I stopped by Singer's last night for a cold one on my way home from work, and ordered one of the bar's 99-cent Natty Bohs.
Since Singer's doesn't include tax in their drink prices (grrr), the total came to $1.05. I paused for a second.
How much should I tip on a beer that cost a buck? Another dollar? That's a lot of money, proportionately -- a 100 percent tip.
On the other hand, it's customary to tip at least a buck for any drink, regardless of the price, and I didn't want to come across as a prude.
What would you do? ...
In the end, I forked over another buck, which ended up being a stack of coins -- 95 cents, to be precise. The server tried to give it back to me, and I told her to keep it.
Even that choice left me feeling sleazy. Change? The best I could do was tell her to keep the change? Was I not man enough to give her a dollar bill?
I looked in my wallet, and only had a 10-spot. Making her break it for a tip would have been too much. So I sat there, sipping my Natty and watching poets recite their work at the far end of the bar.
I saw the Natty Boh Tower, which wasn't that impressive -- just a pyramid-shaped stack o' cans. But a buck for a Boh any time is a deal. Now if I could only figure out the best way to tip on it.
(Baltimore Sun photo by Gene Sweeney Jr.)