I have opinions I often share with people around me, and most of the time those people tell me I’m an idiot. Obviously that’s because I’ve struck a nerve, right? Challenged some deeply-held but obviously incorrect belief of theirs. That has to be it.
So I’m going to share my latest crop of judgements:
1. No more “ghosts” on TV.
I don’t mean that I’m against a weekly live-action Ghostbusters musical extravaganza, but that I’m sick of main characters having dead people talking to them as a means of expository dialogue. This has happened all the freaking time on Dexter, and apparently because the last four seasons of Dexter have been universally acclaimed, The Walking Dead decided to do it, too. Of course, poor zombie-killing Rick also got those fake phone calls, too.
I doubt I’m abnormal in that I’ve never had a hallucination in my life; perhaps that’s due to a distinct lack of drug use, but it’s not like Dexter is dropping acid whenever he’s offscreen. How can I understand a character’s motivations if that character lives in a world of hallucinations? It distances me from the character.
Now, if a writer or showrunner wants to include a character who has a realistic illness that includes hallucinations, or they want to put in a few scenes of people licking psychoactive toads, then that’s fine. Hallucinate away. Otherwise, you’re going to have to find a better way of showing me what the character is thinking and feeling. I mean, can you imagine if Breaking Bad’s writers borrowed the same pair of sweaty crutches?
So no more “Ghost Harry”. No more “Ghost Lori”. And while we’re at it, no more cryptically prescient homeless ladies, Mr. Kurt Sutter. Either give your audience some credit (which is sometimes undeserved, I know) or just start adding some stupe-titles to the screen: “Dexter wants to kill, but here’s why he might not:” or “Rick blames himself for Lori’s death for some reason, maybe… we don’t actually know, but aren’t hallucinations cool?”
2. Stop telling me that things you didn’t like “gave you cancer”.
This might be the only trend that could rival actual cancer in my level of hatred. Cancer isn’t funny, even when that asshole you know from the gym has to have his testicle removed. (Okay, so that’s a little funny, and so was that bit on Futurama with Calculon.) But if something sucks so hard that you feel like it might kill you slowly and painfully after numerous rounds of chemotherapy, find an analogy that doesn’t remind people of everyone they’ve lost to one of the least hilarious diseases in history.
Don’t worry, I’ll help:
- “That was so bad it gave me jock itch.”
- “Your dating profile has created a rash in a very hard-to-medicate place.”
- “Your terrible, terrible YouTube video has quite possibly given me gingivitis… in my eyeballs.”
3. Let’s come up with a unified rule vis-à-vis tipping the proprietor.
Now different countries/cultures have different tipping etiquette. In the US, it varies by state, since some states actually pay employees who receive tips as little as $2.13 per hour. Now I’m cheap, but I used to subsist partly on tips from drunk people, so I try to tip 15-20% for any service that is better than soup-in-the-lap or dessert-fork-lodged-in-pelvis. But I don’t like tipping proprietors, because to me, it seems like an insult.
If I ran a service business, I would want people to think that I’m running it at a profit. That I’m successful or whatever. So someone giving me a tip when it’s clear that I’m the owner (a situation that is not always clear)… well, I’d probably be a little insulted. Sure, I’d take their dirty money… but I’d wonder if they felt like I needed their charity because I obviously didn’t know how to run a business.
But most people tip the proprietor, because for one thing, it’s hard to know if someone’s the proprietor, rather than being an employed manager or a sorely underpaid relative of the proprietor. And apparently, most proprietors are forgetting what may or may not be a tipping rule:
You should never tip the owner or proprietor of an establishment. In fact, it is their professional responsibility to tell you that they do not accept tips.
(from a five-year-old article about the “new” rules of tipping)
So here’s the problem: if I don’t tip the proprietor, while everyone else on Planet Earth does tip the proprietor, I look like a cheap jerk. And I don’t like looking like a cheap jerk, despite the fact that I tell everyone I meet that I’m a cheap jerk, including the aforementioned proprietor. Doesn’t make sense, you say? Well, you could say the same thing about high heels.
Feels good to get that off my chest. Coming up next time: what’s the deal with airline food?