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"Show" Me The Way

2008-05-01 - 1:40 p.m.

So yesterday I got up early enough that I went to IHOP for breakfast before I went to work. I had the ABC omelette (avocado, bacon, and cheese) which comes with pancakes. Since I personally prefer waffles, I asked for one in place of the pancakes. The waitress said there was a charge for that, which is standard practice at a lot of restaurants. I agreed.

When I got the bill, I discovered that the upcharge was $4.49. Almost five dollars to get a waffle in place of pancakes.

Now, I didn't ask how much the upcharge was, and I should have. So that part is on me. But this is at least triple the upcharge of the two other big chains in the area.

So I wrote a nice letter to their website, and the reply came this morning:

Thank you for contacting us regarding your experience at the IHOP restaurant in Anaheim. We were sorry to learn that you are unhappy with the pricing at this location.

It is important that we acknowledge that this restaurant is operated by an independent business person. As in the case with all franchised companies, IHOP Corp. is prohibited by law in setting or dictating pricing in any of our franchised locations.

Part of IHOP's success is due to the commitment to offer substantial portions of good food at a fair price. We encourage all of our franchise owners to keep this in mind when deciding what prices they will charge at their restaurants.

However, many things can influence the prices that are charged in our franchised restaurants. Some of these include rent, utilities, overhead, security costs, marketing and promotion costs, and the need for more frequent remodels due to heavy guest traffic.

We will share your comments with the franchise owner of this location so they may take them into consideration on future menu printings.

Thank you for bringing your concerns to our attention.

In other words, "tough luck, dude".

So what have we learned today? Ask how much the upcharges are before agreeing to pay them.

And just because they have a corporate name, doesn't mean the corporation will back you up.


Later that evening, I went to the Angels game. It was the third game of the series with Oakland. It was a good game, from a great seat - a friend with access to season tickets gave me one, so I got to sit on the same level as the broadcast booths, close enough that I could see Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler broadcasting. During the break between innings, I got Rory Markas' attention. He smiled and waved, and laughed when I called out that "it was about time I came to see YOU at work". After the game, we said goodbye and he indicated he may come back to the bar sometime.

But I don't plan to detail any highlights of the game. Instead, I'd like to write about the young man who played third base for the Angels last night, a fellow named Matt Brown. He had been called up from the Angels' triple-A team in Salt Lake, and it was his very first major league game appearance. He was so new that, when they showed the line-up on the big screen, he was the only one who didn't have an animated picture of him swinging a bat - just a static shot of his face.

Brown did not have a good first game - in fact, he had a lousy one. The first ball that was hit to him went between his legs and into left field for an error. The second one that came to him a few innings later was fielded well, but he made a bad throw to Casey Kotchman at first - another error that wound up leading to Oakland's only run of the evening. He had four at-bats, and struck out swinging in three of them. He did assist on an out in the ninth, but again his throw was off-target - it was Kotchman who had to tag the runner to get him out.

The fans in section 330 were not kind. As soon as he made his first error, they started yelling that he was going back to Salt Lake. They actually started cheering when Brown struck out in his last at-bat. When he made the play in the ninth, a lot of the fans stood up and applauded. I don't know about the rest of the stadium, but I know that in my section the applause was sarcastic.

Me? I felt bad for the guy. Here he is, fresh out of the minors, a hot prospect (his minor league stats include 20 home runs), his very first time at The Show - and he makes rookie errors and strikes out. On top of that, he had to take shit from folks who couldn't hit big-league pitching if their lives depended on it.

Matt Brown, this is one fan who wants to congratulate you. You did something than many youngsters dream of. You got to play major league ball. You made it to The Show. Do you know how many top players today fumbled their way through in their first time? I've seen Angel prospects screw up in their first game. Brandon Wood comes to mind - he also struck out at his first at-bat.

So you had a bad game. So fucking what? It's one game. That's something Angels players have told the media for YEARS. "So we got our butts kicked. It's one game, and it's early." Last year the Red Sox wiped the floor with the Angels at the start of the season. The Angels cleaned their clocks when they met again.

Congratulations, Matt Brown. You made it. Be proud.


I tried submitting this link to with this headline:

Government agency unveils new logo, not realizing "hidden meaning"...or that "hidden meaning" describes ALL government agencies

Turns out it had already been submitted. Oh well, can't win 'em all.


Oh, yeah - I had such a good time, I bought a ticket for tonight's game in my "usual" section:

Ticket Agent: We only have scattered singles in that section.
Me: Fine - I'm pretty scattered anyway.

So I'll go tonight to watch the last game of this four-game series.

So I'd better get on with my day.

Be seeing you.


2 comments so far

Smed - 2008-05-01 18:57:42 -
Matt Brown will have another chance. (Though last year he played four games with the Angels and went 0-5 with 2 walks). Adam Greenberg, formerly of the Cubs, was hit in the head on the first pitch he saw in the big leagues, had a major concussion, and has not made it back to the big leagues. In fact, I think he's out of baseball now.


Bob - 2008-05-02 13:12:04 -
All I know is that when I play MLB 08: The Show on my Playstation 3 (and Rex Hudler does the color along with Matt Vasgersian on play-by-play), my move from AAA to the Majors was a disaster, hitting perhaps 1 in 16 pitches off the top. (My fielding was a bit better.) Fans need to cut Brown some slack.


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