Battle Against Unattended Children Escalating In Passive-Aggressive Fashion

An LAWeekly reader sent in this photo of a sign at a local cafe. We’ve heard the espresso and a puppy line before, but the addition of a drum and profanity really adds something to the mental picture. Kudos.

LA Weekly Reader Twitpic Photo of the Day: Espresso + A Puppy [LA Weekly]


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  1. MeCatLikesMeHamSanwich says:

    Brilliant. +1

  2. grapedog says:

    love it!

    just wish more people were neutered and spayed when they were younger…

    • dreamfish says:

      Are you volunteering?

      • raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

        Heck, I would, but do you know how hard it is to find a doctor willing to sterilized an unwed female who has not yet had children? Very!

        Apparently the excuse for not wanting to perform the procedure is “You’ll change your mind later.”


        • mythago says:

          What you want is a tubal ligation, anyway. Neutering/spaying is a whole different procedure.

          It’s far from impossible, btw. There are doctors who will do the procedure as long as you sit through a lot of discussions about the alternatives and sign a zillion waivers explaining that you understand the procedure is permanent and non-reversible and that you won’t later sue claiming “Why didn’t that mean doctor tell me I could have gotten an IUD instead?!”

        • XTC46 says:

          A friend of mine had the same issue. She is 24, in school, and wants to go to law school, so she knows she doesnt want kids for AT LEAST another 5+ years. It took her 3 doctors to find one willing to give her an IUD because of the number of people who then just change their mind. Its crazy.

          • Big Mama Pain says:

            I never had any problems getting mine; the only concern doctors have with giving a women an IUD that has never had any children is the IUD perforating the uterus (the uterus is much smaller in women who have never had children), not the “change her mind” factor. IUD can be removed at any time.

            • outoftheblew says:

              And it also hurts like a MoFo (I’ve been told) because your cervix has never had to open up before.

              • Draw2much says:

                I have an IUD and it only really really hurts if your Doctor doesn’t help you at all. My doctor gave me medication to open my cervix up and then told me to take a pain killer before I came in. While there was some initial pain (it’s sort of like getting pinched really hard in a very awkward place) it last maybe 3 seconds top. It wasn’t all that bad, though I was glad when it was all over with.

                It also depends on your level of pain tolerance. I can tolerate certain types of pain really well, while others not so much. (For instance, I have no pain tolerance for headaches. Which sucks because the birth control pill I was on kept causing me to have migraines!) For some reason I can take pain that has to do with my reproductive organs remarkably well. o_0

                • selianth says:

                  My doctor had no chance to help me with the pain at all, so it definitely hurt like a mofo. (I went in for the initial consultation about it, he said “Sure! Make an appointment for the day you start your next period.” And I’m like, “Yeah, that’s today.” “Okay then! Pants off!”) But even if I never want kids (I have to decide within the next couple years) I would honestly be willing to get one every 5 years till I’m 50, because it has dried up my periods altogether. I’ve saved SO MUCH MONEY on sanitary products.

          • pecan 3.14159265 says:

            Isn’t there a capsule that can be implanted under the skin that basically releases a steady dose of birth control and stays there for five years? That’s certainly less painful than an IUD.

            • DangerMouth says:

              Yeah but. Hormones are scarier to me than a physican device that can be removed within an hour if something goes wrong.

              I got my first IUD at 19 and never looked back. I did get an argument from the doc about it, but I told him I’d be lobbying to get my tubes tied if he denied the IUD.

        • Azzizzi says:

          I had a male friend who wanted a vasectamy, but he has/had no kids and he was certain the doctors would try to convince him not to get it done, so he used the reverse tactic. He started talking to doctors and acted like he didn’t want the procedure, then let them convince him to have it done.

          • mythago says:

            That sounds….counterproductive. Then you get the doctors who are not careful and not going to tell you your alternatives and potential complications to make an informed choice.

            It’s true that doctors are hesitant to “fix” young people, but many will do it as long as you are clear that you have considered the alternatives, you are sure about your decision and you’re not doing it because somebody else made you do it.

            (Yes, I do know a woman who got her tubes tied under pressure from her asshole then-husband, who didn’t want to financially support kids but of course wasn’t going to put his own precious nuts under the knife)

        • wonderkitty now has two dogs says:

          Ohmygod, I KNOW. And statistics prove that the majority of women who regret the decision had children previously, not the childless ones. We have to wait until we’re 35 for a doctor to believe us. But hey- abortions- no problem?! (And before it’s mentioned, birth control pills and implants don’t work with everyone).

