I stopped reading Mr. Currin's weeklong, fun on the cheap odyssey ("Livin' (almost) free, Aug. 25) when he wrote of paying for his lunch on Monday: "At $4.95 ... with tax and tip that rounds out to an even $6.00."
Sixty-five cents was the tip Currin left the server who fetched him "unlimited chips and salsa at ... beck and call?"
If Currin's reporting is accurate, please encourage him to eat a few more tomato sandwiches at home rather than stiff a server whose weekly after-tax wages are less than the budget the Independent fronted Currin just for entertainment. If, as I hope, Currin left at least an even dollar for a tip, then perhaps (using his rounding rules) the front page teaser should have read: "A week on the town for $106 or less."
Your reviewer Neil Morris should fact check his material before submitting it, because he has a glaring error in his first paragraph ("A tale of two costume dramas," Sept. 1). Jane Austen's Mansfield Park could not be one of the progeny of Thackeray's Vanity Fair. Mansfield Park was published in 1814 and Jane Austen died in 1817, but Thackeray's novel was not published until 1847. Thackeray is the progeny of Austen (a more pungent and cynical descendent, but nevertheless following her lead as a commentator on British social mores). I realize this criticism has nothing to do with the review of the film itself, but one does lack confidence in a reviewer who appears an idiot at the start of his review.
J. J. Bauer
Got something to say about an Independent article? Send no more than 300 words to firstname.lastname@example.org; to P.O. Box 2690, Durham 27715; or fax 286-4274. Include your name, phone number and mailing address for verification; we cannot publish a letter without confirmation from the writer. We reserve the right to edit letters for length, style and clarity.