There we all were, re-convened at the local restaurant after our Bible study. Feeling peckish, I chose a hefty burger, intending to follow up with some enhanced coffee beverage. Medium rare, please, sir.
"I'm sorry - we're not allowed."
That brought me out of my happy place right quick. You're not allowed? You mean, I'm not allowed. Why not?
"We got sued. Somebody in Long Island, or north somewhere. The grill won't prepare it any lighter than medium well."
Oy. It used to be that, if one gave instructions, one implicitly accepted the consequences. One chose to run the slight risk of some E. coli for a savory cow product. Nope, sorry - no risk allowed! All because some ridiculous killjoys decide that they're entitled to a reward for being a little unlucky. I know food poisoning is unpleasant - been there. But I wouldn't blame the restaurant unless I knew that they had handled the food improperly, an event that can make one sick even from the most-thoroughly-cooked item. If not, well, it's nobody's fault and I'll get through it.
Not any more. Now, I don't mind a well-done burger. It's not how I prefer them, but I'll eat it that way. The point is that, because of someone else, I can't be trusted to be an adult in a commonplace situation. I'm assumed to need protecting from my own choices.
I got a bowl of soup, a sundae, and water instead - my only possible protest - so I figure the restaurant lost ten bucks on the exchange. And no, I didn't stiff our server; it was hardly Josh's fault. Besides, he was very cool about it - he treated the sundae like a main course and gave me the "with entree" discount on the soup. That's a well-trained waiter, and a young man poised to make a mark for himself in the world.