Hello Surf Reporters! A couple of quick things before we get started today…
First, the pre-order period for the new shirts is coming to an end. At noon on Monday it’s over. If you want one, get your order in, ASAP. The new designs are a thing of beauty, and I don’t want anyone to get shut-out. So, please go to this page and order away. If you have any questions, email me. We’re almost at the end of the line with this thing. Don’t miss out!
Also… prepare yourself for one or two additional emails on this subject. I know it’s super-traumatic to receive emails you don’t want, so maybe this will soften the blow? And here’s a tip I learned years ago from a really smart person: if an email arrives that you’re not interested in, you can highlight it, and (get this!) hit the DELETE button. It’s a little-known hack, which works great! Give it a try.
Yeah, sorry to be so sarcastic… the heat and humidity is taking its toll. It feels like I’m suddenly living inside an industrial steam laundry. Sweet sainted mother of Buddy Garritty!
Oh, and remember how I said I was going to start a new Friday feature this week? Well, it’s getting pushed back. I couldn’t get it together, so we’ll start it next Friday. I think it’ll be fun, but it’s going to be a little labor-intensive on my part. The holiday, and my job (don’t get me started) screwed me up. But we’ll get it going next week. Stay tuned.
And I’m suddenly starving, so I’m going to go to Wendy’s, and will be back shortly.
OK, I’m back. Wendy’s was packed, so I turned around and left in a huff (that’ll show ‘em!). I drove across the street to Moe’s, which was also crowded, but not as bad. I ordered the usual: Joey Bag o’ Donuts burrito, and a soda. In case you’re keeping score at home, here’s what I get on my burrito: chicken, rice, black beans, cheese, corn salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and cilantro. Yum.
I’ve been to Moe’s roughly a million times, and know how things work there. If your purchase is more than $25, they make you sign the credit card slip. Less than that amount, and they just let you swipe your card, with no signature necessary. However, today I noticed they were making everybody sign. And when it was my turn, I saw that there was a big ol’ TIP section they wanted me to fill in. And the smiling, well-scrubbed cashier was standing right there. It’s extortion!
I’m a good tipper. In fact, Toney says too good. But I’m not tipping at a counter. If somebody brings the food to my table, that’s different. Hell, they don’t even pour your drink for you, at Moe’s. They just hand you a cup. So, what am I tipping for? It’s the exact same situation at the Chinese place – the Rose and the Overshoe, or whatever it’s called. They apparently expect a tip for carryout. Funk dat.
Am I wrong about this? Where do you draw the line on tipping? I used to tip the dry cleaning people, back during my hellish corporate whore days in California. So, it’s not really the counter, it’s something else. Please help me understand. Where do you draw the line on tipping, and why?
Yesterday Toney got irritated with me, because we were watching Wimbledon and some girl was talking with the creaking door voice. Whenever I’m exposed to that horrible sound, I have to imitate it. There is no fighting the urge, it must be done. It’s ironic, I know. I hate the creaking door voice, but whenever I hear it I have to speak that way for at least 30 minutes.
Finally, Toney snapped and screamed, “Stop it! I can’t take it anymore!!”
I’ve been complaining about the creaking door abomination for possibly a decade, and about two years ago others started to join me. I was way ahead of the agitation curve, as usual. The johnny-come-latelies call it “vocal fry,” for some reason. Maybe it’s a real term, used by voice coaches or something? I’m not clear on it, but prefer “creaking door voice.”
Here’s a video of somebody bitching about it, and this is a pretty good article on the subject.
Every night while I’m driving home from work, I hear a public service announcement on the radio. It’s supposed to be three parents chatting in a park, while their kids are off playing. They say things like, “Did you know that babies born in the winter are preferred by cannibals, ten to one?” Something like that… I’m paraphrasing.
But at one point somebody makes one of those “Did you know” statements, and a woman answers, “Everybody knows that.” And it’s full-on creaking door. Usually the creaking is at the end of a sentence, but this woman takes it from the front to the back. Here’s my imitation of her, and an audio glimpse of the thing that causes occasional marital problems at my house.
I’ve heard that commercial a hundred times, and brace for that croaky bitch. And it still makes me grimace, every time.
What’s the story?! Why do so many young girls speak that way? How’d it get started? If they ever invent time travel, I’m going to go back and find the source – Patient Zero – and somehow eliminate the scourge.
I’m not completely immune to it, but I generally hate when people indulge in monkey-see, monkey-do linguistic behavior. Like “Really?!” That pisses me off. Five years ago nobody said it, and now everybody does. And when we lived in Atlanta there was a period of about three years when the entire world seemed to start sentences with “You know what?”
