The elusive tip - one of the most confusing aspects of our society. The Bible and the Beatles would say that there is a time to tip and a time to hoard. But how does one know when Ė and how much Ė to tip? After a great deal of traveling experience, I have developed some basic rules for tipping.
For instance, for pizza driverís bi-weekly visit to my house, Iíll tip from $1 to $5 depending on the delivery charge and how many Regis Philbin shows I have had to watch while waiting.
If I have to charter a flight Ö oh, who am I kidding? The closest Iíve come to a chartered flight is when my brother threw me into our grandparentsí pool.
I tend to stick to ground transportation. However, my choice in fine quality automobiles usually leaves me relying on one of two people to get around the city.
First, the tow-truck driver. Iíll tip him well because I feel sorry for the guy. My breakdowns tend to occur around 4am Ė just as his party ends. But he lets me drive the big truck and even blow the horn occasionally.
The second person for my ground transportation is the taxi driver. I debate between tipping him and just letting him have the spare change that fell out of my pocket when the cab made the jump to hyperspace.
Granted, some situations demand tipping. One must tip the poor waitress-soon-to-be actress just in case she becomes famous and decides to send out her twin sumo bodyguards, Lars and Ivan, to exact revenge on all those tightwads who stiffed her on tips.
The most enigmatic tip of all is the coffee-shop tip. Though fast-food workers donít have a tip jar, for some reason, when I pick up my venti soy latte, I find myself face-to-face with the ever-puzzling tip jar.
After months of watching, Iíve made some observations. First, the pickiness of people when it comes to their coffee far surpasses anyone ordering fast-food, pumping gas, or requesting brain surgery.
The second observation is that the quantity of a coffee tip should be directly proportional to the complexity of oneís order. Plain espresso? Clink. Decaf soy latte? Clink, clink, clink. Half-caf, low-fat milk, low foam cappuccino medium-sized in a large cup? Flip, flip, flip.
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I have no frame of reference for this but the movies. *grin* I live in the backwoods in the hills. But this was really funny. Around here, we tip usually with a piece of advise such as "hey thar, this here donut aint very fresh. Better feed it ta the hawgs." Thanks!