A truly bizarre Mitt Romney moment comes from the blog Jesus' General, which retells an incident at a Borders Bookstore in Provo Canyon, Utah, where Romney and his wife Ann order two hot chocolates, and take them without tipping. Out of touch? Sure. But here's where the story gets really strange:
On their way out, Anne throws away her half-consumed hot chocolate, but Mitt approaches the counter. "I know you guys can't sell this again, but I was wondering if one of you guys wanted the rest of my hot chocolate?"
"No thanks," one of the other baristas told him, wondering if this was some sort of bizarre joke.
"I don't want to waste it, there's still plenty left, it's still perfectly good..."
According to my brother, Romney seemed genuinely confused by their refusal. His hot chocolate was so good he didn't want to waste it, but it wasn't so good that it was worth tipping those who made it. "I think the important part of this story isn't the tipping," my brother explained. "It's that he doesn't understand that everyone else is throwing their unused drinks away because they understand that it's against social norms. His germs are on it, but somehow, in his mind, his millionaire saliva is good enough that it shouldn't bother a barista of the serving class."
Jesus' General is best known as a satirical website, but I know the guy who plays the General, I've met him personally, and he swears that this story is true. It's told by Bryan Young, an assistant director on the documentary This Divided State; one of the baristas in question is Bryan's brother.
"I've known Bryan Young for years," the General tells me. "I trust him. That's good enough for me."
And I trust the General.