Re: Letters

1

Do you guys ever have an affinity for awful people with whom you happen to share a name? I've never actually read any of her stupid books.


Posted by: Slightly Presidential | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:23 PM
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You'd think if anyone would admire "borrowing" money and then running off with it knowing that there wouldn't be legal consequences because they're related to you it would be Ayn Rand.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:23 PM
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1 is clearly written by Rand Paul.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:24 PM
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Ah, a worthy excuse to link to this. Again.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:28 PM
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Ayn has nothing on our local money columnist.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:43 PM
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||
Hey ogged, can you drop me an e-mail?
|>


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:47 PM
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my ogged address is kaput, apparently. let me find another to send from.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:50 PM
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6: Do you swear you'll give it back?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:50 PM
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I'm kind of disappointed in Ayn. She didn't charge interest?


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 1:54 PM
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5- that is the spammiest website I've ever tried to read on a phone. There's no such thing as a free webpage apparently.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:03 PM
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||
Speaking of churlish misers, advise me, Mineshaft, on the etiquette of this situation. I got in a cab with a driver, who, it quickly became apparent, does not know how to drive to the airport. I gave him directions for the simplest possible route (i.e. not shortest or quickest), and he still took a wrong turn and got on the highway going the wrong direction, resulting in a detour of several miles in SLOW traffic. Fortunately, I left early for the airport, planning to take a call from the airport once I got there, so I'm not freaking out about missing my flight.

STILL, I'm pretty annoyed. OTOH, the added cost doesn't come out of my pocket. It's a business expense that my unsuspecting client will pay. It's not terribly consequential for my day (luckily), except that I will be a little harried getting through security in time for my call.

So is this a zero tip situation, or what?

Arguments appealing to distributive justice will be considered, though not treated as dispositive.

|>


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:07 PM
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The question is: who do you want to be like? If the answer is Jason Statham (and why wouldn't it be?), then you'll throw him into the passenger seat (or out of the cab) and drive it yourself. If you want to be a thin-lipped Republican, you'll stew the whole way, leave no tip, and maybe give him a lecture as you exit, either about good service, or God. A hapless liberal would, of course, tip him as usual, poor guy.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:14 PM
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Just tip, dude, especially since it's not coming out of your wallet. The cabbie needs to money. And if you feel truly aggrieved, mention to him that a GPS is a good thing to have in his line of work.


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:16 PM
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Ronald Reagan, on the other hand, would tip him lavishly, then go to the office and have all cab drivers fired.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:16 PM
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13 without seeing 12.

Haplessly yours,

Limpy


Posted by: Von Wafer | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:16 PM
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VW is, of course, the very model of a modern hapless liberal.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:17 PM
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11: Cab drivers need to know how to get to the airport. It's basic cabbie knowledge. Ditto hospitals and major hotels.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:19 PM
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18

Take his medallion and give it to a homeless guy.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:20 PM
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19

Tip 10%. He needs the money as part of basic income, but that is a pretty low level of service that should be reflected in some way.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:21 PM
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13: He *has* GPS!

So he did the right thing and turned off the meter when it got to approximately the airport fare. So I thought, that's fair, I'll leave him the customary tip.

But then he missed the turn again, and drove off in a different wrong direction. And something happened that the meter turned on again. And he almost sideswiped another car.

I'm feeling really churlish here, folks.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:23 PM
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In the United States, viewing the tip as a discretionary measure, to be dangled over the head of slavish subordinates until they have performed to your satisfaction, is the mark of the asshole. You just have to pay the tip, it's part of the agreed-upon compensation -- though a part that has unfortunately been left to custom and practice. You can provide an unusually high "tip" (this is a true "tip," or bonus) for good service, but the only situation in which you wouldn't tip at all or substantially reduce the tip below the normal level is when the service simply hasn't been rendered, so you would be justified in refusing compensation at all. Here, that's not the case, the guy is still taking you to the airport, just badly. Perfectly fine to point out the mistake (best done after the tip is paid, though, to avoid being too much of a jerk) and suggest that he either get a GPS or a phone with the Waze App.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:25 PM
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And he almost sideswiped another car.

