“…I’d tip BUT …”

For some reason, some individuals enjoy ordering services and then not properly compensating the people providing those services. People go into restaraunts and stiff the waiter, or order a delivery and then stiff the pizza guy.

I don’t know if this happens often in sit-down restaraunts, but about half of the people who stiff me actually feel it neccessary to come up with an excuse. Today — a very very very slow day (eight runs in eleven hours of work) I was stiffed twice. The first kid didn’t feel the need to make an excuse — in return, I didn’t feel the need to lock his backyard gate on the way out, but I’m petty like that (hey, some assholes would’ve backed over his mailbox).

The second kid actually felt the need to make an excuse. “I’d tip you but …”

I understand that some times people are unexpectedly short of change. It’s one thing for a regular or semi-regular customer — okay, decent, or great tippers to be short of cash and not have enough for a tip. I’ve had a few customers who generally tip $5 or better on occasion barely have enough left over for a tip, and I’m not angry — they treat me well, and I’m going to have more patience with them as a result.

But some folks just can never cough up more than a buck for a tip, and some don’t even bother with that. Cheapskate assholes, but I understand, some people are always going to be cheapskates, even if they do have two expensive German cars in the driveway, a crew of Mexicans working on their yard, and a framed in addition on the back of their house.

What I don’t get are the people who feel guilty enough to make excuses for their stiffing, but never seem quite able to get to the point where they could either tip better or just go pick the food up themselves.

Oh, yes, here’s the secret to the fast-food delivery business: if you pick it up, there’s no obligation to tip!

Well, yes, you do have to spend precious minutes driving to the shop, precious gas expended in that trip, sometimes you might have to wait at the counter for a few minutes if the food isn’t ready, plus dealing with all that traffic? What a fucking downer. But, you don’t have to shell out the few singles for which you express your gratitude towards a delivery driver for using his car, his time, and his gasoline to drive through rush-hour traffic and inclement weather to bring a hot pizza to your door, requiring you to: get up, answer door, tip [shit-poor/poor/okay/decent/great/excellent/would you like a blowjob?], eat food.

Back to what I was talking about earlier … people who apologize for not tipping.

Most often, the people who apologize for not tipping also call up and ask as their first question over the phone, “I’ve got fifteen bucks. What can I get?” and proceed to place an order for as much food as fifteen dollars will buy. Well, good and great and all, but you know when you’re taking the order that these people are going to tip shit-poor and insult your intelligence by some lame-ass excuse. “Yeah, I’m a little short on cash…”

One day I’d like to be able to say: “Really? Because you spoke to me on the phone, you knew exactly how much cash you had, and if you’d really wanted to tip, you’d’ve left off the third order of cheesebread.”

But I can’t, so I just smile, nod, and run over their mailbox on the way out.

mailboxrunover

"…I'd tip BUT …"

For some reason, some individuals enjoy ordering services and then not properly compensating the people providing those services. People go into restaraunts and stiff the waiter, or order a delivery and then stiff the pizza guy.

I don’t know if this happens often in sit-down restaraunts, but about half of the people who stiff me actually feel it neccessary to come up with an excuse. Today — a very very very slow day (eight runs in eleven hours of work) I was stiffed twice. The first kid didn’t feel the need to make an excuse — in return, I didn’t feel the need to lock his backyard gate on the way out, but I’m petty like that (hey, some assholes would’ve backed over his mailbox).

The second kid actually felt the need to make an excuse. “I’d tip you but …”

I understand that some times people are unexpectedly short of change. It’s one thing for a regular or semi-regular customer — okay, decent, or great tippers to be short of cash and not have enough for a tip. I’ve had a few customers who generally tip $5 or better on occasion barely have enough left over for a tip, and I’m not angry — they treat me well, and I’m going to have more patience with them as a result.

But some folks just can never cough up more than a buck for a tip, and some don’t even bother with that. Cheapskate assholes, but I understand, some people are always going to be cheapskates, even if they do have two expensive German cars in the driveway, a crew of Mexicans working on their yard, and a framed in addition on the back of their house.

What I don’t get are the people who feel guilty enough to make excuses for their stiffing, but never seem quite able to get to the point where they could either tip better or just go pick the food up themselves.

Oh, yes, here’s the secret to the fast-food delivery business: if you pick it up, there’s no obligation to tip!

