Sunday, November 27, 2005

47. A Tall Drink of Water

Today I witnessed the good old 0ld-man-hits-on-the-younger-uninterested-attractive-woman ploy again. Every once in a while you’ll see it—the 65 year old guy with a dirty sailor hat and a dancing, bikini girl tattooed on his arm. Said tattoo was probably made by amateur tattoo artists on a navy boat or in prison using mold for coloring and ball point pens as tattoo needles. That’s the guy we’re talking about. He’s the kind of guy who would be holding a Rock Star energy drink in his hand if he were only 40 years younger.

Anyway, an attractive woman 45 years his junior walked by as Dirty Old Guy and I were hanging out—not with each other, but in the same area. He said—and I am not making this up—“Well, you’re a tall drink of water.” (Best said with a drunk slurring intonation.)

Did that line ever work? I recall hearing the same type of geniuses say that to women when I was five or six (5 or 6) years old. The women then didn’t pay attention to Dirty Old Guy either. The phrase stuck with me as something to never, EVER say to a woman in whom you have any interest. Not if you want to gain the affections of said woman.

[Segue of the century here. Wait for it…]

I have never been a fan of tall women. I don’t have a problem with them, but I have always been more attracted to women who are of the shorter persuasion. In fact, my wife Limpy is three inches (3”) taller than any of my former girlfriends had been. She’s 5’7”, which, was very tall for me when we first started dating. Anyway, as I listened to the man make his incomplete pass to Tall Attractive Girl, I realized that I never had occasion to use a line like, “Well, you’re a tall drink of water.” This is due, in part, to me not chasing the taller girls.

If I was single**, I would use my newfound favorite phrase to approach a total stranger and use a line like that on her. But since I probably would never approach a tall woman I would have to change my line to, “Well, you’re a short drink of water.” (**I am not single, nor do I wish to be. I only speculate as to what would happen if I were single and used a pickup line like that on a stranger.)

Without impropriety, I would like to know what happens when a young lady is approached with a line like that. So I’m calling on all my male single blog readers to get out your crayons, write these phrases down and use them (discretion gentlemen) on young women with whom you’d like to converse.

• “Well, you’re a short drink of water.”
• “Hey, your unibrow isn’t as bad as they say!” (BTW, the translation for unibrow in spanish is cejijunta.)
• “Do you have house pets, because I just love that pet hair on your sweater?”
• “Can I see your credit card? Just for a second, I promise.”
• “Is that Daltongirl’s Don-Ho shirt?” (But I kid.)
• “How many weevils does your flour bag usually have?”
• “Is that Aqua Net?”
• “Were you a conjugal-visit baby?”
• “Hey, can I bum a dip?”
• “Hey, it’s me—from the internet.”
• “Excuse me. Ya got any parsley.”
• “Mmmmmm…coffee breath!”
• “I bet you can’t tell, but I’m wearing new deodorant today.”
• “I see you everywhere, but you usually don’t see me.”
• “Can I borrow your Chihuahua?”
• “You know, I have been to Nampa.”
• “D’ya have any pork rinds?”
• “Do you smoke Marlboro, or Kool?”
• “Does this rash look cancerous?”
• “Was your dad a thief? Because you have that prison-kid look to you.”

I do not endorse using these on just anyone, only those in whom you have a legitimate interest. Let me know how it goes…

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

46. A Post A Day Keeps The Bloggers Away

What to do this Thanksgiving.

3. Wake up early and break into people's houses. Steal the turkey and throw it in the road. No one will catch you OR prosecute--they do it all the time at halloween.

2. Bake a cornish game hen inside the turkey. When Papa carves the bird, everyone will realize their turkey was a mother.

1. Get everyone's attention, make a lengthy speech about accepting everyone and not wanting to alienate yourself from them. Then annonce that you are straight.

If that isn't enough to keep you going, I posted a lot this week. If that's what keeps you going, I feel Thankful for you. Check my recent blogs for more hilarity...

45. Fun At McGrath's

The latest in the string of customer disservice came at the hands of McGrath’s Fish House. Again I remind you I am a good tipper especially in Utah. My tip scale is between the 15%-30% range because I feel that a server who does a good job is worth it.

The problem with my tip logic is this: if I get bad service and tip 15% in Utah, does the server think they have performed adequately? Because, like, the rest of the schlubs in this non-tipping state give 15% for great service. Hence my dilemma.

