My new outlook thus emboldened, I went out into the world. At lunch at a great Greek diner in downtown Tampa, I ordered the artichoke and feta omelette and a coffee. When the tab came, I took a pencil from my backpack and gently erased the omelette charge, taking care not to tear the pale-green receipt. I then paid only for the coffee. Challenged by the waitress, I said I didn’t know what she was talking about; after all, there was no mention of it on the receipt and no more omelette on my plate, was there? And the fundamental principle of my having come to the diner had been to get my system recharged, and it was, really, the multiple cups of coffee that had done that. She didn’t seem to understand, and went off to get the manager, but I didn’t have time for that and walked back out onto the street. The world’s moving fast, we’ve got tweets to write and Instagram photos of convention hall balloons to post, and you sure as heck aren’t going to qualify as a maker in a makers-and-takers world if you’re quibbling over a piddling erasure. Memory is for moochers, and hangups about words are for print journalists, and just look at what’s happened to them.



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