Wednesday, August 29, 2007

A Challenge Answered

Ian dared me, so of course I had to do it.

That's right, that's right. You didn't think I would do it, but I DID. I went and got myself a tip jar for my desk at work. See! I am not to be trifled with! Take that, Ian!

I popped out over lunch to the largest local purveyor of crapware in town, and picked up this little beauty. It was marked $2.50, but when I got the checkout counter, it was 60% off! I got it for a cool $1 (plus tax). All I needed was a Sharpie and a little tape and PRESTO: Momma's Little Money-Maker.

I also strategically placed Darth Tater to stand guard over the location of my future booty, lest any thieves try to rip me off. You just can't be too careful these days.

I'm now eagerly awaiting the impending financial windfall.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Tipped Off

I’ve always tried to tip well. I try not to think of it as paying someone to be nice to me, but in the end, that’s what it really is, I guess. Waitpersons have to really be bad to get below 15%. Great service will often get better than 25%, especially if the meal is cheap and/or the server is especially funny and entertaining. Plus I REALLY want everybody to like me.

Nice hotels cause me a bit of anxiety, probably because I don’t stay in them often enough to get the hang of the protocol. I know you tip the guy who takes your luggage up to your room, but what if one guy takes your luggage out of the car and hands it off to another guy to take it inside, do you tip both of them? If you tip one, will he share with the other? If you don’t have any luggage, but one of the bellhop people holds the door open for you, do you tip him for that? Does one door-holding warrant a tip? What if somebody just smiles and points you to the restroom in the lobby, do you give them a buck or two for that? And jeez, how many ones and fives can a person be expected to keep handy? If you run out of small change are you expected to start handing out twenties, or is it OK to ask for change? I just don’t know, and therein lies the anxiety.

Mostly I just hate the thought of being seen as cheap or rude or uncivilized. I have an irrational fear of walking around with a metaphorical sign hovering over my head, with a big arrow pointing at my forehead that says in glowing, neon letters:

“Please forgive her, she’s a hillbilly. They don’t have bellmen in Hooterville.”

Or just “Ignoramus coming through!”

The absolute worst was once when Slag and I were swarmed as we drove up to a really nice hotel in Hawaii during our wedding trip. They were on us like ants on a piece of cake, if ants could say “Aloha” in a very welcoming manner. There were people opening each of our car doors. There were people grabbing the luggage. Somebody else held the door and then a lady brought us cool, damp, amaretto-scented towels on a decorative platter. And on top of everything, they were all dressed EXACTLY the same, making it impossible to keep track of who was who. I just about freaked. In my head I was silently screaming “Back off! Get in line! I’M LOSING TRACK OF WHO NEEDS TO BE TIPPED!!” They were all greeting us with friendly smiles and I responded by having a little anxiety attack right there in the lobby. I don’t think that was the intended effect.

For the most part, though, I can handle the day-to-day stuff. I know you tip your waiter/waitress. You tip the valet parking guy and the bartender. You tip the manicure lady and the person who cuts your hair, but only if they just work at the shop and don’t actually own it. If a different person washes your hair before the haircut, I know you tip that person separately. I’ve got the basics down.

Then there are the tip jars that have appeared everywhere. Some of them are fine. The tip jar next to the band at a club is fine. I know they don’t get paid much. I can handle tipping the guy at Thundercloud Subs who makes me a sandwich. No problem there. Tipping the girl behind the counter at the coffee shop who puts a muffin on a plate for me is pushing it, but OK, I’m not complaining yet.

But now a tip jar has appeared at our favorite local pizza joint, where you order at the counter and find a table on your own. OK, I guess I don’t mind tipping someone for taking my order. Especially since the cashier rings a bell and all the pizza cooks cheer whenever somebody puts money in the jar. That’s satisfying for me. A little recognition is always nice. At least I’m getting something out of it too.

But then a while back, I reached my limit. I saw something that left me completely flabbergasted. Three little girls had set up a table outside the local drug store and were selling Girl Scout cookies. And, on the table, next to the piles of cookie boxes, they had…. a tip jar. A TIP JAR. What the hell?? I’m supposed to tip somebody for selling me overpriced cookies, just because said person is a little kid??