Well, yes, you do have to spend precious minutes driving to the shop, precious gas expended in that trip, sometimes you might have to wait at the counter for a few minutes if the food isn’t ready, plus dealing with all that traffic? What a fucking downer. But, you don’t have to shell out the few singles for which you express your gratitude towards a delivery driver for using his car, his time, and his gasoline to drive through rush-hour traffic and inclement weather to bring a hot pizza to your door, requiring you to: get up, answer door, tip [shit-poor/poor/okay/decent/great/excellent/would you like a blowjob?], eat food.

Back to what I was talking about earlier … people who apologize for not tipping.

Most often, the people who apologize for not tipping also call up and ask as their first question over the phone, “I’ve got fifteen bucks. What can I get?” and proceed to place an order for as much food as fifteen dollars will buy. Well, good and great and all, but you know when you’re taking the order that these people are going to tip shit-poor and insult your intelligence by some lame-ass excuse. “Yeah, I’m a little short on cash…”

One day I’d like to be able to say: “Really? Because you spoke to me on the phone, you knew exactly how much cash you had, and if you’d really wanted to tip, you’d’ve left off the third order of cheesebread.”

But I can’t, so I just smile, nod, and run over their mailbox on the way out.

mailboxrunover

Suspension of Disbelief

(Note: this contains spoilers for every movie mentioned. Be warned).

I saw LORD OF WAR the other week. Nicholas Cage plays a guy who decides he can make a boatload of green by dealing in weapons of death — after all, he reasons, people want to kill people and someone has to supply the pistols, rifles, grenades, and tanks so that they can fulfill their dreams, doesn’t someone?

The film is visually spectacular, sadly, that’s about the limit of what it has going for it. I’m not neccessarily not a fan of narration, but in this case, the film relies too heavily on telling the audience what’s going on as opposed to showing the audience (although showing over telling was a big concept in every writing class I ever took, you’d think movies — a visual medium — would be pretty down pat at it. Guess not).

There’s no moral lesson in the story — even after his brother is killed, his family disown him, and his wife leaves him and takes their kid, what lesson does he learn? Oh, right: gun running is good!

One thing I notice when folks don’t want others to think poorly of their taste in movies is that they’ll defend it as “a great popcorn film.” Michael Bay’s THE ROCK is a great popcorn film. LORD OF WAR is a great “Why’d I waste a rental on this?” film.

**

FOUR BROTHERS was a good popcorn film. It’s heavy on the “shoot the shit out of a lot of people” but at the center it’s a story of four brothers who have to do some wrong to do some good. Do two wrongs make a right? No, but multiple wrongs — most relating to people falling out of windows and firearms in use — do indeed make for a good film. Terrence Howard is an underutilized scene-stealer, although I did have a problem with how his character ended up — why the eff’ didn’t he think to search Josh-y boy for a second weapon?

**

I rented IN COLD BLOOD from Netflix. Based on Truman Capote’s book, the producers actually filmed scenes in the same house the Clutter family was shotgunned to death in. That’s fucking creepy.

**

Speaking of “great popcorn films”, Michael Bay’s last good popcorn film was ARMAGEDDON. That, THE ROCK, and BAD BOYS are great examples of what make good popcorn flicks — action, adventure, great characters, snappy dialogue, beautifully shot with a semi-intelligent script and a great score.

Michael Bay’s been a little off the mark — let’s face it, PEARL HARBOR, BAD BOYS II, and THE ISLAND were all steaming piles of shit, which is dissapointing, because I was really hoping Bay knew that it takes more than flashy action sequences and moving cameras to make a film work. If Michael Bay could go back in time to the edgy dude he was when he filmed the original BAD BOYS (“…and some skittles!”), then maybe his films would be ready to be dubbed “popcorn ready.”

With THE ISLAND, there was a huge stumbling block in the script that I just couldn’t get my brain around. I’d like to say, first off, I think most films require a certain suspension of disbelief, without which the audience would say, “Wait, so, Bruce Willis just jumped off a one-hundred story building, shot his UZI wildly, killed fifty-hundred-billion terrorists — all with head shots — and landed on his feet, all while shouting ‘Yippiee-cayee mother fuckers!’ Wait, what? That could never happen!”

But there’s no suspension of disbelief powerful enough to get around the big one that is the center of THE ISLAND’s premise. So, let me get into that right quick:

In the future, a top-secret and highly illegal cloning facility exists where duplicates of the rich, famous, and important are kept in preparation of their organs being harvested. Some of the clients of this facility choose to use their clones to carry their natural children to term.