          • mythago says:

            If a doctor tells you “wait until 35”, get another doctor.

            • catastrophegirl chooses not to fly says:

              i did. on my 7th one and at age 34 i might as well wait it out at this point. and it’s life threatening for me to get pregnant. i’ve been trying to get sterilized since i was 19 because of my medical issues

  3. Dallas_shopper says:

    I don’t see anything wrong with this. Parents needs to keep an eye on their kids.

  4. Xay says:

    I’m a parent and I love the sign.

    • Starfury says:

      I’m also a parent and I don’t let my kids (10 and 12) wander alone in a store or abandon them when shopping. If they want to go to the toy section then myself or my wife will go with them.

      And the sign is perfect.

    • mythago says:

      Same here.

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      That also means you love your kids. I’m also willing to bet the house that you’re a good mom too. :)

  5. danmac says:

    That sign is pure win…and I love how additional things were tacked on over time.

  6. ARP says:

    I wish parents would just attend to their children, but this is a funny way to remind them.

  7. smo0 says:

    I’ve seen that sign. And yes, it’s beyond win.

  8. Nighthawke says:

    No arguments from the sign either… Used to do retail in Radio Shack and had parents try to drop off their kids there and go shopping. Management simply confronted them and asked them if they wanted them to call child protective services while they were watching their kids. That put the kibosh to their antics.

    • mythago says:

      I don’t understand the threat. Either tell the parents to take the kids (“We’re afraid he might get hurt, there are so many heavy/sharp/electrical things here”) or call CPS (‘somebody abandoned a child in our store”).

      • Nighthawke says:

        Pretty simple, actually. First is liability, they get hurt while unattended, we get in trouble with the company and legal. Second, we were there to make what money we could by “convincing” some Joe to buy either some craptastic cable or phone service, not babysit for free.

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      Nighthawke: For real? Wow. I love the promise of calling CPS (Child protective services….not City Public Service) when a parent tries to assign some employees as baby sitters. I kinda wish we would do that when I worked at a theme park years ago. It was BAD….parents would just drop their kids off there while they went to work. Or went shopping. Or out of town.

  9. Leela says:

    I work at an elementary school. You don’t have to teach kids to swear, they already know it.

    • Megalomania says:

      The sound of children playing is soothing, provided of course that you can’t make out the actual words.

    • Traveshamockery says:

      I think the point is that most parents just know their kid is a little angel and would never say such filthy things.

    • mythago says:

      Yeah, but you have to teach them to swear correctly.

      • Fidget says:

        Which would entail teaching them amazing grammar skills. I want to be a paid “language” tutor.
        Slightly off, but saw a Netflix review the other day from a parent saying, “Wish I could watch it with my kids, but there’s too much language.” And that little colloquialism seems to pretty accurately sum up the people who would rather see their kids injured or something than *gasp* swearing.

  10. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    Don’t like the puppy part. I don’t see that as a punishment for the parent. I mean, if they can’t pay attention to the kid, how much LESS attention will it get when the puppeh moves in. But everything else is full of awesome.

    • SixOfOne says:

      It’ll be plenty of punishment when puppy discovers that mommy’s shoes make an excellant chew toy.

    • redskull says:

      It’d be punishment for the parent when they tell the kid they can’t keep the puppy and the kid starts up a Level 9 tantrum.

    • Fubish says: I don't know anything about it, but it seems to me... says:

      *Sigh* Lighten up. It’s OBVIOUSLY a lighthearted attempt to remind parents to tend to their children.

      • LaziestManOnMars says:

        Yes, he SHOULD lighten up… Because if there’s one thing SteveDave is known for, it’s his total lack of sarcasm in his comments.

        That was sarcasm.

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      I disagree with SteveDave. To say that giving unattended kids a puppy is a good thing when he KNOWS a kitteh is better is totally wrong.

  11. andyparkerson says:

    With this and the earlier posting about the bagel shop name, I guess today is Fail Blog Monday. Cheezburger Network Win?

    • formatc says:

      The Consumerist: Trawling the ICHC network so you don’t have to.

      It is too bad that they are posting a bunch of stories that I already saw while browsing ICHC over the weekend. It’s nice to know why, though, since I thought it was just deja vu. Or that I already saw it when I checked Consumerist 5 minutes ago. Usually it’s the latter.

      • JulesNoctambule says:

        How unfortunate that you were forced to click on links to things you’d already read!

      • runswithscissors says:

        Perhaps the Consumerist staff could get your home phone number and give you a call to ask for your permission before they post anything that already exists elsewhere on the internet?