Anyway, I got back late from my travels the other day and I tried to do my best to make sure my wife Limpy and I could have a good night out. We went to McGrath’s Fish House so my ‘Tropical Beauty’ wife Limpy could get good seafood. Unfortunately we didn’t go to the location we normally frequent, but to the location that was closer to our favorite store—Jim’s Trinkets ‘N’ Things.

Everyone who touched the order screwed it up:

The server was mind-numbingly slow.
The Italian Crème Soda I ordered had no fruit flavoring. Flavor?—club soda and cream.
The salmon and ribs plate I ordered came without salmon.
The server—while being slow about it—and the manager were busy apologizing to the customer down the row of tables for something that must’ve happened.
When the food finally came, the server was not the person who brought it and the missing salmon incident was made more awkward by it.
The server—who offered to take the soda off my bill—brought me a Sprite with ice even though I had ordered it without.
And finally, when we finally got the food the server came to ask us if “everything was still tasting alright” and if we “needed a box.”

The last offense was the last straw. It doesn’t sound that bad unless you realize she came to ask those things a mere ONE MINUTE after the food finally got there. The rest of my salmon hadn’t even arrived yet. I told her a box would be fine, and she left. Then another server came with the salmon and a plate full of burnt fries. I didn’t ask for more fries, but they came anyway and I didn’t argue.

The server brought us two boxes—which would have been nice, except the boxes were both ‘burger-size’ and couldn’t possibly contain the ribs that I had planned to save for later. I also must mention that I had finished my Sprite by that time, but she didn’t observe it, nor did I remember to ask her for more. I would have had plenty of soda left in my glass had she remembered to omit the ice like I had asked.

Then the server disappeared. I ate my meal without liquid for 30 minutes as my wife Limpy and I had a strained conversation. I was trying to be nice because I was not mad at her, but the conversation was strained anyway.

When it came time to get the bill, we still hadn’t seen our server for minutes so I asked another server to have our server to bring us the bill. When she arrived with it, the Italian soda was still on it, so we had to wait even longer to leave.

After everything was straightened out and the bill came, I left about a $1.78 tip. $1.78 was about 4% of the order. I would not have left anything as a tip, but I didn’t want the server to think I had forgotten it. I wanted her to know I remembered it full well, but that I was exceptionally displeased with the service.

The point: I like McGrath’s. A lot. The location I attended, however, has problems. No organization has that kind of service problems unless the institution is flawed. HR culture problems probably stem from the top down to all the facets of the organization of that particular franchise. I still recommend McGrath’s for great seafood and killer steak ‘n’ chicken, but I advise you all to avoid the location at South Town Mall in Sandy

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

44. I've Got My Spine; I've Got My Orange Crutch

Today in the airport I experienced mirth.

I experience happiness most of the time, joy often, but seldom do I experience true mirth. This mirth was the result of having an odd family sit near me and be odd. One of the four (4) brothers was playing a handheld gaming device, but he was doing some math game. Another brother was looking like a spelling bee participant. They were having a conversation about perpetual motion machines and if perpetual motion is even possible.

Dad was directing the discussion the way a good role model should—by making sure everyone was learning AND believing his point of view. BTW, he was the one fighting on the side of perpetual motion being possible. My thought is that one day the invention of the perpetual motion machine will be invented by this family. They are isolatingly smart.

The mirth happened after watching them for a while. The mom and one of the daughters came in after about 10 minutes of genius hilarity. The daughter—poor soul—had a broken leg and was less mobile. Fortunately she had a transportation that was much better than crutches. To the left you see a photo of said girl—wearing a full length dress for traveling no less—and her gimpy cart.

The gimpy cart came complete with four wheels and a brake on the lone handlebar. Gimpy ones can kneel on the knee pad with their bad leg while pushing themselves around with the whole and complete one.

I was reminded of my childhood neighbor’s senior pet. She had a Doberman that had lost the use of its hind legs due to being 123 dog-years old. She got one of those four-wheeled lunchroom carts the dog could sit on and pull itself around. It was pathetic.

Which brings me back to my mirth. Gimpy girl and her four-wheeled crutch substitute brought my mirth to the surface and I was forced to smile with no one to share it with.

How does one end up with such a device? I don’t know, but I bet it has something to do with your doctor hating you—and possibly your mom too.

Here's a couple of crutch tips: 1) Get normal Crutches. 2) Use Normal Crutches. 3) Your life will be enriched...

