Lately, I have started to notice "service charges" appearing in my life. Again, this pairing of words seems to be a violation of etymological etiquette to put it politely (as in "restaurant quality"), and if I may dare to be quite blunt, this coupling of nouns is simply a euphimism for highway robbery. In order to be more contemporary (and contemptuous) - I understand the phrase that is appropriate is a cyber-jacking...and there is nothing virtual (or virtuous) about it! Talk about semantics!
Ticketmaster is definitely one such insidious Wizard of the SC, and closer to home are the on-line floral order gatherers and the Wire Services. My objection to the "service charge" is that I have yet to witness any evidence of service, or a delivery of something that could be remotely connected to service. In fact, it is my casual observation that if there is any initimation of a charge for service then you should run like hell!
Ticketmaster also has the gall to charge for ticket delivery, which seems reasonbable, but at least they do give you the option to print your own tickets. Charge for that covenience? $2.50!!
Service my gluteus maximus!
I even had a dream about service charges which shows you how insidious these things are. I was staying in Orlando with my girlfriend; a short Stay-cation, as it were, in Florida. The Red Hot Chili Peppers were in town playing some shows, and it just so happened that we ran into Anthony in the lobby of our hotel. Since I had had a professional acquaintance with him from 'back-in'the-day' (I was a singer in a Punk band in Los Angeles as well!) I invited him up to our room where we chatted for a while. Anyway we came around to the topic of tckets for the show, and I asked if he could comp us a pair. Anthony said it would not be a problem, especially as FTD was sponsoring the show.
Sweet, says I. However, continued Mr. Kiedis, we would have to pay FTD a service charge of $217.25 for the tickets, plus a delivery fee.
Maybe it was a nigthmare.
Top photo - The Chili-Peps
Lower photo - the author of David's Diary, definitely back in the day