  12. anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

    I printed off the picture and gave it to my daughter. I then said that I would be happy to watch the grandkids anytime. I may not be asked to babysit for a little while…..

    • mythago says:

      Being a grandparent puts you in a bit of an awkward position for taking passive-aggressive swipes at your kids’ childrearing practices. I mean, where do you think they learned them?

  13. Quake 'n' Shake says:

    I’ve seen the espresso/puppy sign at a coffee shop before. But I really like the additions to this one.

  14. anchorworm is really sick of Minnesota weather says:

    I printed off the picture and gave it to my daughter. I then said that I would be happy to watch the grandkids anytime. I may not be asked to babysit for a little while…..

  15. raydee wandered off on a tangent and got lost says:

    I like the more honest one:

    “We will contact child services and the police for any child left unattended for longer than 5 minutes on these premises.”

    • smo0 says:

      I’m for this.

    • smo0 says:

      Also…. if someone snaps back at you when you share some “advice” to an obvious bad parent who cannot control their kids: Best come back I ever heard once….

      “Don’t tell me how to parent my child.”

      –“Sure, I can’t, but ECS can.”

      The woman quickly shut up and left.

      • mythago says:

        Please consider that your “advice” may be dumber than you think, and that kids cannot always be “controlled” so that they behave perfectly. Yes, sometimes people are oblivious to things like kids pulling stuff off shelves, but you might be surprised at some of the dumbass “advice” people feel compelled to hand out to parents.

        I once had a two-year-old throw a tantrum in a store about putting on her coat. Of course, I immediately grabbed the kid and coat and exited the store, but since I can’t teleport, it took me a minute to get outside. Some bozo who came out of the store shortly thereafter looked at me (outside, putting the coat on the kid, it being winter and all) and announced “If that were my kid I would have slapped her blind!” I looked at the bozo and said “You think that hitting her would have made her stop crying?” Gee, buddy, sorry for messing up your image of yourself as parenting expert.

        If he’d called Child Protective Services instead I think they would have had a good peeve about how they were wasting time dealing with “crying toddler in store” instead of, say, spending that time rescuing kids from parents who beat, starve and rape them.

      • Traveshamockery says:

        The fact that they know what “ECS” was tells us all we need to know about their parenting skills!

    • ARP says:

      This gets my vote.

  16. dolemite says:

    I remember working at GNC…wow it was great when soccer moms brought their brats into the store.
    #1. There is nothing in the store for kids.
    #2. They invariable let their kids wander around.
    #3. GNC is full of thousands of bottles of tiny supplements and liquids. Many of which come in glass containers.

    • rpm773 says:

      My favorite, for what you describe, is Home Depot or similar on the weekends.

      Because nothing is sold or transported in those places other than cotton balls and down-filled pillows.

      • Emperor Norton I says:

        Oh do I remember the day I had to buy a couple of toilet seats at HD.
        The display was blocked by a father allowing his son to pick out the new family throne. When I politely asked him to move so I could actually take a couple of the seats from the display, the man got furious with me for interrupting his son’s adventure!

        And then there are the times you go into Best Buy {I know, I know} & every idiot kid from 50 miles around is in the joint!

        • saerra says:

          Aww, you gotta feel bad for a kid with parents that think picking out a toilet seat is an adventure ;-)

          I was at the grocery store a couple weeks ago, waiting to check out, and saw this little guy rambling around – he looked like he couldn’t be more than 6 years old. He went to up to the guy in front of me (who looked old enough to be his grandparent) and was pointing out how yummy the popsicles in the display looked.

          OK, I thought they were together. Then the kid goes rambling off, back into the store, calling for a parent!

          OMG – He was soooo little, I couldn’t believe anyone would let a child that age out of sight in a crowded store.

        • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

          Think that’s bad? I was shopping for a new toilet at Home Depot and when I asked the sales rep (yep, I found one) why the models were elevated AND the seats covered with plexiglass he replied with “Because some people have used them”. When questioned about the frequency of such an act the rep swore up and down that it was true…that people would sit on the model toilets and leave a green brick or two. He continued to say that judging from the length and the general thickness of the offerings one would conclude it was done by adults. I joked with him by asking if he had a bristol scale reference app on his smart-phone.

    • mythago says:

      What I don’t get is, even if you’re a dumbass parent who doesn’t care about damage to the store or your child, wouldn’t you consider that if the kid breaks something you have to pay for it?

