to eat there.