Monday, November 21, 2005

43. Real Men Wear Skirts?

Last night I watched a report on Outside The Lines on ESPN about boys who are participating in girls’ sports in Pennsylvania. The teams on which these nancy-boys are participating are field hockey and volleyball. The bad: boys are playing on girls teams. The good: They have to wear the uniforms the girls wear—ooh and the kilts on the field hockey players looks soooo fab!

My problem with the situation is that deep down in my heart I know it’s wrong for them to participate in women’s athletics. I feel it in my core. I can’t make a good argument, however, for them to stop playing. This is Title IX gone awry I know, but part of me applauds the courage of the young men who do this—knowing fully the amount of ridicule they are about to receive. Part of me wants to see them wearing glitter makeup on their eyes.

The basis for my argument goes back to where Title IX started in the first place. There were not enough opportunities for women to play sports so Title IX created them. I know Title IX is much more extensive than that, but when you cut out the legalese and formalities, and that’s what it boils down to.

There are no opportunities for boys to play volleyball or field hockey on most areas. So why not let them play? Or they could create another team, but who would they play against? I would normally be in favor of not letting them play with the girls, but somehow in this case, I want them to stay in it. I want to see where it leads. I want to see the end of gender and racial inequality.

I want to see the end of stupidity. If this is the means to the end than so be it…

Thursday, November 17, 2005

42. The Grand Marquiche

Do I look ninety-five (95) years old? I must, because the rental car agency hooked me up with a sweet 2005 Mercury Marquis.

In case you are ignorant, the Mercury Marquis is comparable in size to a Saturn IV rocket. They come in three colors: white for cops, Powder blue for old people, And tan—also for old people. Now I have nothing against old people, but your choice in automobiles and shoes leaves a lot to be desired.

Anyway, I rounded the corner at the rental agency and saw the gorgon of all passenger cars sitting there beckoning to me with it’s smoky, geriatric voice. I am known to travel with a rather large bag—the kind my Saturn’s trunk (or boot for my friends of the British persuasion) only holds two of. When I put my bag in, it didn’t even dent the trunk’s capacity. I think the cargo space may even have increased after I put my bag in there. Maybe Arthur Weasley got to it.

I’m starting to realize though, that my wizened, elder counterparts know what they are doing when it comes to driving behemoth cars. It rides very well. It accelerates like a jet on take-off. It makes me want to wear Depends® undergarments. It also makes me feel slow.

You see, the other drivers on the road kept passing me. I guess they thought that whoever was driving the Marquis must be going twenty three miles per hour (23 MPH) and they kept passing me even though I was (may have been) doing eighty five (85.) Then they passed me with looks of scorn and derision. As if I were Tyra Banks wearing a fat suit!

I have a question for cops in unmarked police Marquises. Do you really think you are fooling anyone? Do you really think an unmarked car that is white, has dull black rims with no hubcaps, a extra front-bumper thingy and thirty eight (38) antennas attached to the trunk won’t be spotted by the ‘perps’ in approximately .02 seconds? I gots a suggestion for you: drive an El Camino. Oh yeah, that’s what the narcs drive…

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

41. “Give It To Uss, Love.”

At the conference at which I am exhibiting, a woman has the best mullet I have ever seen.

For lack of a better term, I will call it the ball-o’-hair mullet. If you recall, it was popular (at least in the country) for women to cut their hair relatively short and then make it all stand up so their head looks like a ball-o’-hair. Well, this woman has that aqua-net sheen-y ball-o’-hair, BUT she has added the mullet: the back of her hair is shoulder length.

To give you a better description: from the back, her hair is the shape of a keyhole.

Then, on down the way, there is a cooking school whose students are cooking. I haven’t yet been able to ascertain what they are making, but they are obviously using about eight (8) cloves of garlic each time they make it. They make a new batch every 15 minutes. The result is a fiery burning in both of my eyes. I have now concluded that I am not a vampire because with garlic vapor so thick in the air, a vampire would be hard pressed not to turn into a pumpkin. Errr…something like that.

My nose AND eyes are rebelling from the pungency and the burning. In fact, I heard my eyeballs speaking to each other a moment ago: “It burns us!” “Pleasse don’t make us eatss that, my love; we doessn’t like it.” I have begun calling my eyeballs stinker and slinker so I can cope with the pain. (If you were wondering, my LEFT eye is stinker after the ever-popular Lisa “Left-Eye” Lopes. She likes fire too; she burned down her boyfriends house once because they were fighting. I’m glad my wife Limpy doesn’t lose control that way.)