Oh good, the question is moot since knecht will soon be dead. I wonder if the dude even has a driver's license. He's probably filling in for his cousin when his cousin is sick or something.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:28 PM
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23

On tipping in general, Halford is correct in 21.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:29 PM
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20 does point out one complication peculiar to cab drivers -- if he really unnecessarily took you out of the way, thus ridiculously jacking up the fare, I think it would be OK to not give the tip on the portion of the fare that was jacked up, after having a conversation about how the driver was jacking up the fare. But that's not the case here, the guy's trying to be conscientious about the fare, just doing a shitty job of driving. Don't be the guy who uses the tipping regime to try to micromanage your personal service experience.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:30 PM
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21 is right. That said you could probably go ahead and say something mean to him about his cabbie skills. It's easy to underestimate the extent to which something like "You're really a shitty cab driver, you know? Maybe you should find a job you don't suck at." delivered in a calm/cheerful tone of voice can really hurt someone's feelings. That's a decent trade off for the frustration of dealing with him, right?


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:31 PM
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One more wrong turn and you can steal his turban. There's a hadith about it.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:33 PM
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if he really unnecessarily took you out of the way, thus ridiculously jacking up the fare, I think it would be OK to not give the tip on the portion of the fare that was jacked up
Here I think it's perfectly legitimate to not tip at all, assuming it was a significant, intentional detour.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:40 PM
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28

And I was having such a good tag closing streak.


Posted by: Eggplant | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:40 PM
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When I was in Seattle I had this somewhat annoying conversation about tips after a meal. I told the waiter I had just flown in to the country, and I wanted to pay the customary tip but I had no idea what it was. He said I should tip whatever I wanted, which of course is bullshit because there societal expectations on tips and I simply wanted to act like a local would. Luckily another local suggested 20%, or I would have gone with the UK standard of 10% and he'd have felt stiffed.

This is a roundabout way of saying I have no idea what you should tip, Knecht.


Posted by: W. Breeze | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:44 PM
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30

It's easy to underestimate the extent to which something like "You're really a shitty cab driver, you know? Maybe you should find a job you don't suck at." delivered in a calm/cheerful tone of voice can really hurt someone's feelings. That's a decent trade off for the frustration of dealing with him, right?

See, that I would never contemplate. It was an innocent, if incompetent, mistake. The guy feels bad enough about it already without me rubbing it in.

In the United States, viewing the tip as a discretionary measure, to be dangled over the head of slavish subordinates until they have performed to your satisfaction, is the mark of the asshole. You just have to pay the tip, it's part of the agreed-upon compensation -- though a part that has unfortunately been left to custom and practice.

I agree with this, and yet I didn't leave a tip. Let me try to justify my decision. We agreed that I would owe $30, which is the approximate normal fare to the airport including (generous) tip. But the meter kept turning on. Finally, when it reached $32.95, he shut it off and I was able to swipe my credit card. So I paid more than the expected / agreed level of compensation, even though he will probably earn less, as his cut of the fare probably isn't 100%.

In the end, I think he was just grateful that I didn't yell at him or threaten to report him to the Taxi & Limousine Commission.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:45 PM
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It was an innocent, if incompetent, mistake.

And yet you didn't leave a tip?! That's a bit Randian of you.

I agree with Halford in 21. And also with that hapless liberal farther upthread.


Posted by: Just Plain Jane | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:50 PM
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32

30 seems like the right call to me, assuming that I'm understanding it correctly. You paid him $32, which was roughly, or slightly more than, the standard cost of going to the airport including not just the base fare but the tip. You didn't pay him more than that, because any charge (whether base fare or tip) on top of the $ 32 came about solely as a result of clear and pretty obviously unreasonable mistakes on his part, which extended the trip completely unnecessarily. That seems fine.


Posted by: Tim "Ripper" Owens | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:51 PM
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33

30: Wrong decision. You should have given him a 10% tip and then immediately killed him.