      • Fidget says:

        Try enforcing that one if you’re not the manager, though. They’ll ask to complain to him/her, and if it’s a small enough item, most entitled-ass parents (the ones who don’t immediately assume it’s their responsibility to pay for things their kids break) can bitch hard enough that they don’t end up having to pay for it. While people with kids AND a conscience get shafted for accidents.

  17. diasdiem says:

    “If thine enemy offends thee, give his child a drum.”
    –Chinese proverb

    • tsukiotoshi says:

      This are words to live by.

    • mythago says:

      I should warn you that one only works on really amateur parents. Childfree friends used to think it was hilarious to threaten to buy my kids drum sets. I told them I’d be happy to accept any drum set that was noisier and harder on the ears than a metal spoon banged on a steel mixing bowl. So far, no drum sets.

      • diasdiem says:

        The other favorite is toys that shoot stuff.

        • mythago says:

          Yeah, same caution. Kids are like prison inmates when it comes to fashioning deadly weapons out of ordinary household implements.

          (Also, some people who don’t want kids now will eventually have kids, and the last thing you want is for your friends to take revenge…)

          • diasdiem says:

            I once made a blowgun out of an empty Capri Sun pouch. Those straws were the perfect size of toothpicks.

  18. Eat The Rich -They are fat and succulent says:


    Bad children are usually the result of bad parents.

    Unless they are inherently evil, at which time a career in banking beckons.

  19. Link_Shinigami says:

    I used to work in an office during college (Internship I guess?) and one of my coworkers had one of these signs up, pretty much the exact same thing, “Unattended children will be given candy, coffee and a puppy and sent home” because if you don’t send them home/to their parents, they will just annoy you, right?

    • mythago says:

      There’s a candy store chain in the UK that used to put up signs saying “Unattended children will be turned into gummi bears and sold at 99p the pound”

  20. lilacorchid says:

    At an antique shop near my place:

    Please don’t hold your child’s hands… we need the money!!!

  21. antifox says:

    Seen this before brilliant, the parents take heed.
    Another pet peeve low/mod priced stores have parents drop off the kids where the toys are while they shop elsewhere in the store. for that reason I tell management that I will not be buying anything from the toy department.

  22. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    Can we have an accompanying sign saying something along the lines of “We reserve the right to shoot tranquilizer darts at unruly and misbehaving children”?

  23. TouchMyMonkey says:

    I have a fridge magnet that says this, only it’s a kitten the caffeinated kids would be getting. Kittens’ claws are as sharp as scalpels, they get into everything, they love to climb the furniture and the drapes, and I swear I once saw one fly. They also have the annoying habit of waking you up at the very crack of dawn, the rising sun being the only way they know to tell time.

  24. MrEvil says:

    My name is Mister Evil, and I approved this message.

  25. GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

    I hear Target may be using this sign soon.

  26. Trae says:

    I sometimes think you guys confuse “passive aggressive” with “sense of humor”

    • cash_da_pibble says:

      There’s a difference?
      I know I’m openly passive-aggressive, but people laugh-
      and that makes me think I’m funny.

      maybe I’m just sad….

    • mythago says:

      It’s funny because it’s a reminder to parents not to leave children unattended, but is done so in a humorous way – nobody really believes that the store is going to hand parents a puppy, espresso and a drum. Much more effective as a reminder than a crabby “Watch your kids” or “Do not leave children unattended”, too.

  27. wellfleet says:

    somebody take a picture of your kid holding a tiny espresso, a puppy, and a little drum and insert a chat bubble with some expletives.

  28. mythago says:

    I’m perfectly capable of teaching my kids to swear, thank you very much.

    (Though the sign IS hilarious)

  29. MuffinSangria says:

    Love it! Wish we had it at the toy store I worked at years ago.

  30. nbs2 says:

    The sign was funny. The first 250 times I saw it. Can we find a new joke? Please?

    At least this one says espresso instead of expresso.

    • DimTwinkle says:

      I’m sorry that you have seen it so many times before. I, on the other hand, had never seen it and found it amusing. Also, for parents or parents-to-be in the future, I think it’s a funny way to convey an important message that hopefully provides some food for thought. Some things bear repeating and when I do come across stuff that I’ve seen several times already, I just skip on by to the next new thing.

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      Next time consumerist runs a similar article, they should run it by you first?

      Anyhoo, I’ve never seen this type of sign before and thought it was pretty funny.

  31. 420greg says:

    and tought to light matches.

  32. Randell says:

    Liek most I think this sign is great, but in all seriousness, when did airlines get forced into this “unattended minors” bullshit? If your kid is too young to fly alone, then the parent or a responsible adult should fly with them. It should not be the job of the FA, or airline to watch your brat, because YOU decided it was important for them to see grandma over summer vacation.