They lie in wait for you to leave the store and then sing out, in their sweet, little girl voices, “Would you like to buy some cookies?” And of course you look like a total creep if you decline, because who wouldn’t support little kids who are trying to raise money for a good cause. So you hand over your $4 for a box containing exactly 12 Thin Mint cookies, and then you’re supposed to TIP them for taking your donation?? (Oh, I know I get cookies, but I could get cookies just as good for a third the price just inside that very store, so don’t try to tell me it’s not a donation.) People, this is out of control.

I think I’m going to put a tip jar on my desk at work. Next time somebody wants me to do something for them, I’ll glance expectantly at my jar. A really generous tip and whatever they need will be my top priority. A paltry tip and I’ll do it before the end of the day. No tip at all and I’ll take the tactics of a third-world government: I’ll tell them to come back tomorrow. It may take everybody a couple of days to catch on, but I think it’s only fair. I’ve personally handed out a boatload in tips over the years and I think it’s time to complete the circle, so to speak.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A New Career

I want a job naming nail polish shades. I could totally do it, because, as far as I can tell, the name doesn’t really have to relate to the actual color of the polish. I was looking through the selection at the local Walgreens a couple of nights ago, and I ran across Las Vegas (copper-colored frost), Sex Symbol (bright red) and Vixen (really dark purple).

And that was even before I got to the OPI section. The OPI people must be smoking something. They have shades named things like It’s Sheer Luck and Windy City Pretty and It’s All Greek to Me. They have shades called Belize It or Not and You’re a Pisa Work. People, those are freaking PUNS! They actually have a shade called, get this, I’m Not Really a Waitress. Can you imagine being paid to come up with stuff like this??

That has got to be the most perfect job in the world. I could work drunk! Heck, I would probably do a better job drunk.

I’m going to update my resume right now, and I think I’ll include a sample of my work at the bottom just to clinch the deal. I think OPI needs a shade called Turd Blossom. What do you think, I’ve got the job already, right?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Good Wife

I am a good wife. And it’s not because I make sure Slag’s socks are clean or the bed sheets are ironed or have a hot dinner on the table when he gets home from work. Because I don’t do any of those things.

I’m a good wife because I regularly consent to eat at Hooters whenever Slag and Skiver have a craving for hot wings. That’s right, I willingly eat dinner surrounded by pert, firm, twenty-year-old, size 4 asses. It’s a real joy. The asses are barely covered in orange nylon shorts that are two-sizes-too-small and are accompanied by a pair of tits that are just barely contained in a matching, two-sizes-too-small tank top. And, of course, there’s the obligatory dumpy, 40-ish, lecherous, manager guy who’s giddy with power. Girls like these never gave him the time of day when he was their age, and he’s all goose-pimply over the fact that now they have to be nice to him and do what he says. He doesn’t even try to hide his leering.

Skiver and Slag both swear that Hooters wings are the best wings that can be had. I’m skeptical, but I don’t eat hot wings, so I can't say for sure. I can’t think of any other reason Skiver would want to go there though. It’s not for the tits and asses, and I know it’s not the “beer light” décor either. And, while I know Slag appreciates a firm butt as much as the next guy, either he’s telling the truth about the hot wings or is very sneaky, because I’ve never caught him so much as giving a twenty-year-old ass a sideways glance. The hot wings have his complete attention at all times.

I can tolerate the dining experience because the guys I'm with don't give the girls a whole lot of attention and also because the girls do give me the tiniest bit of distance and respect, i.e. they don’t seem to waggle their boobies in the faces of my male dinner companions nearly as much as they waggle them at the men-only tables. They don’t sit down at our table and laugh too much and flip their hair. I guess I should be grateful that they can see that, yes, I'm also female. An older, larger, more wrinkled female, but a female nonetheless. Or maybe they don't want to annoy me out of fear that I'll grab one of them and sit on her and break her tiny little bird-like bones.