“What kind of soda do you want?”
“You know what? I’ll have a Dr. Pepper.”
Another semi-new one that makes me cringe: “Wait for it!” Suck a dick.
What are your thoughts on this subject? Do you notice the creaking door voice as much as I do? Do you think it’s starting to go away? I don’t see any evidence of it, but keep hoping. Also, what trendy little phrases and words have you noticed creeping into peoples’ speech? I live in Scranton, so it takes a while to reach us. What should I be on the lookout for?
And that’s gonna do it for today, my friends. Order your shirts! I want to place one order, and keep it simple. I’ll remove the PayPal links around noon on Monday. So, play it safe and order today.
Have a great weekend.
See you again soon!
Now playing in the bunker
Use the Surf Report’s webhost: HostGator!
Add to the creaking door voice the inflection pattern where everything is a question and I think it should be a jailable offense.
I tip the poor schmoes dishing out ice cream, but that’s about it for at the counter tipping.
That everything-a-question-inflection annoys the fuck out of me. Every time I hear it I’m like “Really?!” you’re going to talk like that?
Tipping… you’re right, it’s not just the counter. It’s also the fact that the people standing behind it are making at least minimum wage, not the pennies-per-hour that a waitperson (that actually waits on you) makes. Plus, at Moe’s (welcometomoes!), there was a line of what, 5 people, that made your burrito. Unless the salsa scooper gives me a wink and an extra dollop for free, I’m not tipping someone for standing there with a spoon and an acne problem.
I do have an exception, though. As a creature of habit, there are several walk-up, pour-your-own-drink, counter-service type places that I frequent, uh, frequently. I will throw a tip down every 3rd or 4th visit, once I reach the point that they recognize me when I walk in the door (welcometomoes, Brandy!) to avoid future ingestion of bodily fluids.
I know, right?
A saying that makes me wanna punch the person in the throat is “I know right”.
Lori in Cbus says
I know right?
I never tip at the counter and I don’t feel bad about it.
Sometimes your writing gets just a touch flat for a while, but eventually you write a piece like today’s. “The Rose and the Overshoe” would have made me come were I younger and had, like, testosterone. Just brilliant.
Also, as I begin reading the MTV book, I had totally forgotten how much I wanted to fuck Martha Quinn. In an appropriate way, since she was such a proper girl and all, but fuck her nonetheless. I was 31 when MTV was born, only nine years older than Martha and 14 years older than the lead guitarist from A Flock of Seagulls.
As good a Paul Reynolds’ guitar playing was, and it more or less carried the band, it was Martha who I wanted to fuck. Did I already mention that?
Chuck in Belpre says
I felt the same way about Nina Blackwood and Downtown Julie Brown…toothsome.
The Qweezy Mark says
In an appropriate way, of course.
Certainly. When it comes to sweaty, furniture-damaging, loud, boisterous sex, decorum is everything.
I just finished that book. Hilarious!
There is an infomercial for one of those technical colleges where the girl talks in that voice the whole time she is being interviewed.
Also – the obnoxious girl on one of those gun freak reality shows talks like that.
For me, it’s not just the counter… it’s the establishment. If they bring me the item — food, dry cleaning, luggage, etc. — they get a tip. If I pick it up at the place of business, they get nothing extra! Especially since the minimum wage in my state is $9.19/hour.
Jesus Christ! Do you live in Canada?
WV Bumblebee says
I worked in the restaurant business as a server and front of the house manager. I TIP generously. Minimum of 10% even piss poor service. I’ve tipped as high as 50%. normally 15-20%.
However, I WILL NOT tip for counter service. It’s just BS. They are required to pay those people min wage not the $2.01 a server makes. Nope, no way, not gonna do it!
I’ll take my debit/credit slip, sign it and put a big fat 0 on the tip line and hand it right back to the cashier.
What about pizza delivery guys? How do you feel about tipping those folks?
Yes. They absolutely receive a tip.
Bill in WV says
Well, for one, all of the pizza joints around here now charge a delivery fee, so fuck no I don’t tip any of them. If there’s no delivery fee, then yes they get tipped. I ask in advance if there’s a delivery charge.
This clip from Louie 1 minute in: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ51BNYXbV4
Eleanor Beardsley of NPR exhibits some horrible creaking:
No counter tips from me, EVER! What would I be rewarding you for, showing up at your job? You get a tip for that; it’s called a PAYCHECK. Not getting paid enough? Here’s a tip: find a better paying job. Punk-ass kids……….
Bill in WV says
Wisey in Ttown says
Everybody knows that!
