My oldest daughter and I were out running errands a few days ago and decided to stop and eat dinner at the Green Mesquite restaurant in Oak Hill, near our home. Green Mesquite has always been a good place to grab a quick meal, and we’ve eaten there as a family many times over the years, often with friends and their kids too. It’s always been a kid-friendly place, and the food is consistently mediocre, which is good enough for us. We’ve always liked the causal atmosphere and good service.
We’ve gone less frequently though since a new owner took over the Oak Hill location earlier this year and installed TVs that are on all the time. We choose to limit media in our household and our kids don’t even watch TV. It’s become harder to go out and eat in Austin (or to the doctor, or to get an oil change, or a haircut, etc.) without having TV be front and center nowadays. Do we need this much TV?
Anyway, I wasn’t paying attention to the TV in Green Mesquite this day. While we were eating, Shelly asked “Daddy, why are those men fighting in their underwear?” I looked up at the TV and saw what at first looked like boxing, until I noticed the men were barefooted, wearing speedos, and also kicking each other. Then one guy had the other down on the mat, twisting his arm and holding him in some sort of pin down. It looked like street fighting and was pretty violent I thought. It looked like the one guy was about to break the other guy’s arm. And we are seeing this in a “Family Restaurant”.
I said to my daughter “I guess they like fighting in their underwear and some people like watching them do that. Don’t look at the TV”. I complained to the manager who changed the channel.
Austin is a family friendly town with many kid friendly restaurants, but more and more there seems to be a lack of sensitivity to what is and isn’t appropriate for children (or anyone for that matter) to see. I encountered a similar scene one day walking into Best Buy on Hwy 290 and seeing a violent video game blasting with high volume on a TV screen near the entrance. A kid was playing the game and the characters were punching and kicking each other, with blood squirting from their faces when a punch landed. I complained to the manager, who immediately turned it off. What are these people thinking when they have something like that greet customers as they walk in the door?
I’m either too sensitive to this stuff or society has become numb to these violent TV and video images. I hope more people will start paying attention and lodging complaints whenever you see this sort of thing. Let’s keep Austin Weird, but also Kid Friendly!