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A roundup of news on sporting events, people and places in Southeast Michigan by columnist Jim Evans.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Here's a tip: Get off Drew Brees' back!

Man, I’m so glad I am a nobody.
Do you ever watch TMZ?
The entire television show is based on photographers hounding celebrities.
If Brad Pitt picks his nose, it’s national news. If anyone named Kardashian does anything at all, it is the stuff of headlines. If Justin Bieber does 36 miles per hour in a 35 zone, somebody in his neighborhood punches him.
And now here comes New Orleans’ quarterback Drew Brees, who is being blasted for leaving a $3 tip for a $74 takeout order last month in San Diego.
Now I would normally agree that three bucks for a $74 order is mighty paltry. The standard 20 percent puts the tip closer to $15.
But this was a takeout order. This was Brees parking his car, walking into the restaurant, paying and exiting with a bag of food. There were no white linen napkins involved. Nobody led him to a table, sat him down or served him. Nobody refilled his coffee or fetched ranch dressing for his fries. Nobody rolled out a dessert cart and asked if he’d like the éclair, the chocolate mousse or the deep fried Twinkie.
Someone brought a bag of food from the kitchen. Excuse me if I don’t think that deserves a 20 percent tip. When’s the last time you stuck a five dollar bill into the hand popping out of the Plexiglass in a drive thru line? Takeout, carryout or drive thru. It is basically the same concept. So hold the outrage, please.
According to ESPN, Brees was in the locker room at the Saints’ headquarters late last week when he noticed a discussion on a network morning show about tipping on takeout orders, referencing a photograph of his takeout receipt that was circulated online.
Brees said he figures the person who initially photographed the receipt did so innocently because he visits the San Diego-area restaurant regularly and poses for photos with staff.
The quarterback said he was disappointed "that it actually got spun and perceived as -- you immediately jump to the conclusion that he stiffed a waiter or waitress. That's the part that bothers me."
So that’s why I am glad I’m a nobody.
Not that I stiff anyone. I have nothing but compassion for waiters and waitresses and anyone else in the service industry. Those folks work mighty hard for their money, and if some jerk stiffs them, well shame on the jerk.
But Brees is getting a bad rap. I might throw a buck or two into the jar if I grab a pizza or some other carry out order. I might do likewise when I go to the ice cream place or the sub shop.
As hard-working as they might be, those folks are not waiters or waitresses. They do not do your bidding for an hour or more. They don’t fetch a couple of packets of strawberry jam or make sure there are no green peppers in the omelet. They do not take a tepid baked potato back to the kitchen to zap it in the microwave. They do not right a wrong like a steak ordered medium rare that comes out dripping blood like a vampire’s incisors.
Let’s get back to the TMZ mentality. Ambush Lindsay Lohan outside a bar to make sure she does not stumble. Wait at airports for Johnny Depp to see if he’s wearing a headdress or chamois pants. Do a Rorschach test on Amanda Bynes.
A lot of us are the same way. Whip out the cellphone. Take photos or a video. Check out this receipt from Drew Brees which shows he tipped $3 for a $74 order. That proves he is a cheapskate, right.
Wrong. It was a takeout order. Three bucks is just fine. Man, it feels good to be a nobody.


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