My nose and eyes are not the only body parts that are telling me to quit. I have been standing for about 8 hours for the second day in a row now. The shoes I brought match my belt, but they are not good for standing for long periods of time. As a result, my feet hurt real bad. Maybe it’s the corns.

As I was standing at the conference earlier, I was thinking how great it would be to be a mannequin. Mannequins always stand there all day, but they don’t never get tired. I think it’s because they are supported by those rods that are hidden up their pant legs. I figure I could make a butt-shaped stool seat and attach a shovel handle to it and wear the one-legged-stool inside my clothing. I could sit down while appearing to stand. I could also position my hands at awkward angles so everyone would know I was fake. Then I would have an excuse to wear one of those awful road-kill toupees.

Finally, as I exhibit at the conference, I can tell usually which people are there to learn about the program my company has to offer and which ones are there to snag freebies. Usually the ones who are there for professional development take a pamphlet or two. Then they talk to me about the program and ask, ASK if they can take a freebie. The freeloaders usually take a pamphlet or two so they can justify taking a load of freebies. Then as they round the corner, they probably just throw the pamphlets away. I sometimes want to approach them in my best sales voice and say, “Hey there! Why don’t I just throw this away myself and cut out the middle man?” And that’s one to grow on…

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

40. Taxis of Evil

Because I am a good guy, I decided to turn in my rental car two days early because I was not going to need it very often. Such benevolence was going to save the company about $130 and make me look like the star salesman that I am.

Truth is, I was staying right there near the airport and the hotel the conference was located in was right there near the airport too. I didn’t foresee the thousands of problems my benevolence was going to cause.

First, the hotel shuttle back from the airport was not running very well. By ‘not running well,’ I mean that I was going to have to wait there in the cold air outside for a half hour for it to come get me. At this point I must let you know that the hotel was in walking distance of the airport, but I would have to be on the freeway as a pedestrian to take advantage of the exercise.

So I decided to take the taxi. Apparently, the taxi company in that city is the spawn of Hell itself. It cost me $10.65 to go less than a mile. When the taxi driver told me the cost, I asked, “Really?”

“Yeah, it cost me $7.00 just to start the engine.”

“So it cost $4.00 per mile after that?”

“Yes. For such a short trip.”

I also had decided to eat in the hotel restaurant for the next two nights. This is the same restaurant that charged me 30% gratuity I already wrote about.

Unfortunately, the hotel restaurant was closed on Fridays. There are no restaurants within about two (2) miles of the hotel. Without transportation, I had nowhere to go. The hotel people told me they could give me a ride to a restaurant, but that they couldn’t wait for me while I went inside. I was going to have to go in and order and then call the hotel back for them to send the shuttle driver again.

The only option left was to order in. The only delivery options were pizza and Chinese. So I ordered a pizza that was marginally bad. I think it was delivered from the heart of mother Sicily herself. 1985 was such a good year for pizza.

I thought it was the goal of the pizza joints to deliver within 30 minutes of the order. And don’t they have those heater bags that keep the pies warm?

Then on Saturday morning to top it all off, the shuttle driver had the nerve to look annoyed at having to take me to the airport. This is the same shuttle driver whose service I had already declined twice. Who hadn’t had to work because of me. Who wouldn’t know service if it kissed his girlfriend.

Well, at least the boss thinks I am a model of efficiency…

Monday, November 14, 2005

39. High Stakes Conference

Yesterday was my church congregation’s semiannual Stake Conference. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a stake conference is a meeting where a few congregations from a specific region skip regular church and come together to have a bigger meeting. It’s basically like canceling your date to go to a gay pride parade.

Anyway, in most ‘stakes’ around the world, this meeting starts at 10:00 am and goes two hours. Except in our stake, the meeting starts at 9:00 am and goes for two hours and 6 minutes. Here is a diary of what happened.

8:49 My wife Limpy and I arrive early to steal a good seat—which consists of a seat with both good leg room and padding-backed seats. Alas, the good seats are all taken, so we head up to the balcony.

8:50 The youth choir starts singing. The young ladies sound great. The young men sound weak.

9:03 The youth choir has finished, the conductor makes a few brief announcements, the congregation sings hymn #25. This is troubling because hymn #25 is unknown and musically difficult. It sounds awful

9:07 The congregation sings hymn #26. To the left a blonde boy falls off the bench onto the floor. He doesn’t drop the crayons.

