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What is an appropriate response from a restaurant if a pigeon craps on you while sitting at one of their tables...

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relizabeth Jul 9, 2011 04:02 PM

So, my husband and I went all the way across the city we live in to eat dinner at a very well reviewed dear little restaurant. It is in a covered market. And 1/2 through our dessert, a pigeon, that was perching above us, crapped on our lovely dessert. It ruined my husband's shirt, and we lost our appetite. What do you think would be an appropriate response to this horrific event?

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  1. pinehurst Jul 9, 2011 04:07 PM

    Not sure if this is even a serious post?

    You probably won't like the answer. Although I am sorry your appetite was ruined...

    You knew the pigeon was perched above you when you sat down, no? You know what pigeons do best (and it's not carrying messages). Poop happens. The restaurant owes you some extra napkins and directions to the restroom. That's all.

    And by the way....it's an unfortunate event, but not horrific. Not by any means. Take it as a learning experience, and laugh about it later.

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    1. Delucacheesemonger Jul 9, 2011 04:11 PM

      Clos du Val vineyard have huge swallow nests above their entrance. If thee get shat upon, you get a free tasting. l have been lucky ( unlucky )twice and received free tastings. Seems reasonable and a lot better than expected.

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        Isolda Jul 9, 2011 04:12 PM

        Laughter. Unless they trained that pigeon to crap on command, it's just one of those things that happens. Some servers might bring you a new dessert, but they're not obligated to do so.

        BTW your husband's shirt is not ruined. If you let pigeon crap dry, you can just brush it off, then launder the shirt.

        Years ago, we were eating at a seaside restaurant in Florida, when a seagull swooped down and picked up the top bun off my sandwich. Not as nasty as your situation, but I still didn't want to eat the rest of the sandwich even though the restaurant offered to bring me a new top bun. Not their fault.

        It's not wise to blame people for misfortunes.

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        1. re: Isolda
          pinehurst Jul 9, 2011 04:16 PM

          Trained a pigeon! I got a chuckle. Also, the folklore factory that is my family, getting pooped upon is supposedly good luck.

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        2. twyst Jul 9, 2011 04:16 PM

          Bringing you a new dessert or removing the dessert from your bill should be more than satisfactory.

          Also, describing this as a "horrific event" made me laugh.

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          1. k
            kpaxonite Jul 9, 2011 04:56 PM

            You "lost your appetite" while having dessert... were you planning on ordering another entree after dessert?

            The appropriate response is to bring that pigeon to small claims court.

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            1. scoopG Jul 9, 2011 05:00 PM

              You are "owed" something only if this "covered market" was indoors - where there would of course never be any fowl expectation!

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              1. re: scoopG
                Veggo Jul 9, 2011 05:14 PM

                In an increasing number of municipalities, Denver being one, local codes do not permit outdoor dining without a cover, for this reason. It is an expense to the restaurant, and can detract from the ambience and pleasure for the diners, for what is probably a once in a lifetime misadventure.
                To the OP: get over it, or sue the bird.

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                ricepad Jul 9, 2011 05:14 PM

                Aside from comping the dessert, the restaurant should send out a busboy hunting party with shotguns to take care of the pigeon.

                If this counts as horrific to you, you lead a charmed life.

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                1. ursy_ten Jul 9, 2011 05:25 PM

                  The restaurant shouldn't HAVE to do anything, it was an unfortunate event - it wasn't the restaurant's fault. Some places will do something to compensate as a gesture of goodwill, but I think of that as a nice bonus. I would never EXPECT them to do anything.

                  If you're out in a public park and a pigeon craps on you, do you send the cleaning bill to the City Council, or God? No - because these things happen. Pigeons crap, and sometimes some of us are unlucky enough to be under them when they do.

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                  1. meatn3 Jul 9, 2011 07:40 PM

                    Had you sprinkled breadcrumbs on the tablecloth and invited the pigeon down like he asked this wouldn't have happened...

                    :-D

                    Seriously though, the most I would expect would be a "So sorry" and an offer of a moist cloth to wipe off the clothing.

                    An offer of replacing the dessert would be very classy, but not at all expected.

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                    1. Quine Jul 9, 2011 07:58 PM

                      Dear Abby's Frat boys are now posting on CH now?
                      I am sure that you want an answer like, 50 free sessions at the shrink's couch of your choice for the horrific memories to be vastly explored, flown to Hong Kong so an exact duplicate of your husband's shirt to be retailored immediately, the bird shot, then dressed and served to you in the manner of your choice at a fully comped dinner for 50 of your closest friends and the waiter made to be your indentured servant for 7 years.