Posted by: AcademicLurker | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:52 PM
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Speaking of churlish misers, advise me, Mineshaft, on the etiquette of this situation.

The etiquette is: no hijacking threads in the first forty comments.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:57 PM
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35

If a cab driver tries to screw you by taking an unnecessary detour that's grounds to not pay for the ride full stop.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 2:59 PM
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35 to 24 - and when I say detour, I mean actively consciously taking you the scenic route, not just stuffing up and making mistakes.


Posted by: Keir | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:01 PM
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37

Hitting up an aunt you've practically never met for $25 (which would be, what, $200 today?) is pretty ballsy. I'd probably skip all the dramatic "what kind of person do you want to be?" hectoring and just throw the letter in the garbage.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:04 PM
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34: My ruling is that knecht's question is peripherally related to the topic of the OP and is therefore not an outright hijacking. knecht is not banned.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:05 PM
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34: He was, to the best of his knowledge at the time, mid-kidnap. A kidnap deserves a hijack. Even Ayn Rand would see the wisdom of that.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:05 PM
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39: That would not have been a valid excuse. There were other threads available.


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:08 PM
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Thread selection control from a phone in an emergency situation might be weak. And much as there's sense in temporarily suspending the one rule of civilization--all debts must be paid in a timely fashion--in the case of illness, we must do the same in the case of incompetent cabbies who probably don't even know how to base thinkpieces on.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:19 PM
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I see a market for employing a fleet of cab drivers who act like poor clueless souls and rack up fares higher than cabbies who drive you directly to your destination, and prey on liberal guilt to still get tips. At least 10% more profitable than a traditional cab company.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:21 PM
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we must do the same in the case of incompetent cabbies who probably don't even know how to base thinkpieces on.

That is prose worthy of Thomas Friedman himself!


Posted by: peep | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:21 PM
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44

Heebie, I'm trying to reclaim your thread. Help me out here.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:22 PM
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45

Should be "don't even know how to deliver one-liners to base thinkpieces on" and I mis-edited. Guess I'll start working on my mustache.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:23 PM
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44: I thought Ortberg's "30% very good advice, 50% unnecessary yelling, and 20% nonsense" quip was good. There is a core of sense in there, amazingly.

(Also, woah, copy/pasting from The Toast is terrible.)


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:25 PM
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47

I tried but I could no more finish that letter than I could finish Atlas Shrugged.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:30 PM
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48

Instead I read Ortberg mocking the woman who fucks her (not Ortberg's but her own) dad


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:32 PM
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What I learned from Ayn Rand: there's no simplistic argument that can't be made overlong.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:33 PM
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50

The preceding is missing a period because she wants to have a baby.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:33 PM
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Heebie, I'm trying to reclaim your thread. Help me out here.

Ayn Rand has no sympathy for failures!


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:35 PM
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52


IIRC, the otherwise loathsome George Will had a dismissive take on Rand that endears him ever so slightly to me: "Objectivism is the only philosophical system that can be understood in its entirety by an undergraduate, which is why it is so popular with them." [Paraphrased.]


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:39 PM
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The posts following 34 reveal that 34 itself is in violation of the rule it mentions. Recursion!


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 3:42 PM
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52 is good. I can't remember where I read it but I liked the characterization of it as a philosophy which was only suited for hailing a cab in Manhattan.


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:28 PM
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To rethreadjack: are there any pointers for smokescreening? For when you don't want to answer a question and don't want to lie. I need to up my skills.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:37 PM
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"That depends. What do you mean by 'sex' and 'Mutombo?'"


Posted by: Stanley | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:40 PM
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55: Socially or work-related?


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:50 PM
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It cracks me up that the rule is now 40 comments. Back in my day, it was the rare thread that got 40 comments. Insofar as we had a threadjack rule, I think it was "not before the third comment" or something.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:50 PM
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57: Work.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:52 PM
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55: Google "media training". A number of freelancers blog about the topic. Lesson 1 is always "Get it out of your head that you are there to answer their question. The point of the interview is to get your message across. The question is simply the cue for you to start saying what you came to say."

