Thursday, November 6, 2008


You've finished a meal, the table is cleared, and the waiter smiles and hands you a check. Why a check? It sounds like you're getting money. This is a good thing. Ah, but you owe money for the meal you just ate. So why aren't you getting a bill?

Apparently all restaurant owners everywhere – in order to keep the eating experience a positive and uplifting one – have long ago decided to convert the bill into a check. A clever sham. But if that's their game, why do they hide the check in the little leather book or put it face down on the table?

Are they embarrassed about overcharging me? Is this some kind of delaying tactic? Don't they think I can handle the reality of the so-called check?

The odd thing is if I look at the check the minute I get it, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Like I've violated some unwritten covenant with the waiter.
But I think the most outrageous ruse has to be the restaurant owners' refusal to pay their waiters a living wage. Instead they rely on the generosity and humanity of their customers.

Naturally I would feel guilty if I didn't give the waiter a decent tip. But that's only because the cheap #$*%* restaurant owners have masterminded this #$*%* hoax so that I will feel guilty.

A special dinner should be held in honor of these charlatans and a BIG ONIONS AWARD handed out to the slime ball that came up with this nefarious scheme.

In keeping with the theme of restaurant subterfuge, I will begin effective immediately leaving my obligatory tip in various locations: under the ketchup bottle, mixed in with the sugar packets, or maybe use it to prop up one of the inevitably uneven table legs. Let the games begin.



Howard Portnoy said...

And, to rub salt into your wounded pocketbook, they sometimes call it a "Guest Check." Not only are they giving you a check; they are declaring that you are their GUEST! Next time someone brings me a "guest check," I will thank them for the generosity and leave!

Btw, Milt, I think you misspelled #$%*. I believe you meant to say !%$@$!

bernie most said...

Mr. Thistle, did you ever wonder why they call the waiter the waiter? When more often than not, it is we who are sitting there waiting for our food who are the true waiters!