Thursday, April 29, 2010
My thievery occurred at the end of very enjoyable day spent at Newport Beach, California. What a place. The Pacific Ocean surges and swells and crashes along endless stretches of sand dotted with shells and sand dollars. Palm trees and bike paths line the shore. The fish & chips were deep-fried awesomeness. There’s a huge pier stretching out into the ocean and at the end of it is a sushi restaurant and a spot where locals fish. Seals poke their heads up to stare at those fishing. No shirt, no shoes, no problem at the casual restaurants and shops along the shore. It’s a great place. Just before we left, we decided to buy a snack. Truly an accident, I simply walked out of a beachside food store with the said banana that I thought my wife had already purchased and then when I discovered my mistake our shuttle was about to leave, so I had to run for it. Don’t visualize this. It’s sort of awkward running in your flip-flops with a frozen banana.
Anyway, like most of the food I eat (stolen or not), I felt guilty but I ate it anyway. And now, to be completely honest, I think the USA owes me a few more frozen chocolate bananas. Let me explain.
Since returning from the US, I’ve been doing some research. According to Wikipedia, the USA has the highest minimum tipping expectations of any country in the ENTIRE world. I now understand why sometimes, in the tourist-y areas, we were automatically charged 18% gratuity and then charged tax on top of it! Whoa. I’ve also learned that Newport Beach is one of the wealthiest places in the USA. Homes sell on average for more than $1 million. Along the beach, double that. Yeah. Would anybody even notice one missing frozen chocolate banana?
The whole situation reminds me of something that one of Newport Beach’s most famous former-residents once remarked. John Wayne said, “Get off your horse and drink your milk.” (Yeah. I don’t know what it means either but I just like saying it.) Anyway, John Wayne would never worry about one measly overpriced, gratuity-inflated and overtaxed frozen banana, so why should I?
I conclude by saying this: thank you America for the banana and an enjoyable vacation and for all my tips, you’re welcome.