Is Tipping A Bribe or Reward?
Its something I've been thinking about for a while now. Whether you tip because you fear shitty service, spit in your burger and empty water glasses or whether you tip as a reward for doing a decent job of attending to your customers?

It will have to depend on where I am and who's manning the stove. Maybe I'm jaded, maybe I'm cynical, maybe I'm just a realist who can see what the social strata looks like. I tip different amounts to different places and for different reasons. Though I think its probably wrong, I bet I tip most to the best looking cashiers and least to those that are so stupid as to be openly rude. And in between there's a sliding scale that I refer to myself as the tip meter. Hit the marks, keep to a modicum of service and the tip meter stays even in the middle. Treat me like an asshole and the meter dips, treat me like a nice guy and the meter climbs.

I've actually considered making a prototype tip meter to try out but think it would be either somewhat or more than somewhat rude to any waitstaff forcing me to tip more than I'd intended and defeating the purpose of the tip meter altogether.

But there are those places where I tip solely to avoid having my food fucked with in the Slim Shady style of a snot burger or some asshole tossing off in the milkshake machine. One place I've actually stopped going to altogether for this and other reasons. Not that I'd ever had any proof because proof is hard to come by but it was a distinct feeling I got and once you get it, its damned hard to shake. And they put in like 24 flourescent lights in a small room so it feels like you're stepping into the sun or something. And they raised their prices, lowered their potion sizes and built a new building with a super sweet top deck that would have been an awesome place to have lunch but you can't get up there and its a total waste of a deck so they're not only spitting in the food or otherwise fucking with it, they're stupid and short sighted. Or maybe they couldn't get the build permit or something but that's not my issue.

Of course, all of this reminds me of the episode of Futurama where they find out that Slurm is actually an excretion from a giant slug queen (the episode also featured the only appearance in history of Slurms MacKenzie, the original party slug). Is it the knowing that makes it disgusting or just the fact that you're possibly eating someone else's snot? I think just the fact is nasty enough and that the tip is a sort of mental means of escaping that conclusion (i.e. they can't have spit in your burger because you gave them a nice tip even though that's utterly bunkum logic but its all I've got).

So which is it? Bribe or reward? Or does it have to broken down by restaurant?
Okay. Let's see, Costa Brava - bribe. Zachary's - tip. Rebecca's - tip. Noah's - tip. Taqaueria Vallarta - bribe and tip. Los Pinos - bribe. El Palomar - tip. 99 Bottles - tip. Charlie Hong Kong's - bribe now but used to be a tip and I'll never leave with my takeout before checking it to make sure its right. Fast food - who tips for fast food?

[Note: Carlene brought it my attention that I need to mention the way most of these places work, you order, you pay, and then you wait for your food to be cooked. Therefore, you will most likely tip before ever getting your food. Unless you want to wait for the food, eat it and then decide if they should get a tip. But by then they could have decided you aren't going to tip and they've spoiled your food. Kind of a Catch-22.]

And what about mixed drinks at a bar?

Brevity without Need
What is this tendency to abbreviate things to the exclusion of ever spelling them out completely? On the All Star Game telecast last night they had plenty of room to print out what AL stands for and instead they abbreviated it and quite short sightedly could have left a lot of people with a question on their mind. They could have very easily just printed out American League so that people not all that well acquainted with the sport might have a better idea of the sport.
I've seen the same thing on MSNBC alot of times.

Its just myopic and shows that people aren't doing all they can be doing to promote and ease the introduction of the sport to new people. Unless they intended to make people ask fans what it means to generate conversations and thus go to promoting the sport that way? But I doubt they'd be working on such a subtle marketing technique. It is much more likely that somebody dropped the ball and didn't think about it at all.