9:10 Further to the left I notice a man who has an unusually large jaw. I think of my brother chewy. I wonder if the man needs to have his jaw shortened. I could tell him I know someone.

9:11 A stately bald man walks into the room. The door from outside opens near the front; everyone can see when he comes in. He takes a seat near the front. Does nothing notable throughout the meeting.

9:12 While taking a congregational vote, the leader tricks everyone by asking people to raise their hands if they are opposed, and then asking for any dissenting votes. (Usually they ask for votes in favor, then for opposing votes.) The congregation laughs and points. (Well, they didn’t point, but I hoped they would.)

9:16 We learn the original name of the organization for young women was originally called Young Ladies’ Cooperative and Retrenchment Association. I’m glad they call it something else now.

9:17 Big jaw guy sighs; he has a smug look on his face.

9:20 The 10-11 year-old girl in front of me starts to sweet talk her dad. I wonder if that’s how she came into possession of the blue suede jacket she is wearing.

9:25 The first tears come from a speaker.

9:26 The first member of the youth choir nods off

9:28 I unwrap a wint-O-green Life Saver and place it gently on my tongue.

9:29 To the far left, an attractive, well-to-do woman starts biting her nails.

9:31 The second (2nd) speaker starts. He is well spoken for a 16 year-old

9:32 An attractive young lady walks toward the bathroom. The young speaker boy doesn’t notice her. (The bathrooms are located in a hallway behind the front of the hall to the right of the speaker’s stand.) I assume the young lady has gone to the bathrooms just so he will notice her because anyone can last until 9:32, right?

9:34 A leader in my local congregation starts coloring with his family to the right. All his children are wearing white/maroon/tan variations.

9:35 A young boy behind my congragation’s leader looks just like Mr. Bean with red hair (or Rowan Atkinson.) I point him out to my wife Limpy.

9:36 To the left there is a family of 10. Mom and Dad and the two brothers—nothing unusual. The 5 daughters, however, are wearing matching maroon dresses. I wonder if it’s maroon day in the hall and if I had missed the memo. Then I notice a 6th daughter who has a dress of the same style as the other daughters, but she is wearing it in bright pink.

9:37 My wife Limpy and I have a friendly argument as to the meaning of the word ‘most.’

9:39 The temptress girl in front of me puts her blue suede jacket on the floor under her bench. I give into the temptation to ‘step on her blue suede’ jacket. But I did it lightly, and without staining it, so it’s okay.

9:40 Speaker three (3) becomes the second person to shed tears; ends talk.

9:43 My wife Limpy yawns. I follow.

9:45 Speaker four (4) ends. I know her talk was extremely short because I am keeping a log.

9:47 My wife Limpy finally asks what I am writing.

9:50 A toddler with an eye patch wanders around in front.

9:51 Blue suede temptress girl sweet talks her dad into letting her go to the bathroom. She tempts me further by leaving her jacket on the floor unsupervised.

9:52 My wife Limpy starts making heart shapes with the chord from her camera.

9:57 The fifth (5th) speaker ends. I realize I have tuned out.

10:00 The congregation sings hymn #21

10:05 Mr. Bean kid yawns.

10:05 A 5 year-old returns from the bathroom waving at her family. Note the whole congregation can see her.

10:09 My wife points out to me a girl seated in front of us to the left has no elbows. I notice she has no creases in her skin at the elbow joint because she has never bent her arms. I feel sympathy for the young girl and think of the two monsters on ‘Sesame Street’ who have to cooperate because one has no elbows and the other has no knees.

10:12 My wife Limpy steals my pen cap. Mr. Bean kid yawns again.

10:16 My wife Limpy finds silica gel packs and a spare-buttons pack in the pocket of her brand new jacket.

10:17 Speaker six (6) recaptures my attention by saying Potipher.

10:20 I throw in another Life Saver.

10:21 I put my arm around my wife Limpy.

10:25 The youth choir sings a silly arrangement of hymn # 27. The silliness comes from the piano player who, through no fault of her own, keeps playing artistic notes between each phrase.

10:31 Mr. Bean kid yawns again.

10:35 Big Jaw guy takes his squirmy kid out. He is much shorter than I thought he would be. I realize he looks smug because he probably has “Little Man’s Disease.”

10:36 My wife Limpy steals my the pen to draw a smiley face on her index finger. I draw angry eyebrows on the face.