    • mythago says:

      Are you bored and trolling or just high? This is a sign in a cafe, not a notice from airlines that pitch ‘unattended minors’ services.

    • I_love_catnip says:

      Wow. Relax. Airlines have been doing this since at least the 70’s, I flew by myself for the first time as a 6yo in 1976 and continued to do so every summer afterward. So did my husband and his sister. It’s nothing new.

  33. mythago says:

    OK, as a parent, somebody is going to have to explain this to me: other than the “free-range parenting” nutjars, who on earth leaves young children unattended in a store other than in a dire emergency? (And by “dire emergency” I mean something like “his younger brother just had a seizure and I had to step outside of the store to deal with getting him into the ambulance,” not “I wanted to go shopping at a different store without the kid”.) Forget random predators, the kid could get hurt, wander off, break something, have a panic attack when Mommy/Daddy isn’t in sight, whatever. WTF?

    To be fair, there are older kids who can be left to their own devices for short periods because they have shown themselves to behave as responsible customers in the store; but short of that, again, WTF?

    • Momma Volcano says:

      No kidding. I guess the key word is “young”. Different people define “young” in different ways. I certainly think that barely-3-years-old is too young to wander our (non-cul-de-sac) neighborhood, but my neighbor does not. (Drive me BANANAS.) Likewise, for me, a kid anywhere under the age of say, eight or nine shouldn’t be in a store unattended. (And some eight- or nine-year-olds? Still too young to be in a store unattended. Depends on the store, the kid, and proximity of parents.)

  34. PerpetualStudent says:

    There was one customer at my old job who would bring his son (maybe 6 or 7) and leave him in the clubhouse while he would sit in the bar for an hour or so after their round. He expected the snack bar girls to watch him while he got his drink on. This annoyed our food an beverage manager. One day she basically showed the boy how to put on nail polish – and then “left” the nail polish on the counter while she went back to work. Well, the boy apparently walked into the bar to show his dad his nicely painted pink nails and was never seen at the course again.

    • mythago says:

      Do you have her contact information so we can inform her she won the Internets?

    • BeFrugalNotCheap says:

      Wow. I would’ve gotten the beverage manager a gift as recognition of their brilliance. that was a good one!

    • Big Ant says:

      I would definitely call child services in this circumstance, if he leaves his child alone to go drink then there may be other issues.

  35. Cantras says:

    There are a bunch of unattended children in my apartment complex, and I’m guessing from the demographic around us that they probably will learn to swear without my help. But a lot of them *are* at the learning-to-make-long-sentences phase, and i wonder if i can teach them to say “You’re a bad mommy because you leave me unattended in the hallway all day.”

  36. bastion72 says:

    …and a vuvuzela.

  37. Keep talking...I'm listening says:

    It’s hard not to laugh when you hear someone in the south say ‘sheeeeuuuht’

  38. Big Ant says:

    I would just have a sign saying the children would be given their choice of violent video games, that would keep them away, or just bring on the lawsuits.

    • mythago says:

      God, no. Plenty of kids would sneak away from their parents to go to the store unattended. “Hi, I don’t know where my mom is, can I have my free copy of GTA 4 now?”

  39. davidc says:

    Best … Sign … EVAR.

  40. shinymcshine says:

    And a vuvuzela

  41. HogwartsProfessor says:

    I saw one once that said “Unattended children will be sold as slaves.” It was in an auto parts store.

  42. Rachacha says:

    So where is this place? My kids have been saying that they want a puppy, and I figured this would be a good way to get one for free! If I don’t get a puppy after leaving the kids unattended, can I sue? :-)

  43. JackieEggs says:

    Sign in my kid’s pediatrician’s office read “Children left unattended will be sold to the circus.” Guess it’s along the same line… Me?, I’d have to tattoo ’em, give ’em a lit cigar and THEN sell them to the circus… OK, I’m joking about the tatt and cigar…

  44. ValoraChloris says:

    I wonder if McDonald’s still has this corporate policy in place…

  45. lolwutrly says:

    I think my sign wins.
    Spotted while on vacation (with my kids) in Lancaster, PA:

  46. bullymom2 says:

    My unattended child could teach you how to swear. He doesn’t need a drum, since his ear piercing screams and yells are plenty. Espresso not needed, since he’ll be running circles around the store. The puppy, on the other hand, would probably call him down. Did I forget to mention he’s got ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder, and could possibly be bipolar? Oh, the joys of parenting, especially in public.