Happy 81st birthday to Christopher Lee, the ancient bad guy from Star Wars II, Count Dooku/Darth Tyranus...
Samuel, can you take this please?
Sam: Listen you decrepit old bastard, you're a damned FINE actor, but you absolutely SUCK as a lightsabre wielding motherfucker! Sorry, but you're fired... We're replacing you with Brian Blessed, bitch.
Enjoy your birthday.
Lee 5/27/2003 09:41:00 AM [+]
Monday, May 26, 2003
Waitresses (To Tip Or Not To Tip)
Folks, I'm gonna go on a little rant here.
Yeah, Potchy, what ELSE is new?
But I'm serious, there's something going on that really chaffes my ass, but good.
People seem to have this problem with waitresses in this country. More importantly, in regards to tipping them. People think it's okay NOT to tip. Well it's not and I'll tell you why.
Take, for example, Mr. Pink's argument in Quentin Taratino's "Reservoir Dogs".
Mr. Pink does not tip because "...society says I gotta. I tip when somebody deserves a tip. When somebody really puts forth an effort, they deserve a little something extra.
But this tipping automatically, that shit's for the birds. As far as I'm concerned, they're just doin their job."
A "little" something extra.
The douchebag had COFFEE... How much more "little" can you get?
Well Mr. Pink goes on to explain: "Look, I ordered coffee. Now we've been here a long fuckin time, and she's only filled my cup three times. When I order coffee, I want it filled six times."
To which Mr. Blonde responds, "What if she's too busy?"
Which gets the response back, "The words "too busy" shouldn't be in a waitress's vocabulary."
Now what amazes me here is how many people think like this. You DEMAND that your waitresses always have the time to wait on you hand and foot.
Okay, Mr. Pink, continue with your wisdom. "These ladies aren't starvin to death. They make minimum wage. When I worked for minimum wage, I wasn't lucky enough to have a job that society deemed tipworthy."
I'll get into minimum wage and waitresses in a while. But he DOES make a point about people in other jobs not getting tips, which he backs up in this exchange.
Mr. White: "You don't have any idea what you're talking about. These people bust their ass. This is a hard job."
Mr. Pink: "So's working at McDonald's, but you don't feel the need to tip them. They're servin ya food, you should tip em. But no, society says tip these guys over here, but
not those guys over there. That's bullshit."
Also a point. Why DON'T you tip people in McDonald's? Or Arbys? Or even the guy pumping your gas?
Perhaps I'll rant about this point next.
But I digress.
Mr. White then offers this very valid (and true) point, "Waitressing is the number one occupation for female non-college graduates in this country. It's the one job basically any woman can get, and make a living on. The reason is because of tips."
To which Mr. Pink, in an effort to seem less non P.C. retorts with, "Hey, I'm very sorry that the government taxes their tips. That's fucked up. But that ain't my fault. it would appear that waitresses are just one of the many groups the government fucks in the ass on a regular basis. You show me a paper says the government shouldn't do that, I'll
sign it. Put it to a vote, I'll vote for it. But what I won't do is play ball. And this non-college bullshit you're telling me, I got two words for that: "Learn to fuckin type." Cause if
you're expecting me to help out with the rent, you're in for a big fuckin surprise."
Nice sentiment to begin with, but his ending... "Learn to fucking type"... A very out-dated line of thinking in the computer world, no?
So there is the one point, the public's feeling (and believe me, it's NOT as unpopular a though process as you'd believe) on tipping.
Why do it?
In fact, I saw this article on AOsmelL just the other day, by CNN's Jeanne Sahadi called "Tipping Not Optional"
Most people, if asked, will tell you a tip is meant to reward good service. But a lot of those same people will tip the same amount no matter what kind of service they get.
I know I have. As steamed as I can be when service is poor, I almost never can work up the gumption to stiff someone on the tip or to leave a miserly amount.
Why is that? Apparently, because as Americans we're neurotic, guilt-prone, and we don't want to be thought of as cheap or ignorant. At least those are some of the reasons that Cornell professor Michael Lynn has found in his 20 years of research on tipping behavior.
