Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Handcuffs, not fisticuffs

In Egypt, violence is the cost of pushing out a tyrant. Here in the United States, it’s a lark for young people who don’t know how to behave in a restaurant and want a tough rep. Witness the two videos that went viral in the past week or so.

One depicts a Wendy’s employee being attacked because she tried to calm a conflict between some youngsters frequenting a unit in Queens. She walked from behind the counter to tamp down what could’ve been an explosive situation. Then someone throws something at her from behind. The next second, they’re piling on her. It’s all caught on someone’s cell phone.

You can see the clip here.

It has a rival for attention in the clip that’s being circulated of a fight that erupted in December inside an upstate McDonald’s. It is, to put it mildly, a melee, with chairs flying and two groups pounding the hell out of one another.

It's embedded in this news report.

The common feature of each is the amusement of the onlookers. You can hear them laughing at times. There’s no evidence of disgust, concern about safety, or even real fear.

Is that what you felt when watching them?

Probably not, which is why I’ve posted them here. It’s as if reality is suspended and the perpetrators look at the restaurant as a movie scene they’re stepping into, or maybe a video game. The consequences escape them.

Look at the recent catastrophe at a Boston Market, when an employee at the drive-thru suffered second-degree burns because kids threw an order of macaroni and cheese at him as a joke.

Fortunately, authorities seem to be taking the situations seriously. The knuckleheads are caught on video, and the police are using the images to track down the offending parties.

In the meantime, you have to hope only the videos are going viral, not the practice.

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