There are so many rules that you have to adhere to in life, and some of them are more trouble than they’re worth. Take tipping for example. Here we have an unwritten rule which varies from country to country. In Europe you can tip as low at 5%. In London it’s 12.5%. In America it’s 10%. And yet how often do you actually have the right change in your wallet to give them the right-sized tip? IT NEVER HAPPENS.
And it’s when you go out for meals that it’s at its worst. Because you begin to add up the cost of your meal before you’ve even eaten it, just to make sure you can cover the tip. You tell your other half that she can’t have the lobster, because that would up the tip by another £1.25, and we just don’t have those additional funds available right now. YOU CAN’T HAVE THAT, WHAT ABOUT THE TIP? WE’D OFFEND THE WAITER. WE CAN’T OFFEND THE WAITER! DESSERT? ARE YOU JOKING? WHAT ABOUT THE TIP! WE DON’T HAVE ENOUGH FOR THE TIP!
The tip rules your stomachs. It chooses your meal for you. And God forbid that rather than having too little money for a tip, you only have NOTES. Recently I had a meal out, and I only had a £20 note in my wallet. Before I’d even finished the starter I was fretting about the bill. We’d placed our orders for the three courses, we’d worked out the cost of the meal, and even a particularly generous tip would have been no more than twelve quid. So what do you do? You can’t leave a TWENTY POUND TIP. That would be outrageous. Oh the waiter would respect you alright, he’d probably salute you, but respect doesn’t pay the bills, and I couldn’t spunk away twenty quid just because I didn’t have the correct change. So I resolved to disappear shortly after the starters, like a ninja, into the night and on the hunt for change. I would be back for the main course I assured my girlfriend, and I would return armed with the tip. The perfect tip. I went to a corner shop and bought a postcard for 50p. It had a naked woman on and a joke about Big Ben being known as ‘Little Ben’ until he met her. I paid for the bawdy nonsense but the shopkeeper was offended. He didn’t want to break a twenty just for a 50p purchase, so he gave me my change in 20 and 50 pence pieces. A revenge mission. £19.50 in shrapnel. Now I had all the change that I wanted, but each step I took down the street towards the restaurant I clinked and clanked like a jar full of coppers. It was the perfect calling card for a mugger. You know what happened next. And all because of the concept of the tip. Thanks a bunch.