“Um, sorry, do you realize that you’re tipping 20%, actually, no, 25% after tax?”
In the United States, it is customary to leave at LEAST a 15% gratuity after a meal. It’s something that I not only religiously adhere to, it is something that has, in the past, paid my rent. I frequent the same places. The people there know me. The people there know I tip. The people there take care of me because I always take care of them.
“You all had one more drink than me. It’s divided incorrectly. I should owe $2 less.”
This is a problem I find when you go out to eat in a group with an unknown. Today, Tara, is that unknown factor. Tara, by the way, pronounces her name like Tah-rah, not Teh-rah. Tah-rah. Not Teh-rah.
“I should only be paying $47. I’ll take care of my own tip. I don’t want the tip to be included. Actually, wait, $46.75.”
I look up and realize that Miguel, sitting in the corner booth, is staring right at Tah-rah. It is the pauses before Miguel speaks that sometimes makes life worth living. Miguel does this. He stares until the person acknowledges the stare. Tah-rah was taking her time doing this, so Miguel grabbed his knife and tinked her glass.
“No it isn’t. It’s Teh-rah. You’re Americana. You pronounce it Teh-rah. Get over it. But that is not what I want to talk about right now. I want to talk about two things. One, You’re new to this group and you’re acting like low-class, spoiled, carrying daddy’s gold American Express card, living in a furnished studio in Dupont Circle, wants the dressing on the side, three olive in the martini, go easy on the pepper little brat. Two, on top of all of this, you’re being cheap.”
“I’m not being cheap! I don’t understand why you people want to leave an over 25% tip! It’s not my fault they’re waiting tables. They should have studied more in school!”
Miguel is a waiter. He has been doing this for a very long time. Normally, I’d step in, but bueno, she dug her own grave.
“What are you studying? Architectural History? (Nod) Well, by the looks of it (picks up her credit card), Dr. Jonathan Nabisly III is going to be paying your bills long after you graduate. That, or you’re going to trick some poor gringo into believing that you have a soul until it’s too late and you’ve spawned two children who you’ll raise until to be as ignorant as you, but until then, when you’re sitting at a table with me, you treat the wait staff with RESPECT and YOU FUCKING LEAVE A TIP.”
I’m not sure if Tah-rah had ever been spoken to in that way. You see, she’s a hot a girl. Hot girls normally have the world at their beck and call. Hot girls with designer clothes and daddy’s credit card have a little more at their beck and call. Bueno, most of the time, men like Miguel are at their beck and call, but he has his limits.
Tah-rah paid her bill and left a tip. The reason I know she left a tip is because Miguel made sure she did and nodded his approval. She was quiet for the rest of the night, but decided to go out dancing with us afterwards. Later in the evening I looked up from my ravishing of a little red-headed gringa to see Miguel dancing with Tah-rah.
She was laughing. She was smiling. She actually had hips. She must have had some Guatemalan in her, because she had hips!
Miguel left with with Tah-rah that evening. It’s been almost 24 hours and I have yet to hear from mi amigo. Either she killed him, or all she needed was for a Latino to stand up to her. I hope the good Dr. approves.