The Man Who Drove 25 Miles to Save 50 Cents on Wings
…and then drove 25 miles to save 25 cents on beer.
I am such a fan of C.A. Pinkham’s Off the Menu column (formerly Behind Closed Ovens) that I followed it from Kitchenette to Wonkette to its current home at Thrillist—and when I read this week’s column, I knew I had to share this excerpt with you:
“Bill was the soul of cheapness. He would drink whatever was the cheapest thing we were selling — usually some shitty dorm room-class draft beer. In his defense, he did tip alright, always 15% [Editor’s Note: We have different definitions of ‘alright.’], but he was that guy that got his bill and if it was $15.63, the calculator came out and you got $2.34.
“Bill had a strange habit on the weekends, which is what makes the story. He would come in, drink four or five beers. Then he would leave for about two hours and return to have some more beers. This went on for months and was so regular that when one of us saw him gulping his beer, we’d automatically bring him his check.
“Finally, months and months later, I asked him where he went. He looked at me like it was the most self-evident thing in the whole wide world. He said, ‘Well obviously, YOUR COMPETITOR (insert name of) Sports Bar has 70-cent wings on the weekends. Your wings are 75 cents. I’m not paying that.’ I was puzzled, because (insert name of) Sports Bar was 25 miles away from us, in a totally different part of town. Dude was making a 50-mile round trip when gas was $3.50 a gallon to save 50 cents on his wings. This logic was lost on him. I asked why he didn’t just go there to begin with. His answer: our beer is 25 cents cheaper, and he didn’t drink their higher-priced beer. The idea that the greater savings on the beer negated the slightly higher wing price also eluded him. [Editor’s Note: And driving after drinking, apparently? Can we talk about that part?]
There’s plenty more where that came from at this week’s Off The Menu column, including a story about a customer who tipped $0.00 and a different story about a customer who tipped $0.01. Not coincidentally, Pinkham called this week’s column “MORE STORIES OF THE MOST HORRIFIC CUSTOMERS IN RESTAURANT HISTORY.”
Support The Billfold