10:37 Blue suede jacket girl uses her wiles to make her dad let her leave for a second (2nd) time.

10:45 I realize I have been day-dreaming. My wife Limpy plays with her palm pilot.

10 47 A five to six (5-6) year-old girl comes back from the bathroom. She hikes up her skirt to straighten her tights.

10:50 My sister yawns. I don’t follow.

10:57 Mr. Bean kid licks finger and puts it in his ear.

11:04 The congregation sings hymn # 10.

11:08 The meeting ends just as NFL kickoffs happen all over the nation…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

38. Smokin’ Bud

To both of you who depend on the comments of Stupid for your humor fix, I have been incommunicado during my stay at a six tar resort in middle Missouri. (And yes, I said six TAR--it sounds good when you say it out loud, but when you read it, it gives you a more accurate description.

So my wife Limpy and I were having a wonderful time, but now it's time to get back to work on my blog like a good rambler.

Today at the hotel we had a little bit of a problem with the TV. The problem consisted of it A) not working. They sent a handy repairman to my room to fix the problem. His name was an obligatory one-syllable name: Bud.

Apparently they don’t let Bud talk much, because when he got to my room, we had a 20 minute conversation.

“Hi, I’m Bud. (shakes my hand.) They sent me because you had problems with the TEE-vee?”

“Uh, yeah. My remote doesn’t work; it must be the battery.”

“Oh see, that THERE’s the wrong RE-mote.”

“Well, it works; you just have to press the button really hard.”

“No, this’un here is the one that came with the TEE-vee, and you need the kind the HO-tel uses.”

“You mean the hotel doesn’t use the remote the TV came with?”

“Nope. It may be hard for you to understand because you are a business traveler and I am a hotel repairman—a difference that obviously places me in a position of temporary superiority. The hotel has a RE-mote the allows you to purchase all them durdy movies and WHAT-not.”

“But I don’t want any of that.”

“I know,” he said, winking. “But these RE-motes here are the kinds that work these TEE-vees right.” He then pulled out a box filled with about 20 identical remotes.

“Why doesn’t the remote that came with the TV work it?”

“Because of the durdy movies. You see, there’s a box and a phone cord that go into the back of these TEE-vees and the old remotes don’t work the box prop-ly.”

“Oh. That makes sense.”

He then started to test various remotes on the TV. Each remote test takes about 30-40“See? This RE-mote here doesn’t work the TEE-vee because the ‘3’ button is stuck.”

“Oh”

“And this’un here, was spit on by a baby.”

“Great”

“OK. This RE-mote works.”

“Great, thanks for coming.”

“That’s why I carry this CARD-board box. It helps me find a RE-mote that works prop-ly.”

“You’ve been great. Thanks for helping me out.”

“My TEE-vee at home is a big screen. It’s not HD nor nuthin’ fancy like that, but I always feel like I am right there…”

This conversation lasted another five minutes. I can only assume that the management doesn’t let Bud have his say in the staff meetings. He’s got things to get off his mind, but they just don’t listen to him. My life was enriched by meeting Bud—the chatty repairman.

Friday, November 04, 2005

37. $7.75 + $150 = $11.79

Today at the hotel I was hungry so I decided to order food at the hotel restaurant. The intention was to get it to go and eat it while I watched CSI. I wanted to avoid room service fees, so I went to the restaurant itself and ordered it to go.

Due to my increasing mass and my failing diet, I have been eating too much junk food and fatty fast food lately, so I ordered a salad, $7.75. I also ordered a diet soda.

The Bill--$11.79.

“How much was the drink?” I asked.

“I think it’s a dollar-fifty.”

“Then why is my bill $11.79?”

“For the room service gratuity.”

"Quickly doing the math in my head, I asked, “A 30% gratuity for me coming here to pick up my own food?”

“Well we only have two options: eat in, or room service.”

“What’s the room service gratuity?”

“18%”

“But $2.50 is about 30% of the $9.25 my meal comes to if the drink is, in fact, a dollar-fifty.”

“No it’s not.”

“Excuse me?”

“No, it’s not. It’s 18%”

I really had nowhere else to go and I didn’t want them to spit in my food, so I told them to take it to my room—since that was what I was paying for anyway. I didn’t tip the room service guy.

Some of you have worked in the foodservice industry; I have read your blogs about tipping. I have to tell you I am a very good tipper. I usually tip 15-30%, so I usually treat my servers right.