A sense of shame is a severe handicap in these matters.


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:56 PM
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Tip question: if a waiter at an expensive place that you splurged on is really crappy, is 15% or ever so little below, assholeish?


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 4:58 PM
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Starting with "Look, [interviewers name], we all know [planted axiom]. That's why [your message]" is a hardy perennial. Can be done with your choice of tone: condescending or conspiratorial, depending on circumstances.


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:01 PM
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if a waiter at an expensive place that you splurged on is really crappy

This is unusual. What happened?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:02 PM
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55: For less formal situations, you could answer a tangentially related question (or the one you wish they'd asked). Works best with cheerful, airy delivery with no indication you might be misunderstanding. Then, pivot to a new topic that will pull focus in a serious, slightly urgent tone. They ask about TPS reports, you say, "Oh, I'm just about done with my audit. Say, do you have availability on Tuesday to discuss cattle husbandry?"


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:05 PM
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55: also, depending on context. Ask advice of the questioner on a related topic.


Posted by: Turgid Jacobian | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:08 PM
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66

It was prix fixe tea. In a friendly way, I told the manager whom I know. She started, sort of, to clear and set the table like she was trying to get rid of us. She ignored us, because we weren't getting alcohol.

But the main thing was, the other servers were giving many more scones and sandwiches to the people they were serving. We were expecting more food until we realized what was going on and left starving.

She wasn't being rude.

I probably should have asked for more sandwiches but Tim did not want to make a fuss.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:09 PM
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61: Tips (should) get shared out between all the waitstaff (i.e., including table runners, busboys [what's the gender-neutral term for this?], etc.), so stiffing your waiter for bad service screws them too.

You should definitely complain to the manager, though.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:10 PM
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Thanks!


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:12 PM
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69

If it's an internal office / bureaucratic infighting thing, I often rely on "I don't have a well-informed opinion on that." I didn't lie, even though I do have an opinion. I pled ignorance in a way that sounds better than "I dont know." I get a reputation for cautious humility rather than pusillanimity.


Posted by: Knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:13 PM
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67 before seeing 66. In that case, I'd tip 20% and never go back.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:13 PM
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I should probably avoid giving any more details on the exact situation.


Posted by: Minivet | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:16 PM
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70: We did 15% which was the old standard. I like the restaurant a lot and have been meaning to tell the person who manages it with the chef and whom I've known for 20 years.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:17 PM
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71: Boo. Polite deferral per KR works for other situations, too.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:23 PM
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52, this changes my whole view of GFW if true. So I will presume it not true, like your other "IIRC" quotes about uncunting and whatever else.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:49 PM
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74: Will used to imagine himself a Christian high-church conservative, like Muggeridge MacIntyre or Buckley, back when you could tell the difference.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:55 PM
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It seems weird to think that back then Republicans were also the party of business, but that did not mean they were united in utter opposition to all forms of morals and ethics. What changed?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 5:59 PM
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Goldwater/John Birch style robber baron capitalism + the effectiveness of the Southern strategy did most of the heavy lifting early on, and then the rise/consolidation of the evangelical right washed away the last vestiges of basic decency/sanity.


Posted by: MHPH | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:03 PM
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70: We did 15% which was the old standard.

Did you pay in 1970s dollars too?


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:29 PM
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76: I just finished reading Perlstein's Before the Storm (a decade late, I know), which is pretty much the answer to this question. Mid-century "consensus" Replubicanism ala Eisenhower/Rockerfeller held that a strong social safety net and not rocking the boat too hard was good for business. Then civil rights happened.


Posted by: Yawnoc | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:32 PM
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78: This is nonsensical. How can percentages be subject to inflation? Will the standard tip be 50% when we're in our dotage?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:41 PM
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81

I know, I just thought using the "old standard" is ridonk, on the assumption that the old standard corresponded also to higher wages for waitstaff.