"The major reason people tip," said Lynn, "is to avoid social disapproval."
So much for rewarding good service.
In fact, Lynn, found that how customers rate service has a very small effect on the amount they choose to tip in restaurants. About 4 percent of the variability in tip size is due to their rating of the service provider, his research revealed. That's the same level of variability that the sun has on tip size. (Folks tend to tip more on sunny days.)
It also has been argued, Lynn said, that our willingness to tip regardless of service reflects a sense that the customer is in a better position financially than the server and wishes to avoid incurring the server's envy. A tip, then, is "a payment to reduce that envy," Lynn said.
It's also a way for the equality-minded to feel less guilty about being served. Looking across cultures, he has found that tips tend to be higher in countries where there is greater neuroticism about and intolerance of ambiguous situations.
Tip as incentive?
Psychosocial theories aside, though, there's another we reason tip. It's part of the cost of being served. If you think tipping is truly optional at restaurants, hair salons and hotels, I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.
Tipping is expected. It's part of your bill, except that you need to do the math. (Personally I wish restaurant owners would pay table servers a living wage so they wouldn't rely so heavily on my tips for income. But then, the argument goes, owners would raise menu prices and lower-income families couldn't afford to eat out.)
Tipping experts recommend you tip a waiter or waitress 15 percent for adequate service, 20 percent for very good service and not less than 10 percent for very bad service. Why 10 percent for a bad time? Think of the busboys, the bartender and the hostess. In a lot of restaurants, a waitress pays out a percentage of her tips to others who help her serve you. By punishing her, you're punishing them.
You might think of the waitress, too. It's possible, just possible, the poor service you received was not really her fault. Maybe the kitchen was backed up or she was given too many tables to cover.
If you want to help cure bad service, rather than skip the tip, speak to the manager about the server's behavior or about what was wrong with your dinner, Lynn said.
So, what about that stupid tip jar?
I am not a fan of filling coffers at the coffee counter. When someone's serving me something that I could get myself but for the counter (and the line) between us, I don't consider it a convenience worth paying extra for.
Tipping experts agree with me on this one. There's no need to leave anything in the tip jar -- it's completely optional. If you're so moved to drop some change in, go crazy. If not, enjoy a guilt-free day.
Also a few good points, and she even had these two blurbs included...
So in summary, I'll respond to both "Reservoir Dogs" and Ms. Sahadi in this statement (which I e-mailed her).
Regarding your article about tipping, I notice you left out one big point...
Waiters and waitresses have the lowest minimum wage in the country, at about $2.05/hour, or less than half the national minimum wage of $5.05/hour.
Why is this important?
Because it means they basically are getting paid off of their tips.
A typical waitress working an 8 hour shift will make $16.40 (before taxes) a DAY.
In 2003, who can live off of that?
No one. That's below poverty level, and you could make more money being on welfare.
You also did not take into account how many Americans don't feel ANY pressure to tip at ALL. I would say, as a conservative estimate, that the typical waitress in a small restaurant will get "stiffed" at least two to four times a day.
Or have a table of five (one below the standard 6 person automatic 15% gratuity added to the bill) who will run up a bill of, say, $150 and leave a dollar, or a dollar per person at the table. THIS happens also at a frequency of about two to four times a day.
So when you figure the average waitress handles maybe five tables at a time, and spends 3 hours of her time setting up and cleaning (And she's ONLY getting paid $2.05/hr. for those three hours of scrubbing and cleaning and cutting prep food and filling salt shakers...), leaving only five hours of "work", she may only see twenty-five customers in day day (if the restaurant she works in is packed her entire shift). And if of those twenty-five, eight of them barely give her a dime, she's now down to trying to get by with what the other 17 customers giver her.
And if THEY only had say soup and a coke, or a bagel and coffee, they're only leaving change or a dollar at the most.
As you might be able to tell, I know a thing ot two about what happens to a wait staff. That's because my wife has been a waitress for fifteen years, working her way through college.
Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to come home from a eight hour shift on your feet, smiling the whole time, being bossed around by morons to have a measly $20 in your pocket?
Which happens a hell of a lot more often than the days you come home with $100 or more.
I think your article only told one side of the equation, the consumers side. Which is bad because there are plenty of people out there who already have no problem at all with not tipping. Articles like this just give them more resolve, and change the mind of others who might tip.
I believe you have done a disservice to the hard working waiters and waitresses of this country by giving people a reason, no, and excuse to continue stiffing them.
Folks, all I'm saying is this: You may THINK you know the deal with waitresses, and why you shouldn't HAVE to tip them, and you know what, you DON'T have to.
But you should NOT tip them knowing THEIR side of it.
Because discounting their side would just be you being CHEAP!
To close, I leave you with Joe's fine sentiment from "Reservoir Dogs"
"Cough up the buck, ya cheap bastard, I paid for your goddamn breakfast."
George And Samuel L. Discuss The New Star Wars Movie
Sam and George, having a beer after a day of shooting "Star Wars: Episode Three The Search For More Loot"
George: So, how do you think it's going Sam?
Sam: George... George...
George: What's up Sam?
Sam: You fucked up!
George: What? What do you mea-...
Sam: Listen you stupid cracker-assed-cracker! This shit AIN'T no fucking STAR WARS, okay? Stop killing the cool bad guys! Kill that old fucker, Dooku! Write a SIMPLE mother-fucking storyline! And for God-fucking sakes, get that Jar Jar shit OUT of your fucking head! Be cool, bitch!
George: So you think having Obi-Wan study for sixty-eight differnt law degrees and having Amidala fall in love with C-3PO is a BAD idea?
Sam: YES, MOTHER FUCKER!
George: Okay, so PADME will study for the degrees and OBI-WAN will fall in l-...
Sam: Look you fat-faced asshole! I'm mother-fucking SHAFT here, okay? Why don't I kick ass at ALL!
George: We could have you battle a deadly Ewok...
Sam: George! That's it! I'm tying your ass up and bringing in Woo-baby, Tarantino and the Wachowskis... Fuck it, and those Coen assholes too! We're gonna MAKE this fucker work!
And!!! Coming soon from Lucasfilmed Inc...
Episode 7: "The legend Of Curly's Gold."
Episode 8: "Ernest In Space"
Episode 9: "For The Love Of God Someone Please Tell George He Sucks"
First, let me offer condolences to Johnny Cash and his family at the passing of June Carter Cash last week.
Second, I'd like to send out best wishes for speedy recovery to Luther Vandross and Barry White after their recrnt strokes. Hope to see you both singing again soon.
Third, speaking of Luther, his new single, "Dance With My Father Again" is just AWESOME... (But a tearjerker...)
Fourth, the season finale of 24 is tomorrow and I have NO IDEA how they are getting out of this...
Fifth, where did all my comments go?
Sixth, just recently got into the 21st century by buying a Toughbook laptop computer. Plan is to use it for writing. Wish me luck.
Seventh, saw both "The Matrix Reloaded" and "The Graduate" for the first time yesterday. Made the mistake of trying to watch ANY movie after the Matrix...
Eight, threw Sheila a surprise graduation party on Saturday with the MUCH appreciated help of my mom, Sue & Fred Hoth, Jina & Doug Orlando, Rocky & Jeannine Thompson and PAttie & Stephen Seraphin. It was a great party and everyone had a mah-vel-ous time! Wish you could have been there.
Ninth, found a $100 bill going into the theater yesterday! YIPPEE!!!
Tenth, please wish my wife some luck as now the hard part begins... The search for a job.
Oh, and one other thing... What the FUCK is this?
Do you SEE the looks on these character's FACES?!?! They are GIDDY to be DYING?! Click the picture to go to the LAW OFFICES this is advertising for... Complain. PLEASE!
I received this from the lovely and talented Buck Hakes!