Get that? What makes the facility illegal is that the clones have consciousness (they’re supposed to be brain dead) and think they’re in some sort of “post-nuclear-war” contained society, waiting via lottery to be taken to “The Island” where the world is As It Was Before Everything Blew Up. In reality, “The Island” is a scam meant to cover up the dissapearance of clones as they’re taken to have their organs harvested. When new clones are introduced to the facility, quite a big hupla is made about how “new survivors” have been located in the barren wasteland that is, in the self-contained fiction, earth.

Here’s where THE ISLAND fell apart for me. A pregnant clone enters into labor, delivers, and is executed by the attending doctor. What? Okay, so I get they can harvest all her organs so that the “original” can still benefit if her heart or liver fails, but what if the “original” and the original’s husband want to have another kid? The clones in the facility think this woman went to THE ISLAND, how could another be introduced into the population without blowing the whole cover?

I know, right? An absolutely ridiculous thing to ruin my enjoyment of the film, but there you have it. Well, that and the uninspired script — I think they did this story several times in STAR TREK — and over-reliance on special effects, but there you have it.

Traffic Court Antecdote

There were several lawyers representing folks in front of the judge when I went to traffic court Thursday. Several minutes before court started, a lawyer entered the room, asked for someone, and when he recieved no answer, started to walk out of the courtroom. A woman in the backrow coughed and asked him, “Are you a public defender?”

“Uh, no,” he replied, “There are no public defenders in traffic court.”

I got a kick out of that exchange, but maybe it was one of those “you had to be there” deals.

BSG 2×14 “BLACK MARKET”

I’m kind of pressed for time, so I don’t have the opportunity for my usual long winded BSG wrap-up. Quickly now:

Why is it we always get these “48 Hours Previously…” episodes with Lee as the one in the awkward situation?

Dee, you communications slut! Billy’s the man! Stay with Billy! Billy don’t go to no prostitutes.

Second episode this season with no sign of everyone’s favorite pilot, Starbuck. I gather she features rather prominent next episode.

I thought Lee got shot this episode?

Lee’s got some things to come to grip with. I’d imagine that when your society is nuked into oblivion and all you’ve got facing you is running and fighting and running and fighting death tends to look kinda good. Isn’t that what pushed Kat over the edge several episodes ago?

Oh! Zarek! I wasn’t expecting him. Neat-o!

Things with Baltar seem to be coming to a head. “Old suspicions re-emerging.” I wonder how far he’ll be pushed?

I like the black market concept and execution. We’d only seen Fisk a few times, I wonder how corrupt he was before he took over Pegasus. Would Cain have approved? Power corrupts. In any case, Fisk sure moved quickly to take control of the black-market. I wonder where Tigh was getting his alkie from before Pegasus arrived — and the age old question: is still alkie from the hanger deck better than brewed alkie saved from Caprica?

BSG 2×14 "BLACK MARKET"

I’m kind of pressed for time, so I don’t have the opportunity for my usual long winded BSG wrap-up. Quickly now:

Why is it we always get these “48 Hours Previously…” episodes with Lee as the one in the awkward situation?

Dee, you communications slut! Billy’s the man! Stay with Billy! Billy don’t go to no prostitutes.

Second episode this season with no sign of everyone’s favorite pilot, Starbuck. I gather she features rather prominent next episode.

I thought Lee got shot this episode?

Lee’s got some things to come to grip with. I’d imagine that when your society is nuked into oblivion and all you’ve got facing you is running and fighting and running and fighting death tends to look kinda good. Isn’t that what pushed Kat over the edge several episodes ago?

Oh! Zarek! I wasn’t expecting him. Neat-o!

Things with Baltar seem to be coming to a head. “Old suspicions re-emerging.” I wonder how far he’ll be pushed?

I like the black market concept and execution. We’d only seen Fisk a few times, I wonder how corrupt he was before he took over Pegasus. Would Cain have approved? Power corrupts. In any case, Fisk sure moved quickly to take control of the black-market. I wonder where Tigh was getting his alkie from before Pegasus arrived — and the age old question: is still alkie from the hanger deck better than brewed alkie saved from Caprica?

Why I Never Got the Court Notice

I figured out why I didn’t get the notice from the court on when to appear.

The Trooper who wrote my ticket wrote my address as “1A [Street]“. Whoever entered the information into the computer translated that to “14 [Street]“, which is what is displayed on the receipt I recieved from the court-house.

Ah, the minor bumblings of, y’know, traffic court.