Yes, I now regret that incident back in 1987 when I threw the tip tray at some polyester-wearing prom kids who left me a dime on an $80 tab. I was young and impulsive then; in fact, I threw a couple of tip trays that year. That was before I wised up and realized that waiting tables is more like gambling than making a standard commissioned sale. No matter how professional you are, some customers are generous tippers and some are irrationally cheap. It usually all balances out in the end.
When I started out as a waiter, I made a fascinating discovery early on: People who are consistently bad tippers tend to be rotten lovers, too. Is there really a connection? Sure -- it makes perfect sense that ungenerous tippers would also be stingy in the romance department. And don't even get me started on what people who use two-for-one coupons are like in the sack.
But back to Bitterwaitress.com. A handful of Kansas Citians -- who don't get a chance to defend themselves, I should note -- are listed in the Shitty Tipper Database. That puts them in the rarefied company of hundreds of celebrities who also get skewered, sometimes with venomous cruelty. Poor Cameron Diaz gets dished for being cheap and for having bad skin.
Jennifer Lopez and Wesley Snipes are the two most frequently named bad tippers on the celeb list, though I was tickled to see that curmudgeonly Andy Rooney gets outed, as it were, along with Jennifer Aniston, Kate Beckinsale and Republican politico Christine Todd Whitman.
The good-tipper list isn't all that surprising: Bruce Willis (he used to be a bartender), Michael J. Fox, Bette Midler, Katie Couric, Al Roker and departing Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. I hope Senate confirmation hearings for her potential replacement, Judge John Roberts, reveal that he tips more than 17 percent. If not, he may get the same treatment on Bitterwaitress.com as Justice Stephen Breyer -- and it's not a pretty story.