Published on May 9, 2003 by In These Times
Strange Weather Lately
by Kurt Vonnegut
[The following is adapted from a Clemens Lecture presented in April for
the Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut.]
First things first: I want it clearly understood that this mustache I'm
wearing is my father's mustache. I should have brought his photograph.
My big brother Bernie, now dead, a physical chemist who discovered that
silver iodide can sometimes make it snow or rain, he wore it, too.
Speaking of weather: Mark Twain said some readers complained that there
wasn't enough weather in his stories. So he wrote some weather, which
they could insert wherever they thought it would help some.
Mark Twain was said to have shed a tear of gratitude and incredulousness
when honored for his writing by Oxford University in England. And I
should shed a tear, surely, having been asked at the age of 80, and
because of what I myself have written, to speak under the auspices of
the sacred Mark Twain House here in Hartford.
What other American landmark is as sacred to me as the Mark Twain House?
The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Mark Twain and Abraham Lincoln
were country boys from Middle America, and both of them made the
American people laugh at themselves and appreciate really important,
really moral jokes.
I note that construction has stopped of a Mark Twain Museum here in
Hartford -behind the carriage house of the Mark Twain House at 351
Work persons have been sent home from that site because American
"conservatives," as they call themselves, on Wall Street and at the head
of so many of our corporations, have stolen a major fraction of our
private savings, have ruined investors and employees by means of fraud
and outright piracy.
Shock and awe.
And now, having installed themselves as our federal government, or taken
control of it from outside, they have squandered our public treasury and
then some. They have created a public debt of such appalling magnitude
that our descendants, for whom we had such high hopes, will come into
this world as poor as church mice.
Shock and awe.
What are the conservatives doing with all the money and power that used
to belong to all of us? They are telling us to be absolutely terrified,
and to run around in circles like chickens with their heads cut off. But
they will save us. They are making us take off our shoes at airports.
Can anybody here think of a more hilarious practical joke than that one?
Smile, America. You're on Candid Camera.
And they have turned loose a myriad of our high-tech weapons, each one
costing more than a hundred high schools, on a Third World country, in
order to shock and awe human beings like us, like Adam and Eve, between
the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
The other day I asked former Yankees pitcher Jim Bouton what he thought
of our great victory over Iraq, and he said, "Mohammed Ali versus Mr.
What are conservatives? They are people who will move heaven and earth,
if they have to, who will ruin a company or a country or a planet, to
prove to us and to themselves that they are superior to everybody else,
except for their pals. They take good care of their pals, keep them out
of jail-and so on.
Conservatives are crazy as bedbugs. They are bullies.
Shock and awe.
Class war? You bet.
They have proved their superiority to admirers of Abraham Lincoln and
Mark Twain and Jesus of Nazareth, with an able assist from television,
making inconsequential our protests against their war.
What has happened to us? We have suffered a technological calamity.
Television is now our form of government.
On what grounds did we protest their war? I could name many, but I need
name only one, which is common sense.
Be that as it may, construction of the Mark Twain Museum will sooner or
later be resumed. And I, the son and grandson of Indiana architects,
seize this opportunity to suggest a feature which I hope will be
included in the completed structure, words to be chiseled into the
capstone over the main entrance.
Here is what I think would be fun to put up there, and Mark Twain loved
fun more than anything. I have tinkered with something famous he said,
which is: "Be good and you will be lonesome." That is from Following the
So envision what a majestic front entrance the Mark Twain Museum will
have someday. And imagine that these words have been chiseled into the
noble capstone and painted gold:
Be good and you will be lonesome most places, but not here, not here.
One of the most humiliated and heartbroken pieces Twain ever wrote was
about the slaughter of 600 Moro men, women and children by our soldiers
during our liberation of the people of the Philippines after the
Spanish-American War. Our brave commander was Leonard Wood, who now has
a fort named after him. Fort Leonard Wood.
What did Abraham Lincoln have to say about such American imperialist
wars? Those are wars which, on one noble pretext or another, actually
aim to increase the natural resources and pools of tame labor available
to the richest Americans who have the best political connections.
