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Showing posts from July, 2009

Check Please

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For all the uniqueness to be found in every restaurant, there is one process handled in a strikingly similar (if not identical) fashion by all of them; "the check" or "the bill".

Let's first make note of the cultural distinction between those terms. If you receive a "check" in the mail, that's usually a good thing. You now have money you didn't have before. A "bill" that arrives in the mail is the opposite; you now owe money you had just a moment before. Yet, Americans traditionally refer to the "meal invoice" as a "check".

Obvious as it might seem for a restaurant to tally up your meal and give you a summary - their per-unit cost multiplied by the number of units you ordered, totaled at the bottom with the ever-present sales tax - a quick Google search indicates that the entire idea is patented. Who knew?

For those in a hurry at the end of a meal due to prior obligation, the company at the table, or in my case, …