1. The chickens came into play the previous day. Meg shows up at the vegetable stand with her chickens in tow, which makes a sort of attraction for tourists / customers.

    I don’t think “facilities” means “restrooms” here.

  2. The main deal was, they were producing takeout in a home kitchen, and then added onsite tables. They got hit for running a non-compliant restaurant, so had to upgrade everything to code. Now, even though their bistro is closed, they’re up to code on the kitchen they use for the takeout and shouldn’t have any problems. Unless, as hinted, there’s an issue with live chickens trotting around as atmosphere.

  3. But since they’re already restaurant-compliant, the health department wouldn’t be bothering them whether or not they offer seating (and presumably they were already offering take-out meals, though in smaller volume)

    And for the record, the health department has as much interest in what you sell as take-out as in what you serve at a table.

    But my main issue was “facilities”: maybe this is a regional phrase?

  4. Given you have an issue with facilities, it must be regional. I just thought he was referring to the (previously mentioned) code-compliant kitchen. Yes, I have heard people speak of “using the facilities” meaning the bathroom/washroom/sink&toilet area, but I wouldn’t jump to that meaning.

  5. Right, which is why (to echo chemgal et. al.) “facilities” probably doesn’t mean “public bathrooms” but “code-compliant kitchen.”

  6. And why are they not wearing masks???????

    I wish cartoonists would make up their minds: Either go along with the COVID issue and stick with it completely, OR ignore it completely. This mish-mash just bothers me; one day they’re wearing masks; the next day they aren’t; the day after that, some are and some aren’t. CONSISTENCY is needed here, just as it’s needed for real life.

  7. Andréa: I don’t wear masks 24 hours a day in real life. Maybe in panels 2-4, they’re in situations that don’t require masks. e.g. in panel 3 she’s setting up before customers are around. Panel 1 is the only one (customer-facing) that would clearly require masks.

  8. I’m NOT saying the characters should be wearing them 24/7, but when shown in situations like this, they should be doing so. OR drop the entire COVID thing and be completely ‘normal’.

  9. Andréa: Why should they be wearing them in “situations like this”? As I said in my previous comment, there’s no reason to think that in panels 2-4 they’re in situations that require masks.

  10. Brian in STL: Or just moving a pot around.

    (From what I can tell, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of risk from eating food that’s been in a room where someone with coronovirus was breathing. But that’s not relevant anyway to whether the situations shown are reasonably realistic.)

  11. “But since they’re already restaurant-compliant, the health department wouldn’t be bothering them whether or not they offer seating”

    I think they are talking about the “old days” of years and years ago when they were young and naive. They had in the past start serving cooked dishes out of their kitchen but naively didn’t think they were actually a *restaurant* so they naively didn’t obey any health codes.

    Now they are saying the take out frozen to go reminds them of those days but now they are doing it right and not neglecting code. And I took “facilities” to mean they now actually have equipment to make it work. (When they were kids they did *everything* wrong and they abasingly acknowledging that.)

  12. narmitaj: I think it means “worried that the chickens will trigger some health code violation.”

  13. Narmitaj, To supplement Winter’s observation of the meaning of “sweat the chickens” in this context, you may not be familiar with the very widespread Americanism where “to sweat [smthg]” is to worry over it, to fret or fear it.

  14. Brian in STL: Or just moving a pot around.

    And in close contact with another worker. If one person in a kitchen is wearing a mask, likely everyone should.

  15. Brian in STL: I’m pretty sure that other worker she’s in close contact with is her husband Eugene.

    You can’t conclude that one person should be wearing a mask just because someone else is. In real life, I see many situations where the need for masks is ambiguous, and different people make different reasonable decisions. For example, in parks where people are able to stay distant I often see a couple where one person is wearing a mask, and the other one isn’t.

    And besides, the complaint was that the comic was inconsistent because characters are sometimes wearing masks, and sometimes not. Whether or not you approve of their decisions (and again, I see nothing here that it’s clear I would disapprove of IRL), everything here is perfectly consistent with how people deal with masks IRL.

  16. The other circumstance where one person might be wearing a mask and others not is if one person is going in to a clear “mask required” situation, and the other people aren’t. When my kids and I go to do pickup at the library I wear my mask on the way (I know, I know, but it’s a really short walk, and easier than finding a safe way to put the mask on when I get there.). My kids, however, don’t come into the book return area, and don’t walk up to the librarians, so I don’t bother asking them to mask.

    In that context, panel 2 might make sense if he was going to be heading out somewhere with other people and would need a mask because he was going in and out and didn’t want to have to constantly switch it around. The big problem with that interpretation is that he’s the one with the apron, stirring the food, so it doesn’t make sense that he’d be the one running out to deal with customers, but I may have missed something.

  17. Facilities can mean the kitchen set up for a restaurant or other cooking kitchen where food is prepared for sale in terms of what the inspecting officers would call the setup.

    Facilities can also mean the toilet room(s).

    Could sweating the chickens be related to “not sweating the small stuff” and means they ARE worrying about the chickens?

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