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Showing posts from November, 2011

Christians, Tip Your Waitstaff

Christians, Tip Your WaitstaffAnyone who has ever waited tables for a living, knows what it's like working for tips. A standard tip is 15% of the total bill, drinks included. That means if a bill is $75, you'll get about $11 for a tip. If you work four tables per hour on a busy weekend, you'll do okay. Not great, but okay.

But if you work at a place where a bill runs $30 for a table (or less), you'll make half as much. If you make $5 per table, you're going to have trouble making a decent living. You'll barely be making a living wage — about $500 per week, if you're consistent — which is fine if you're young and single and have three roommates, but it's an awful way to make a living if you're older or have a family.

So you can imagine one server's delight when he saw what he thought was a $10 bill sticking out from underneath a plate after he had finished serving a group of people. He was rather excited, because $10 is a decent tip.

You can als…

You Want Me to What Your WHAT?!

You Want Me to What Your WHAT?!Erik is out of the office this week, so we are reprinting a column from 2003.

There's a great scene in "Monty Python's Life of Brian" where Stan (a man) announces to his fellow members of the People's Front of Judea that he wants to be a woman, ". . . because I want to have babies."

"But you can't have babies," declares Reg, the PFJ's leader.

"Don't you oppress me!" shouts Stan, who also wants to be called Loretta.

"I'm not oppressing you, Stan -- you haven't got a womb. Where's the fetus going to gestate? You going to keep it in a box?"

It's one of the funniest moments in the entire movie, and I laugh every time I think about it. Can you imagine a man who wants to be a woman just so he can have babies? Everyone knows that men don't have the plumbing to become pregnant, right?

Uhh, everyone DOES know that, right?

You'd think so, but apparently everyone DOESN'T …

Diary of a Straight Day (With Apologies to Domenick Scudera)

(This is in response to Domenick Scudera's brilliant "Diary of a Gay Day." This is in no way making fun of gay people, but rather, a satirical, eye-rolling look at how my lifestyle is positively viewed by heretofore mentioned politicians, marketers, and Hollywood types. I fully support Scudera's lifestyle, his 16 year relationship, and his right to one day marry his "gay, homosexual, male lover." I recommend you read Domenick's piece before you read this one.)

I live the straight lifestyle. The lifestyle that is held up by politicians, marketers, and Hollywood as the ideal lifestyle. For those who are unfamiliar with my lifestyle, this is a typical day:

6:00 am. I wake up, ready to start my day. I choose to be straight today, as I have chosen every day for the last 44 years. After all, why would I choose to subject myself to nasty jokes, mean-spirited putdowns, discrimination, and even beatings and murder, all for the sake of "love"?

6:30 am. I …

Karl the Curmudgeon Journals His Feelings

Karl the Curmudgeon Journals His Feelings"Kid, do you keep a journal?" asked Karl the Curmudgeon. We were sitting in István's Hungarian tavern, watching the Hungarian Cup finals, as Bajai had just tied Lombard Papa, 1-1.

No, not really, I said. Why do you ask?

"Oh, nothing really," he said. "I used to keep one a long time ago, and found that I was missing it. So I picked up a new notebook last month and started writing in it again."

What made you do that? You never struck me as the introspective type.

"Very funny. I just wanted to start keeping track of things I was doing and thinking," he said, draining the last of his beer. He waved down the bartender, Béla. "Two more Sopronis, kérek."

I drained the last of my beer as Béla set down two beers. So what do you write about? I asked.

"Well, yesterday I wrote about a meeting I had with a publisher. The day before that, I wrote about a woodworking project I was building. And a couple wee…

Twitter is Not Ruining Language, Schools Are

Twitter is Not Ruining Language, Schools AreBritish actor and secret linguist Ralph Fiennes made headlines a couple weeks ago when he said that Twitter is ruining the English language.

Speaking at the British Film Institute London Film Festival, Fiennes — who has appeared in such movies as "Clash of the Titans" (he played Hades) and "Harry Potter" (Voldemort) — is blaming the erosion of the language on "a world of truncated sentences, soundbites, and Twitter."

Yeah, right. As if. Whatever, dude.

According to an article in Forbes Magazine, Fiennes told the audience, "Our expressiveness and our ease with some words is being diluted so that the sentence with more than one clause is a problem for us, and the word of more than two syllables is a problem for us."

Ask Ernest Hemingway about writing with short words and short sentences. It worked for one of America's greatest writers; it can work for the rest of us.

But I take issue with Fiennes' ass…