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New Journalism

July 20, 1986

Thrilled to read your article by Max Jacobson about stiffing the restaurants (" 'Waiter, I've Got a Little Problem. . . ,' " July 13): Go into a nice place to eat, pig out, pretend to not be able to pay, watch the action, then report said action for your ever-curious readership.

I figure Max and his editor have come across a new kind of journalism: provoke some sort of public unpleasantness then give us your frank appraisal of the quality of the reactions of all involved. Did they respond with grace under pressure? Did I respond with grace under pressure?

Do not stop with restaurants. No, no. Fake a heart attack in the checkout line. Shout obscenities in church. Drive through the slums and throw change out the window. Defecate in public. . . .

Wait a minute. Maybe all that isn't dignified enough for Max and his wife and his friends and His Eminence The Times. OK, go back to stiffing the restaurants.

W. A. BARNES

Seal Beach

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