                      My actually answer is Sh*t happens, sometimes literally, nature is just that, why sit there if you saw the bird overhead as well as, *maybe* the dessert comped.

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                      1. re: Quine
                        Veggo Jul 9, 2011 08:13 PM

                        Could this explain why some tropical drinks are served with little umbrellas? When I was at Heron Island diving the barrier reef in Australia, the terns shat on all of us daily.

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                        1. re: Quine
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                          relizabeth Jul 10, 2011 08:36 AM

                          I'm not really sure what part of my posting you consider to be so loutish and boorish. But the only part that is at all possibly frat-ish from this experience from our perspective is, perhaps, being fully showered in warm animal feces whilst eating indoors. I also think wanting to appear presentable at the concert we had tickets for after dinner is a bit more on the Emily Post end of the spectrum than frat boy. We are not fools that blithely choose seats under soon to be un-constipated vermin. We had a perfectly lovely meal punctuated with a exceedingly unpleasant and unexpected event.

                          I wanted chowhounders' reasonable opinions about what are reasonable responses by restaurants to repulsive things that they have no control over, rather than accusatory and inane comments.

                          The restaurant was remarkable in their response. We immediately changed to a new table which had no possible pigeon perches above it. They gave us a new dessert. And charged us for half the meal. My husband's shirt was not in a state to be cleaned at the table or even in the restaurant bathroom. He wore his windbreaker to the concert, and promptly bought a tee shirt at the merch table.

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                          1. re: relizabeth
                            Quine Jul 10, 2011 08:45 AM

                            " being fully showered in warm animal feces whilst eating indoors."
                            Wow that musta been some huge pigeon.

                            The place comped you half the meal? Wowzers .

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                            1. re: relizabeth
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                              goodeatsinadive Jul 10, 2011 10:08 AM

                              "covered market", ""whilst eating indoors". Either you were inside or outside. Covered market leads one to believe it was outside with a roof but open air access; if that's the case any bird would have access to perch anywhere they deem appropriate. Even over your table.

                              "showered in warm animal feces"... Are you sure you weren't in farmer Brown's pasture with his livestock?

                              And nowhere in your original post did you mention a concert later. If that was the case, certainly no one would have paid too much, if any, attention to a poop covered shirt - certainly worse things have covered shirts at concerts depending on how close one may be to overly zealous patrons.

                              You have obtained what you desired - a mostly comped meal and the attention of the board about a hilarious situation. Perhaps you should eat better, it may help you loosen up a bit and enjoy life more, charmed one.

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                            smartie Jul 9, 2011 08:03 PM

                            the appropriate response is to say 'oh crap' and laugh about it.

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                              anakalia Jul 9, 2011 08:07 PM

                              Really, everyone? Aren't you being a little harsh? I took the OP's use of the term "horrific event" to be mostly tongue-in-cheek.

                              And, honestly, I would be surprised if the restaurant did not bring out another dessert, assuming the pigeon crapped on it when it mostly uneaten. I know they are not *required* to do that, but it seems like most places I go to would do it anyway -- in the same way that they will often bring another glass of wine or cocktail if someone at the table accidentally knocks it over when it is nearly full.
                              Do they have to? No. Does it make the dining experience better and leave the diners with a good impression of the restaurant's service? Yes.

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                                somervilleoldtimer Jul 9, 2011 08:32 PM

                                In Brazil, it's good luck to have a bird poop on you, but I have no idea what happens if the bird does its thing while dining.

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                                  Harters Jul 10, 2011 09:55 AM

                                  Where I am a bird crapping on you is supposed to be a sign of good luck (or, at least, that's what my mother always told me).

                                  So, if it happened in a restaurant, I'd expect the staff to ask me what numbers I was putting on the lottery this week.

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                                    LeoLioness Jul 10, 2011 10:05 AM

                                    Uh, nothing? It wouldn't occur to me to inform the restaurant.

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                                    1. mamachef Jul 10, 2011 10:18 AM

                                      I honestly guess I'd feel the same if a drunk had come along and peed up his leg.

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                                      1. re: mamachef
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                                        goodeatsinadive Jul 10, 2011 10:21 AM

                                        That probably happened at the concert after dinner. LOL.

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                                      2. The Chowhound Team Jul 10, 2011 01:30 PM

                                        As responses are becoming increasingly unfriendly, we're going to lock this thread now.

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