Counting for dummies

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Dear Hillary,

I do spend a fair bit of time at night in the bars.  The old bill in the cup routine I think is very good because it shows that the bar trusts you not to lose a couple before you pay at the end of the night.  Recently I have been getting the feeling that my bill is not right, because it seems to be a lot more than I thought it should.  Is it OK to add the bills yourself?  I don’t want them to think I don’t trust them, when they are trusting me.  What is the usual thing?

Unsure Drinker

Dear Unsure Drinker,

It is your bill, and you pay it with your money.  Of course you can check it.  Mind you, if you are getting yourself to the stage where you can’t count past ten without taking your shoes off, you have a problem.  Is this the situation?  You’ve got no real idea how many drinks you’ve had, or how many “lady drinks” you’ve bought in the course of the evening?  You have the choice – go on the wagon for a while or take a pocket calculator into your favorite bars.