Posted by: nosflow | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:43 PM
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82

It's still the standard in the boring parts of the country.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:52 PM
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83

I will presume it not true, like your other "IIRC" quotes about uncunting and whatever else.

You are definitely confusing me with someone else.

It is true that one of my very first unfogged comments was a so-good-it-must-be-apocryphal quote, one that is nonetheless true and well-documented.


Posted by: knecht ruprecht | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 6:57 PM
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I don't know, I'm kind of leaning to zero. If the server brings you 80% of the expensive food you ordered and charges you 100%, well, I guess I don't care how badly they need the money, they should do their fucking job if they want to get paid. And yes, I'm sorry that the bus and dish washing staff got shorted too, but that's on the server, who unilaterally and without justification decided not to serve all the food. They should be talking to the server.

Manager had a chance to make it right, and basically said 'fuck you, we got your money, we don't have to give you the food you ordered.'


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:03 PM
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85

Wait, what comment is 84 referring to? Is this by analogy to the cabbie getting lost?


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:17 PM
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84: No, that wasn't clear. I told the manager that it felt like she was clearing the table on us as we were leaving. The waitress just wasn't communicating or talking. She asked us which tea we wanted and then just brought plates of food without saying what they were.

I said nothing about the sandwiches or scones. That was my bad. She basically gave us (and a mother/daughter pair) a serving for one. There were two types of tiny scones (a cheese, and a raisin--a quarter of the size of a normal traditional scone, and we only got one of each, i.e. we had to split them. I got 3 sandwiches (bread on one side only) which amounted to about 2/3 of a slice.

There were plenty of little dessert tarts, and the piece of buche de noel we split was so rich that it was plenty.

We were both kind of confused, so we didn't speak up.

And the manager is generally great. She's sent out dessert for free on my birthday. I think she would have given me a free drink once except that it's not legal.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:18 PM
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I'm not generally cheap. I mean, I tip my hair stylist a lot, because I never buy product. I was tipping him like 35%, but he just raised his price, and I think I kept my tip flat percentage wise (still over 20%).


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:20 PM
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88

You and Tim together paid for a serving for one, and left hungry? My outrage is dissipating.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:22 PM
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89

Got it.


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NMM to legendary LA musician, record producer and Runaways band manager Kim Fowley.

|>


Posted by: Barry Freed | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:22 PM
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82: Is it, or are you just trying to make the swankier folks feel bad? I tip 20% unless I'm with Selah, at which point it goes way up in connection with her level of (age-appropriate, granted!) messiness.


Posted by: Thorn | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:49 PM
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You live in an exciting place.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:51 PM
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92

I've started leaving extra cash on the table (or handing it to the waiter) when I eat out and my father pays. I'm trying to decide whether their area counts for 82. Probably, but it still seems low.


Posted by: ydnew | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:52 PM
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93

In rural areas, it seems to be 15%, but I wouldn't expect suburban Covington to count as rural.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 7:55 PM
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92: Same here.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 9:08 PM
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95

I've been trying to train my parents to tip 20% instead of 15%. I think they're grudgingly coming around.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 9:15 PM
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83.1: One of my goals in life is to track down that quote. I wonder if the tip of the tongue* sub-reddit give it a go.

*Something like that.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 9:17 PM
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94: Why is ydnew's father buying you dinner?


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 9:27 PM
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89: An interesting player back in the day. His "Animal Man" (assume the visuals are unrelated, but could be a young him). Album art.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 01-15-15 9:49 PM
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88: No, we paid for a serving for 2 and got an amount that would be a serving for one. Less than half of what the tables the other servers were getting.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 01-16-15 5:50 AM
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||

It amazes me the casual contempt that American newspapers display towards Europe. For example, this article refers to "the cosseted boulevards and suburbs of major European centers." Cosseted? Fuck you, New York Times.

|>


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 01-16-15 8:39 AM
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Maybe the cossets are why they have less obesity than we do.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 01-16-15 6:40 PM
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