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"Who among my fellow Americans enjoys this ritual? You ask for the check. The waiter walks away. He brings it. He walks away again. You put your card in the little sleeve. You wait. The waiter picks it up. He walks away again. Eventually, after reciting the specials at one table and opening a bottle of wine at another, he returns. And finally, 20 minutes after you were ready to leave, the restaurant is ready for you to leave."

Michael Tomasky, in an essay for The Daily Beast/Newsweek in which he argues for more American restaurants to use handheld credit card machines for at-the-table payment, a commonplace practice in some countries.

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