19 October 2004

25 cent smiles (or "Prostitution for the Masses")

The other night I was in a restaurant and when I ordered the waiter told me, "That's a fine choice." What in the hell does that supposed to mean--"I made a fine choice." How patronizing can you get? I'm still waiting for a waiter to say, "Ah, the Veal Cutlet. You've made a terrible choice, sir. We're actually just keeping the veal on the menu until we get rid of the last few packages that have freezer burn. But that's okay. Someone's got to eat it. Would you like a glass of strong wine to wash that down with?"

To tell you the truth, the whole American restaurant experience turns me off. Worst is the tipping. It's as if we have to pay for every smile and bit of friendliness that someone shows us. How exactly is tipping supposed to work, anyway? As the waitress approaches my table, am I expected to keep a constant tally on her acting abilities, the genuine quality of the greeting, the perky walk, the feigned interest in my enjoyment of the meal? Maybe someday Microsoft will be able to hook us up to a devise equipped with a running meter that pays a small dividend everytime someone nods a morning greeting or asks how we've been. We'll get a dime for waving to our neighbor, 15 cents for a smile (25 cents if we show our teeth).


Andrew said...

Just double the tax and quit overthinking it, dude.

Some things just don't make sense. :)

Karlo said...

I just can't quit thinking about it. The event has left me deeply traumatized.