Stuffin’ Martha’s muffin… yes, those were good days…
I’m a crazy tipper. I figure, $5 is good, but $15 will MAKE HER DAY. and hell, if its a brunette? Kinda chubby even? She’s getting PAID because they’re just my speed.
what service are you tipping on?
No counter tipping. I’m not putting a quarter in a grimy coffee cup at dunkin donuts because some dweeb poured coffee into a paper cup.
Wait for it can makeme want to kick a cripple.
The phrase that makes me want to punch em in the throat is “just sayin.” This is used at the end of the poofters profound statement such as; The company has really screwed the employees this time, “just sayin.” GRRRRR
No tip for a Moe’s-like scenario. For actual table service my norm is 20% unless it really sucked. And of course: be good to your bartender and your bartender will be good to you.
Creaking door voice has bugged the crap out of me ever since I started hearing it. Also the practice, noticed by Jeff some time ago, of beginning sentences with “so”. My own gripe of late is overuse of “clearly”, especially to begin a sentence, but really ever. Clearly people say “clearly” too much. This is something we will cringe at in the years to come. Sort of like how today, I can listen to a 1970s recording and wince every time somebody says “turkey” (not meaning the bird or the country).
I am not sure about the creaky door voice but I know that PSA and it makes blood come out of my ears
It’s a group of parents at a kids birthday party spouting off parenting tips like tools [ happy kids have more friends] and then it gets to booster seats for kids up to age 8.
Look I don’t want a small child flying around the inside of my car any more than the next person but this safety stuff is getting absurd. Some how millions of us grew to successful adulthood without booster seats until age 8, bike helmets and knee pads when we used roller skates.
A couple years ago a friend of mine noticed that there was infant formula and then old people formula then they added toddler formula, and started telling everyone to drink Ensure. It’s feels like a scheme to infantize all of us permanently.
My dad bought a used 1966 Rambler American wagon, which did not come with seatbelts. He went so far as to have them installed. In the back seat (kid land) they were these strange body harness things. We hated wearing them, and generally didn’t. Somehow we survived. Years later my sister did not survive the lack of a bicycle helmet. She was riding helmetless, hit her head on a curb, and died at age 15. So I can’t muster too much hate for helmet advocates.
The 4th Stooge says
It’s just plain dumb luck that folks “in my day” survived car accidents in cars with lap bets or no seat belts at all. We were hit by a drunk driver in 1977–I found it very interesting that we had seat belts on at all, but I know they saved our lives, because my sister and I were of that age (7 and 3, respectively) that we’d have gone flying through the windshield. Booster seats? What in the hell were those?
I tip at Subway because I meet my maker. And depending upon who that is, my 6 incher can quickly become a foot long when in the right hands.
Conversely my footlong can quickly become a 6 incher in the wrong hands.
The samething happens when I call in an order to be picked up. Most recently at our favorite Chinese restaurant. The receipt to be signed had the tip line. I never tip on a pick up or a fast food joint. We tip very well, usually 20% or more, when dining IN and having a server. Big difference.
I didn’t realize that type of talking had a specific name. I must live under a rock. But now that you have brought it to my attention, I will notice it more often. Thanks a lot.
I don’t tip at the counter or for carryout… unless what I asked for required them to do something very much out of the regular routine. A coffee with special instructions about cinnamon or some such. But ordering straight off the menu and someone just handing it to me? No chance. Quite frankly, I think it’s rude of them to seem to “expect” it.
However, if someone brings it to my table, they get tipped and tipped well. I rarely go under 20% because I rarely get bad service, thankfully, and I know that servers don’t get paid even minimum wage. These people have to live, too!
Thanks for the example of squeaking door voice. I can’t say I’ve noticed girls talking like that, but I can understand how Toney would get annoyed after 30 minutes of that.
I never tip at counters, just because I feel like everyone’s trying to get on the gravy train. They know they don’t deserve a tip.
Gordion Knott says
“Let’s do this.” Said before an action scene in movies or in the pre-action cut scenes of video games.
Thankfully, this phrase is long in the tooth, and now only turns up in B-level action movies staring Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and cars.
Let’s expunge it from English for good.
From music, I can’t stand the singers that labor to get the first word of a line out.
The earliest example of this is No Doubt’s “Don’t Speak” Gwen Stefani carried it over in to her solo career and it’s all over the place now.
I just heard the “Spring babies have webbed toes” PSA and didn’t hear creak-voice in it. Surely there aren’t multiple versions of it(?) There are much worse offenders out there- Nina Blackwood on XM’s 80’s on 8 comes to mind.