Sunday, June 18, 2006

Billionaire Leaves $4 Tip

It’s been a long time since the Globe and Mail has managed to nauseate me to the degree it did yesterday morning. In the Toronto section, page one, was an article entitled A Billionaire’s Breakfast.

Let me check my calendar, are we still living in the Gilded Age? What kind of man-of-the-people horseshit are they trying to peddle when they publish an article like this:

For Kenneth Thomson, meals didn't need to come with a side of caviar. A home-style breakfast suited him just fine. His chef of choice? Whoever happened to be whipping up brunch at his local Golden Griddle.

Over the past year and a half, Mr. Thomson, who died on Monday at the age of 82, was a fixture at the modest breakfast joint on Laird Drive, not far from his Rosedale home. Every weekend, he would stroll into the restaurant with his wife, Marilyn, his son Peter and Peter's family and order a brunch buffet for $10.95

I especially like this portion:

Waiters at the franchised restaurant said Mr. Thomson rarely let them lift a finger, insisting on getting his own food at the smorgasbord. And he always greeted them when he walked in the door en route to his usual corner booth.

The entire point of a buffet is THAT YOU SELECT YOUR OWN GOD-DAMNED FOOD. Yes, I’m so angry that I’ve resorted to Caps Lock, which might well be a first for this blog.

And here is the kicker:

The tips were pretty good, too. Though renowned for his careful spending habits, Mr. Thomson was quite generous when it came to gratuity, often leaving in excess of 35 per cent.

He’s a mother-f***king billionaire. Thirty-five percent on a pre-tax meal of $10.95 is $3.83. I did some quick math – a billion dollars, at five percent interest, earns $50 million per year. That’s $136,986 per day. At this point, the math gets a bit rough, but assume that he earns about a buck fifty per second. Per second.

Last week, my girlfriend and I went to the Crooked Star, which is our favourite bar in the city. The CS has done the unthinkable – they treat customers with respect and the drinks are priced reasonably. We left a tip in excess of 40 percent on our last visit, and although it need not be said, I will say it anyway: we are not billionaires. Oh no.