Karma Cleanser - April 20 2005

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?At the Dogwood Festival last weekend, I managed to wedge my 12-foot-long Mini Cooper into a spot between two SUVs that left barely enough room for a shadow to fall on either side. I was so proud of my parking agility that I snapped a quick photo - something the two nice little old ladies waiting in the SUV behind us noted sourly when we returned a few hours later. (Someone must have ratted us out.) I still feel terrible about making them wait. My fiancee tells me I'm the nicest guy in the world until I get behind the wheel. My retribution was swift: The "nice" little old ladies had let the air out of my tires while they waited, and I also found a nail in one tire - a coincidence, I think. We wasted so much time fixing the tires that we missed the party we were supposed to attend that evening. Has all this bad karma balanced the scales, or do I still need to amend my reckless ways and let more little old ladies cut me off in traffic to avoid further vengeance??
— Mni-Me

We're confused. The little old ladies had sabotaged your tires but still waited around to see your reaction to their vandalism? So much for the wisdom of our elders. Anyway, we suspect your karmic debt has been paid, and your story only reinforces something we already knew: The Dogwood Festival always ends in drama.

Dear Karma Cleanser:
?I was eating dinner with two guy friends last night at a fancy Mexican?restaurant. The waitress struck up a conversation with the table and?was (maybe a little) flirty with one of the guys. She made food?recommendations for all three of us, which everyone seemed to like.?When we got the bill, I was a little confused because it was less than?it should have been. We'd all had beers and had ordered an appetizer.?A closer look revealed that the waitress had not charged us for one of?the entrees, which was about $13-$14.

The three of us decided to just split the bill three ways and call it?even. Later that night I started to feel guilty. We had left her a?pretty decent tip, but still nothing huge. I know one of the guys at?our table used to work at a restaurant so I'm surprised he didn't?argue for more. I wonder if the waitress left off one item?intentionally because of her flirty thing with the one guy — although?it wasn't his entrée that got omitted. Does leaving a just OK tip make?up for not asking the restaurant for a bigger bill??
— Quesadillas con Heartburn

Given your playful vibe with the waitron, we'd wager that she left the?dish off on purpose, perhaps as a ploy to earn a bigger tip for?herself, or maybe just as a lure to get you three tools back in the?restaurant again. Next time you go, leave a bigger tip and don't?expect the burritos to be free.