Like any good American, I have a secret spot in my heart for the glory that is a Chipotle burrito. In my case it is a burrito bowl with extra corn, covered in phony meat “sofrita” nonsense. When news broke that Chipotle was asking customers to not bring guns, no matter how legal they may be, into their shops, I started reflecting on some of my Chipotle experiences.
According to Chipotle, “the display of firearms in our restaurants has now created an environment that is potentially intimidating or uncomfortable for many of our customers.”
I currently live about 10 miles away from the nearest metro in Washington, D.C. At my most emotionally distant, this often finds me craving Chipotle’s faux-healthy, fast, casual goodness at odd hours of the day.
One day last March, I found myself in the Chipotle off Richmond Highway in Alexandria, Va. a few miles from Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) and a few more miles from the nearest reminder of the millennial soaked existence I have come to crave in D.C.
When I walked in, I was overcome by two things. First, Chipotles, no matter how benign, are always, always crowded. And secondly, People really enjoy burritos that cost less than two gallons of gas (thanks Obama).
What I also witnessed was something rather alarming. There, among the sensory overload of guacamole and brown rice, was a tiny baby, releasing his bowls at a table seated not ten feet from the register.
While I am no parent, I would like to think that the heart of a popular, crowded building that serves food is not the best place for infants to register their evening deposit into their diapers.
Feeling like a concerned citizen, I pointed this out to the manager on duty, who seemed completely unfazed by the feces-laden ordeal that lay before us. In his estimation, the parents were within their rights to change their child’s diaper, even though there was a perfectly usable bathroom not 10 ft. away.
It was at this moment, that despite the overwhelming scent of salsa verde permeating through the air, I became overcome with the fact that yes, there was a baby crapping all over itself three yards away from where I was trying to eat my vegan burrito bowl.
What does a young man do in this situation? While I am no cadet in the National Diaper Patrol, I felt the inherent need to try and right this wrong. To Twitter I went, armed with my complaint, hoping that someone manning the Chipotle Twitter account would feel sympathy for the mild inconvenience I had briefly felt.
And they did, sort of.
What does this teach us? Maybe nothing; however, at the end of the day, the Internet will be ablaze with a company directed mandate, asking law-abiding citizens to not bring their federally licensed firearms, into one of the most popular restaurants in the United States.
Yet, faced with the knowledge that at least in one location, a manager allowed parents to let their infant child soil himself all over a dining table, priorities seem a little out-of-whack.