“Look at this,” Louis says, handing me a check holder.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“Just look.”

I open the bill holder. Inside’s a signed credit card slip. The check’s a hundred dollars. The tip?

Five bucks.

“Ouch,” I say. “That hurts.”

“Jerks,” Louis fumes. “Customers like that should be taken outside and shot.”

Somehow I think summary executions would drive away the clientèle,” I reply.

“It’d be cool though.”

“I agree.”

I let Louis fume. Every waiter has to deal with this frustrating rage occasionally. No matter how good the food or the service some people are incapable of leaving an adequate tip. The only thing a server can do is let the anger wash over them, put on their happy face, and hustle a better tip from the next table. But still….

“Some of these customers are sick,” I say, shaking my head.

“You ain’t kidding,” Louis fumes.

“Who leaves such horrible tips?”

“Sick cheap bastards.”

“If we could create a disease for these people,” I ask, “What would we call it?”

“Asshole Disease?” Louis suggests.

“Been done.”

“Bad Tippers Disease?”

“I think Shitty Tipper Disease has a better ring to it,” I say.

“An STD!” Louis exclaims, snapping his fingers. “I’ve always said some of our customers should’ve just been a venereal disease.”

“Well,” I say chuckling, “Not being able to tip is sort of a social disease.”

“What would be the symptoms?”

Suddenly I imagine myself wearing a white lab coat and a stethoscope. Looking like one of those 50’s era doctors who hawked mentholated cigarettes on TV, I turn to an imaginary studio audience and begin to expostulate…

Good evening ladies and gentleman. I’m here to talk to you about a horrible malady afflicting millions of Americans. A disease so terrible that is causes untold suffering among the millions of waiters working throughout the United States. Its called Shitty Tippers Disease or STD for short. What’s truly alarming is that most of people who suffer from this disease don’t know they have it. Ask yourself, do you or your loved ones exhibit the flowing symptoms?


Social Retardation? Are you unable to say please or thank you?

Temporally Challenged? Do you assume you can get a table on Saturday night without a reservation?

Delusional thinking? Do you really believe the owner’s your friend?

Episodic cognitive impairment? Can calculate your severance package down to the penny but are struck dumb when figuring out 15% of a restaurant checks total?

Motivational apathy? Do you just double the tax?

Do you suffer from High Intracolonic Pressures?

Do you have a nonrelaxing puborectalis muscle? Are you a tight ass? Can you shit diamonds? Maybe you should use that botox on something besides your face.

Do you suffer from Enronic Sociopathy?(Otherwise know as Jeff Skillings Disease) Do you subscribe to an Al-Qaedaesque fundamental Darwinist view of the world? Do you believe people who work for a living are just sucking up your oxygen?

Do you suffer from an almost autistic sense of entitlement? Do you believe the world really revolves around you?

Are you from France?

Louis chuckles. “I think you have it covered,” he says.

“We need Jerry Lewis to do a telethon for our disease,” I grumble.

“Jerry’s a hero in France you know,” Louis says.

“So is Mickey Rourke.”

“Louis and I are quiet for a second.”

“I don’t think Jerry will do our telethon,” Louis says.

“How about getting our disease a colored ribbon of its very own?”

“That’s cold,” Louis says.

“Yeah,” I say, ignoring him.. “But what color could it be?”

“All the good ones are taken,” Louis replies, shrugging.

“That figures.”

“The disease is probably incurable anyway,” Louis says.

“I look at Louis sadly.”

“I’m afraid you might be right.”

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