There's been a lot of talk in the news lately about raising the minimum wage. The Democrats seem to be in favor, claiming the current rate is too miniscule to support a family. Republicans counter that the free market, not government, should define the minimum wage, and that you're not supposed to be able to support a family as a fast food fry cook. Personally, while I see truth on both sides, the polarized version of this debate is beyond moronic.
I'm pretty sure most Americans will agree that someone has to have the crappiest jobs, and I'm also positive that, at least since the Great Depression, this country has realized that some amount of government intervention is necessary to police the economy, because if big business had its druthers, french fries would be cooked by children pedaling asbestos bicycles that generate the energy for the stove. What is ultimately deemed the appropriate minimum wage is a matter of math, so feel free to ignore the pointless political rhetoric until numbers are crunched.
"When I turn 10, they start paying me in real money!"
While I can't promise the average working American a huge raise in hourly compensation, I think there is something else we can all agree on: Lots of annoying customers deserve to die. Especially customers who make cliche crappy jokes over and over. Accordingly, until this whole minimum wage thing gets worked out, I would like to provide some relief to workers by proposing that they be allowed to commit homicides with impunity when confronted with these five jokes.
#5. "That's a Good Year!" (To a Cashier When Something Costs $19.37 or Some Other Date-Like Amount)
I once worked in a bookstore for a brief time, and my duties involved being a cashier. I have to admit, the first time I heard this joke, I didn't want to murder anyone. By the third time, however, things started to go bad. Probably because it only took me until my second week to hear it three times.
Here's how the joke works: You wait until your merchandise is rung up and hope that the amount of the purchase could conceivably sound like a year. It doesn't even have to be a famous year like $14.92 or $18.12. You'd be surprised how many number combinations work when it's your intent to tell a truly horrible joke. OK, so you wait for that number, and then you look the cashier right in the eye and say ...
"Oh, that was a good year!"
Get it? Yep, the price sounds a little like a year. That's the joke. What struck me as particularly interesting was that very often the amounts would be $19.30-something. Do you know your history, kids? Yes. The 1930s were the Great Depression.
Oh boy. Two Great Depression references in one comedy article! I know how to have fun.
So, yeah, 1934 was not a great year. Unless you had a lot of stock in suicide. Then you probably did alright. But hey, don't let nationwide famine mess up your zinger. Make that joke! And in the interest of fairness, when you extend your money for payment, by law the cashier should be allowed to nail your hand to the counter before setting you on fire.
#4. "Missed a Spot!" (To Anyone Mopping a Floor or Washing Windows)
This is a classic, right up there with telling cancer patients their "tumors are weird and ugly" and kicking puppies right in the teeth. Here's how you do it right: Wait until you see someone mopping a floor, or cleaning a table, or washing windows. It doesn't really matter what, as long as it's someone cleaning up after others. I mean who else but someone in the custodial arts needs to be taken down a peg?
Take it easy, Mr. Fancypants.
So first you watch them work (for your benefit), and then you point to some spot -- any spot -- and say ...
"Missed a spot."
Get it? It doesn't even matter if they haven't missed a spot! See, what you're really saying is "Even though I'm not your boss, you're such a lowly employee that even a stranger is allowed to critique your performance."
I've seen people do this, and not just in the movies. I'm not sure what they're going for. Are they hoping for "Oh my God, you're such a miserable bastard that I have to love you"? Maybe they're angling for the "Wow, I can't believe this guy just had the balls to go there!" Science may never know for sure, but one thing's for certain: When I'm king, any person in customer service who has to hear this "joke" is allowed to use whatever cleaning device currently at their disposal to scrub this comic's eyeballs and then push him blindly into traffic.
#3. "Thanks a Latte!!!" (To a Barista Serving You a Latte)
Here's a newer one, and it's specific to the coffee-serving industry. Did you kids know that Starbucks wasn't always a thing? Like if you wanted coffee you went to a diner or a deli and you got something that tasted terrible. Or you went to a swank Italian restaurant for your espressos and lattes. I guess what I'm trying to say is I'm old.
See? You can count the rings in this cross section of my spine.
Anyway, having a latte is no big deal these days. Know what else is no big deal? Telling a hilarious joke when your barista gives you your beverage. And what is that joke?
"Thanks a latte!"
Get it? It sounds like you're saying "Thanks a lot," but you're not saying "Thanks a lot," you're saying "Thanks a latte," which sort of rhymes with "Thanks a lot."
Anyway, long story short, I propose that any barista within earshot of this comic gem has the legal right to remove the lid from the latte and throw the scalding contents in the customer's face. Once the jokester is distracted by the amount of skin sloughing off his/her face, the barista may then deputize all other patrons to kick the offender to death with no legal ramifications.