I only ask a few things in return:

  • Don’t bother me every five (5) seconds
  • Refill my drink often, and don’t interrupt my party’s conversation while you are at it. And don’t ask if I need it refilled, just do it.
  • Don’t touch my wife, Limpy.
  • Don’t crouch next to the table.
  • Be available when it’s time for the check.
  • Don’t rush me out of the restaurant. I am smart enough to leave if there are people waiting. If there are open tables, I’ll go when I feel like it.
  • Don’t ask if everything is “still tasting all right.” Instead, ask if you can do anything for me. The flavor of the food is not an issue you can solve.
  • Don’t ask me if I want a box or the check while I am just starting my dinner.

None of these things happened in my ordering of the aforementioned salad. In fact there was no service involved at all—except by the poor guy who took it all the way to my room—but I had already paid the 30% obligatory tip, so I didn’t feel like I owed him anything. They didn’t come to refill my drink in my room—I would have tipped for that. I would have tipped to have a burly waitress come and harass me as she refilled my water. I do not feel I should tip 30% for no service at all…

Thursday, November 03, 2005

36. Red Heck Follow-Up

If any of you remember my "Red Heck" post, you'll recall an epic set of comments made at various sporting evernts. I recommend you new readers give it a read. Red Heck refers to a group of young fans at a Missouri Mavericks game.

While I was at the baseball game (or game #2 in the post), I was interviewed by a reporter. I thought nothing of it, but tonight I decided to google 'my name' and 'Mavericks' and see if I made the paper. VOILA! There I am.

So, if you know my real name, run the search. You will find me AND see the fellas mentioned in "Red Heck."

Enjoy...

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

35. I'm a Hybrid High Brow

Over the weekend, I was watching the news in between my marathon of movies and my other marathon of self-loathing, and I saw footage from a car show. This wasn’t the kind car show where low-income folks come out parading shiny piece-o-craps. You know the kind—where they show off cars that have been modified to the point of being unsafe, where they create ground effects with layer after cracking layer of Bondo, where the way to get the paint real shiny and hide the imperfections is to rub it with motor oil only to have road dust settle on it on the way to the next show. (I did not make that up; I know people who do just that when they show off their cars.

This car show was the one where the car manufacturers all get together to show off the latest and greatest in design and features.

“…And here we have the Chrysler Vominator—the next generation in cars for those who sick-up easily. Notice how the body lines all point to the bilious, orange-colored tires that have an odd, lumpy tread pattern.” Then you see a whole bunch of European models, who wouldn’t know the first thing about cars, walking around in jump suits and sitting in the drivers’ seats of the various automobiles. Then every few minutes they go outside to have a drag or two on their cheap, Euro-trash cigarettes.

Anyway, the point is: why do they have to make the fuel-efficient cars so ugly? They usually have a couple of sports cars that are nothing short of spectacular, the kind only James Bond would drive—the kind that would make you carsick in a hurry. But then, they bring out the fuel efficient models.

“…Here we see the new Honda Albatrocious. It’s as beautiful as an albatross, AND it’s lucky for sailors. Notice how the body lines converge to make the car look like a UPS truck. It might as well be a building, but you will get 350 miles to the teaspoon. Your friends will be so jealous when you can drive to Gary, Indiana and back on one tank of gas.”

A few years ago when I was working my way through school as a mechanic, I had the opportunity to test-drive the Prius, Toyota’s answer to the fuel efficiency craze. I was very happy with the way it runs, with its power and with its driver comfort. The problem is that it’s ugly—Stupid’s-trip-to-the-Dentist ugly. The Honda Insight is equally ugly—the shape is just as horrible AND they half-covered the rear wheels with a 70’s-Caddilac-like panel that half hides the rear wheel. Maybe it’s that the tire is embarrassed to be seen with the car. Sure they get along in private, but the tires don’t like to leave the house with them.

Since my test-drive in the Prius and after driving other hybrid cars, I have decided that my next auto purchase will be for the good of the environment. “I WILL BE AN ELECTRONIC CAR DRIVER,” I exclaim as I think of my failing Saturn hoping it will crash soon. I have been waiting for the newest models to come out thinking that car manufacturers will have been smart enough to realize no one is buying those cars in America—not because Americans hate the environment, but because they are ugly (hybrid cars that is.)

I was wrong. Electric cars will suck until earth is a black hole. Way to go environmentalists; you have destroyed the world by trying to save it.