BTW, if you ever visit a Hooters, don’t get the Cobb salad. It sucks.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Perfect Man

Slag called me at work this morning. He was measuring a house and the dog next door was going ape-shit barking, as dogs often do when there's a stranger in their territory. Only this dog ended every bark with a perfect imitation of the classic Curly "Woo Woo" noise. It totally destroyed any trepidation that said barking might have generated.

Slag called me, just to hold up the phone so I could hear it too.

I ask you, is this not the perfect man for me?? I'm pretty sure he is.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Star Trek: Enterprise (theme song)


I have always been a huge Star Trek fan. It all started when I was in elementary school. My dad and I watched reruns of the original series every Sunday morning in the early 1970’s. We only got two channels in those days, but luckily, one of them made a little room for the far reaches of outer space in between their Sunday morning offerings of TV evangelists. It became a weekly ritual for us, sort of like church but without the nice clothes.

As I matured, I made every effort to stay up with all the latest in the Star Trek universe. I gobbled up the Saturday morning animated series episodes as quickly as they came out. I spent my allowance on cheesy books like The Entropy Effect and Yesterday's Son. I waited with unrestrained excitement for the first movie and was thrilled to sit through the 10 minute sequence that consisted of nothing but a panoramic views of the Enterprise while dramatic music played in the background. I’ve been loyal over the years, extremely loyal. I tolerated Troi’s “space cheerleader” outfit and smarmy “Gratitude and joy and joy and gratitude” dialog from TNG series pilot without complaint. I watched the abomination known as The Final Frontier from beginning to end, for crying out loud. Let no one question my Trekiness.

OK, I will admit, I’ve slacked off a bit as I’ve aged. I didn’t see Nemesis until it came out on DVD. My Deep Space Nine viewing waned a bit after season 3. I watched the odd Voyager episode here and there, enough to know who all the characters were, but not enough to keep up with all the plot lines. But I was there for all of them, in spirit, if not in body.

Except for one thing.

In all those years, there has only been one failure. It’s my Waterloo, my siege of Leningrad, if you will. It is: Enterprise. I’ve never watched a single episode. Not one. I simply cannot make it past the nauseating, insipid, god-awful THEME MUSIC. I can’t do it. It makes me want to grab the nearest Phillips head screw driver and gouge out my eardrums. Who came up with that drivel? Oh, it might be fine music for a Michael Bolton album, or as background music for a Julia Roberts chick flick, but as theme music for a Star Trek series?? You’ve got to be kidding me. I still can’t believe it. I want to know which doofus heard those first few vile notes and thought “That’s it! This is the song we’ve been looking for!” He should be flogged! I’d rather be forced listen to a Muzak version of Captain and Tennille’s Greatest Hits over and over until my eyeballs bleed.

I challenge you to listen to it yourself without gagging. Go ahead. Try. I conveniently posted the video right above this post for your listening pleasure. (I can't seem to figure out how to actually get the video in the middle of this post, and I'm about to put my fist through the monitor, so we'll just settle for a separate post, and everything will be fine, won't it? Yes it will.)

So anyway, I avoided the theme music and the rest of the show sorta got thrown out with the bathwater, in baby-like fashion. Even Scott Bakula’s hunkiness wasn’t enough to get me past that theme music, and I had the hots for him back when he was only Murphy Brown’s boyfriend, long before he donned the uniform and became Captain of the Enterprise.

But things are different now. Now I have TiVo. TiVo changed everything. TiVo is my friend. TiVo would never make me listen to that theme music, would it? No, it wouldn’t. No, instead it will let me skip over the offensive theme music. And, EVEN BETTER, TiVo will go out onto the wires and find the episodes that I want to watch. I don’t have burrow around on the internet or possibly resort to buying a TV Guide™ to find the shows. TiVo will find them for me. While I sit and do NOTHING. Is that not the coolest thing you’ve ever heard??

So I’m off to do a TiVo search to find the next showing of the first few episodes of season one. It may take a little time, but TiVo will find them for me. I have faith.

May the Force be with me! (Tee hee, just a little sci-fi humor)