And it is almost always a mistake to mention Abraham Lincoln in a speech
about something or somebody else. He always steals the show. I am about
to quote him.
Lincoln was only a Congressman when he said in 1848 what I am about to
echo. He was heartbroken and humiliated by our war on Mexico, which had
never attacked us.
We were making California our own, and a lot of other people and
properties, and doing it as though butchering Mexican soldiers who were
only defending their homeland against invaders wasn't murder.
What other stuff besides California? Well, Texas, New Mexico, Utah,
Nevada, Arizona, and parts of Colorado and Wyoming.
The person congressman Lincoln had in mind when he said what he said was
James Polk, our president at the time. Abraham Lincoln said of Polk, his
president, our armed forces' commander-in-chief: "Trusting to escape
scrutiny by fixing the public gaze upon the exceeding brightness of
military glory, that attractive rainbow that rises in showers of blood
-that serpent's eye, that charms to destroy, he plunged into war."
Holy smokes! I almost said, "Holy shit!" And I thought I was a writer!
Do you know we actually captured Mexico City during the Mexican War? Why
isn't that a national holiday? And why isn't the face of James Polk up
on Mount Rushmore, along with Ronald Reagan's?
What made Mexico so evil back in the 1840s, well before our Civil War,
is that slavery was illegal there. Remember the Alamo?
My great-grandfather's name was Clemens Vonnegut. Small world, small
world. This piquant coincidence is not a fabrication. Clemens Vonnegut
called himself a "freethinker," an antique word for humanist. He was a
hardware merchant in Indianapolis.
So, 120 years ago, say, there was one man who was both Clemens and
Vonnegut. I would have liked being such a person a lot. I only wish I
could have been such a person tonight.
I claim no blood relationship with Samuel Clemens of Hannibal, Missouri.
"Clemens," as a first name, is, I believe, like the name "Clementine,"
derived from the adjective "clement." To be clement is to be lenient and
compassionate, or, in the case of weather, perfectly heavenly.
So there's weather again.
Quick aside: R.I.P. Robert Stack, better known as Elliot Ness of "The Untouchables"
Didn't mention this, but the other day, legendary bassist for the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Noel Redding, passed away... My condolences to his family, he was one of the best.
And the jam band in heaven keeps getting better and better, man...
Lee 5/14/2003 01:49:00 PM [+]
Monday, May 12, 2003
Decided LACK Of A Gift For The Obvious
Thumbs down to the Daily News for reporting something WE ALL ALREADY KNEW!!!
I guess the logic train passed RIGHT ON FUCKING BY the editor's desk over there, huh?
OF COURSE JFK did an intern. He did Marilyn Monroe too! Hell, he probably fucked half the women in North America too, you stupid asshats! In fact, he probably schtupped your MOM, okay? Or at LEAST your grandmother... In fact, BOTH your grandmothers, AND your mom, and his son diddled your sister, okay?
One year ago today, I started this little venture hoping to give updates about the band and such. What it has grown into is basically a place for me to rant and rave about all kinds of kooky stuff. (Also, hence the name change a few months back from Overtime's Daily Weblog to simply Potch's Place)
I would like to thank those of you who have been along for the ride for the last year, with a special thank you to Rob Matsushita, Russ Unger and Rusty Worden for helping me out and giving me forums to air my ill-tempered rhetoric.
One thing I would like to say is I am hoping (with fingers crossed) that the NEXT year of Potch's Place will be even bigger and better. As some of you know, Rob and I have been writing a book called Killer High (which we've been posting over at that Wil Wheaton fellas Soapbox), which we are hoping to finish some time over the summer. I have also recently restarted work on a sci-fi book I was working on years ago (breaking a seven-year writer's block in the process!)
I have also been working (slowly, but surely) with Russ on making LeePotcher.com a reality, where I'll post song lyrics, poems, short stories and longer ones.
So, I have some reasons to be encouraged that the next year is gonna be pretty damned spiffy.
Again, thanks to all of you for coming by and allowing me to rant and rave to you for a while.