For most of my life, I've prided myself on being a fairly straight shooter. I've tried to be the kind of person who expresses his opinions freely, and who is open to the opinions of others. I don't have a crippling fear of confrontation, and some of my most heated disagreements have been with my closest friends. Plus, my junk is just sensational, so really, what do I have to be embarrassed about?
Well, despite all of that, there are certain scenarios that are so uncomfortably awkward that I go to bizarre lengths just to avoid them. Maybe you do, too. I mean, you and I both read Cracked articles by Gladstone. We probs have all sorts of neat stuff in common. Do you like David Bowie? Me too! Cool.
Gratuitous picture of David Bowie as Aladdin Sane included solely to troll the people it annoyed last week. (I'm pretty hard to love.)
You ever go grocery shopping or something and the bill comes to $39.97 and then you pay with two $20s? Maybe not. That's pretty specific. What I really mean is, you ever pay for something and have a very small amount of change coming to you? I have, and I have to admit, I want it. I'm a pretty great tipper, but there's no way Walmart, McDonald's or whatever corporate behemoth I'm dealing with is getting any more of my money. It's just the principle of the thing.
It's mine! Choke on it, Walmart!
But as stirring and exciting as that speech just was, I don't want to make it to each and every cashier. Nevertheless -- although I apparently have no trouble admitting it to hundreds of thousands of people online -- I don't want to be that guy who stands there like he's waiting for three cents.
My Ridiculous Solution:
So here's what I do. Right after the sale's rung up and I see I'm going to be owed a small amount of money, I begin to busy myself. I rearrange my wallet, futz with stuff in my shopping bags, check my phone, anything. It doesn't matter. I just have to make it appear that I'm not waiting for change. That way when the cashier hands over three pennies, I can look surprised and say, "Oh, OK," as if I'm only standing there to attend to whatever I'm pretending to deal with. Then I pocket those three miserable pennies I never would have waited for and leave.
Oh, by the way, I think it would be super funny if someone made a comment below about me being a cheap Jew, because that's just pretty damn funny. Original, too. If Zombie Hitler read Cracked, I'm sure he'd tote lulz. Ah, who am I kidding? Zombie Hitler only reads Seanbaby's column.
"Oh, Dick Whiskey. You're the best! I mean, BRAINS!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I do this one a lot. It works in many situations, but I'll give you the one that makes me look like the biggest douchebag:
I like to think of myself as a fairly open-minded guy. I have no beef with any race generally. I'm not put off by anyone's religion or lack of faith. Sexual orientation doesn't matter to me. But if I had to fess up to one bias, one prejudice, I must admit that there is one specific scenario where I've avoided Asian people: the hair salon.
"Zombie Hitler likes the racist sentiment, but hates the Jew making it. Zombie Hitler confused ... BRAINS!!!!!!!!"
Y'see, after a series of terrible haircuts at the hands of Asian stylists, I became convinced that they just didn't know how to address my distinctly non-Asian hair. Does that qualify as a hate crime? I hope not. I feel bad about it. I had a crush on a Korean girl in junior high and I dated a Japanese girl for a week in college, so I hope I don't get any evites to join the Klan after this article runs. But yeah, there came a point about 10 years ago where I decided I'd had enough. I walked into a salon. They told me to sit down in one of the empty chairs to await my hairdresser. Within a minute, a perfectly nice man who happened to be Asian emerged from the back room.
My Ridiculous Solution:
My initial thought was to gently explain that while I had had wet dreams about a Korean girl as a teenager, and gotten to third base with a Japanese girl in college, I had a policy about avoiding hairdressers. Somehow that didn't sound compelling, so I thought about calling some of my Asian friends to vouch for me before deciding that that would also be awkward. But that's when inspiration struck. I reached for my BlackBerry (I told you, it was like 10 years ago) and pretended to be getting a call on vibrate. "What?!" I said, pretending some urgent matter had just been revealed to me. "Hold on. I'll be right there!"
I turned to the stylist with a silent look of exasperation, as if it were pressing business and not my burgeoning racism that was keeping the two of us from uniting. Then I walked out of the place, still talking to no one.
"Come right away and make sure my hair's shaggy? OK, you're the boss."
(By the way, this isn't just a good cover for racism. I've also used it when I've had to leave restaurants after seeing a menu and realizing I couldn't afford to eat there. No, not Chinese restaurants, you ass. I'm not a monster!)
As I mentioned before, I'm a damn fine tipper. Etiquette says you leave 15 to 20 percent after removing tax and liquor costs. Well, I almost always tip 20 percent with the tax and booze still included. Yep, I'm awesome. And I've only stiffed servers for jaw-droppingly rude behavior maybe twice in my entire life. After that, there have been a minority of occasions where poor service has demanded that I pull back from my typically generous tipping practices. I don't mean stiffing, but leaving tips in more of the 10-to-15-percent range.
So what's the big deal, you ask. Or maybe you're not asking. Maybe you're Asian and have decided that you and I are now enemies. Dude, I'm sorry. If you'd seen the three haircuts I got, you would understand.
Well, I'll tell you the problem. Even though I give less than 20 percent on rare occasions, I still feel really bad about it. Not so bad that I leave more money, because where's the justice in that, but, y'know, bad.
My Ridiculous Solution:
This one's super clever. I gather up my shit. Make sure I haven't left my keys or something else behind. Point one foot in the direction of the door. Drop my 10 percent tip, and leave before the waiter collects the bill. Gangsta.