The last couple of weeks have been a little insane for me. Between vacations and funerals, there has not been as much time as I would like to sit at the computer to bitch about all things bitchy. That is, until today. I recently received a message from a reader named Rachel with photographic evidence of one of the crappiest tips ever in the history of food service. We have all gotten the Jesus pamphlets or maybe the coupons for Mary Kay Cosmetics from those various customers who think we might prefer that over cash money that we can deposit into our bank account and then pay bills with. We have all been stiffed when we know our service was great but the customer was tighter than a nun’s vagina. We have had people leave us pennies to express their dissatisfaction and we have had customers leave silly little notes explaining why they can’t leave a tip, but what I have never seen is what Rachel experienced.
Placed on the table as her tip was a five-dollar bill which had been laminated on top of a card. Abraham Lincoln is staring out at her hoping that he will soon be released from his plastic prison. Underneath his steely gaze are the words this “is God’s gift to you.” When the card is opened, it is full of Bible quotes, specifically James 1:12 which states, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.” It is telling whomever is holding the card that they can cut the five dollars out but if they do that, they are giving into temptation and becoming a huge disappointing failure to God. It says the gift of God is more valuable than $1,000,000 even. Sorry to disappoint you, God, but I would hate to disappoint my landlord even more and since he kinda controls whether or not I have a roof over my head, I gotta go with him. Maybe the gift of God is more valuable than a million dollars, but I don’t think I have bedroom in the house of the Lord while I do have one in my apartment building. Rachel tells me that the rest of the story on the card is kind of a threat saying that “whosoever was not found written in the book of life is cast into the lake of fire” and that she should not fall to the temptation of the money and instead simply pass the card on to others so she can carry on the tradition of being a religious douche bag who use Christianity as an excuse not to tip.
What the fuck? If something like this ever ends up on one of my tables, I will grab a pair of scissors and cut that five dollar bill out of the plastic right there in front of the religious zealot who gave it to me. If I can’t find scissors, I will use my wine key, a dirty steak knife, my teeth or I will slice it open using the face of a baby. I will then then hand them back the empty card and cut up plastic so they can reuse it the next time the collection plate gets passed down the pew. The very act may send me right to hell but there is a pretty good chance that I already have a reservation there that Satan himself made for me using Open Table. I imagine that hell will be something like the typical waiter nightmare where every table is a ten-top of demon assholes who need separate checks and are all in a hurry. Come to think of it, that’s what it was like when I worked doubles at Houlihan’s in Times Square during the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, so I have already been to hell. If I end up in hell and I don’t have to wear an apron there, it will seem like a piece of angel food cake.
I want to thank Rachel for sending me the photo. She did not tell me if she succumbed to the temptation of the money or not. I suspect that she did because we all know that five dollars is five dollars and when you need to put some some gas in your car, a laminated five-dollar bill ain’t gonna cut it. I suppose she could have just given it to the busser that night as his tip and told him that it may only seem like five dollars that is covered in plastic but it’s actually worth much much more.
“Eternal life is the true value,” she would say. “Take this five dollars and then pass it on after you let Jesus into your heart.”
Of course the bus boy would be confused because when she talks about Jesus, he thinks she is talking about the dishwasher who’s name is also Jesus. Jesus replaced Juan who replaced Carlos who replaced Poppy who replaced Manuel who replaced another guy named Jesus. Servers don’t really have to let Jesus into their hearts because a lot of time he is already in our dishroom scraping plates.