It's that time of year: time to tip those who do so much for us during the year. I don't know how much. Fortunately, there's a book that's perfect for me. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Tipping."  Here's what they say and then what I say. Besides. if an idiot can't guide me, then who can?

For the Babysitter or Nanny:

Idiot's Guide: One week's pay and a small gift

I tried to give the babysitter the gift of laughter once by telling what I thought was a funny joke... What kind of lights did Noah use on the Ark??? (answer at the end). The babysitter didn't appreciate the gift and in hindsight, I don't blame her.

For Trash Collectors:

Idiot's Guide: 15 to 20 dollars per person

I probably should give 20 to 25 dollars. I've been told that the trash collectors at my place have muttered the words, "Don't they ever tie the garbage bags?" Sorry about that, here's a extra 5 for your troubles.

For Paper Carriers:

Idiot's Guide: 15-25 dollars for daily delivery and 5-15 dollars for weekend delivery.

When I delivered the paper growing up, I would collect at the end of the week. I knew my neighbors and would sometimes chat. So when the holidays rolled around, I would get a nice present. Nowadays, you can pay on-line. I have no idea who our carrier is.

For Your Hairdresser:

Idiot's Guide: The equivalent of one session (Big words for the idiot tipping crowd.) 

It also says to pay 25 dollars if you're not a regular salon-goer... That would be more than all my sessions combined.  I see my hair stylist(?) twice a year.  I always go on a Wednesday because it's only 11 bucks. I tried to give her coupons. She appreciated that as much as the babysitter liked my gift of laughter.

It doesn't take an idiot to figure out what I should tip, but I don't mind if an idiot helps me out....By the way, the answer to "What kind of lights does Noah use on the Ark?"  Flood Lights.