So What Happened?
What was ol' Bob doing? As recounted by his parenting blog 'The Rain Racer', in the entry "My 11-Year-Old's First Trip To Hooters", Bob went with his son and another father and son to Hooters for some wings.
They went for food, but Mr Elston also used it as an experiment to gage his sons sexual awareness and whether he was going to need to have 'the talk'. After that, everyone wanted to have a talk with him.
People (ranging from their family and friends to anyone with access to the Internet) have jumped in to debate the topic. Some see him as a monster who basically brought his son to a brothel, to others saying he should be applauded for his parenting techniques.
Lord of the Wings Weighs In
I remember at least 5 years ago seeing a travel guide to Niagara Falls, and in it was an advertisement for Hooters, with a mom, a dad, and two kids sitting at Hooters, being served wings by a Hooters waitress with the caption of something along the lines of 'Fun For The Whole Family'. And it made me laugh at such an audacious claim. A family restaurant?
I have been to Hooters before (before I started the blog). The first time I went, it was a friend's birthday and she wanted to go. There were 4 of us, and I was the only guy. The whole time I felt like I was a pervert, that everyone was looking at me like it was my idea to go to Hooters. Of course no one cared in reality. But many people mistake short shorts and tight t-shirts as the equivalent of a strip club. Whenever I passed by Hooters in downtown Toronto, I always saw predominantly male clients, but certainly not exclusively male. It's really not as seedy as some people think because its just a bar with a gimic of a scant uniform.
That being said, the maybe 4 times I've been, the service has always been terrible. Even with just guys, I've never found the waitresses flirty or extremely friendly as their hype and stereotype suppose. So my personal experiences say that it's not all about sexuality here. While I do believe there is a level of objectification going on here, I don't think its going to ruin a boys thoughts on women. I'm not sure if I would bring my kids or not, but I don't think Bob is the devil. Women wear much more revealing or titillating outfits walking down the street, on TV, ads etc etc. I think the important thing is that Dad was there to engage in conversation and talk with his son about it.
So what is left in the debate? Wings. How were the wings Bob? That's what I want to know. While the Anchor Bar in Buffalo may have created chicken wings as we know it, Hooters is the place that really spread them around the US of A. In my opinion they aren't great wings, but we, as a wing lovers, have to give credit to them for increasing chicken wing awareness.