It is a cool summer evening of a young woman with short blue hair in Vancouver. Tattoos on her arm and piercing on her nose and lip, she walks through the doors of a French bistro and takes a table in the front window. The lone waiter throws her an unenthusiastic sidelong glance from his station behind the counter, contemplating the unlikliness of her producing any worthwhile tip, instead concentrating on the elegantly-dressed and potentially far more lucrative middle-aged couple who are whispering tête-à-tête in a far corner of the restaurant.
Some time later, after Verdi has segued into Mozart, the young woman, with some difficulty, finally gains the attention of the waiter, asks for the menu and orders soupe aux lentilles bonne femme. Half an hour later, when the waiter finally deposits the stone cold bowl of soup on the table before the woman and quickly disappears, she realises that it is cold. However, she utters not a word of complaint and slowly consumes the soup with as much of a semblance of gusto.
Before leaving, she pays her bill and gives the waiter a ten dollar bill as a tip. As the woman has not only not complained of his poor service but also has given him a more than generous tip, the waiter is quite surprised, wondering whether, had he treated her better, she would have given him an even larger tip.
A week later, the young woman with short blue hair comes to the bistro-restaurant again and sits at the same table in the front window. This time, the waiter quickly springs into action, pulling out the chair for her and politely seating her, puts a menu in front of her and stands politely by her side waiting to take her order. The young woman orders the three course special consisting of potage St-Germain, Le Coq au vin à la bourguignonne, coffee and la Flan au caramel for dessert, all of which are served promptly, respectfully and, wonder of wonders, each at the correct temperature.
Before leaving the restaurant, the young woman pays her bill and with exquisite politeness hands him a dime. “This,” she says “is for last week. The ten dollar bill was for tonight. Merci et Bonne nuit, Monsieur.”
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