The Big Tipper – a short story

fiction

The Big Tipper

By Harrington A. Lackey

Mr. Newman ran to the phone, which had been ringing for twenty seconds. He quickly picked up the receiver, and said, “Hello. Thanks for calling PizzaHome. What can we get for you?” The customer responded. “Two ‘Everything’ Pizzas? Will this be picked up or delivered? Delivery? Sure. Can I get an address? 25 Hungary Street? And a name? Thank you. They will be there in 30 to 40 minutes.”

As soon as Bert and Stan, both high school seniors heard “25 Hungary Street” they looked anxiously at each other. They started to argue and then, before the new manager, Mr. Newman turned around, the two pizza makers were pushing and shoving each other.

“Wait… wait!” Mr. Newman said as he tried to get between them to stop the fight. “What are you two doing?” “This is my delivery order,” Bert yelled. “No! Mine!” Stan yelled at the same pitch. “Stop this! Now what is the matter?” the manager asked.

Bert yelled, “Mr. Mony is a great tipper!” “He’s mine!” yelled Stan. “Wait, you mean that order from 25 Hungary Street?” asked Mr. Newman. “Yes! Mr. Mony who lives here is the best tipper.” “Mine!” “Stop! Why don’t you both go and share the tip?” Bert and Stan stopped pushing each other and began to think about what their boss suggested.

The two looked at each other and agreed that sharing the tip might be a good idea. They proceeded to make their favourite client’s favourite pizzas, and after a while, they drove to his house. Bert drove about six miles to Mr. Mony’s house while Stan held the pizzas. As they drove within five hundred feet to the man’s house, they saw a lot of cars parked close to and around the house.

Both wondered why so many people had crowded the house. Was Mr. Mony having a party? The thought seemed strange because the man always seemed the only one living there.

As Bert and Stan got out of the car, each one carrying a pizza, they watch a few people with solemn faces leaving the house. As they walked up to the door, they were greeted by a well-dressed middle-aged woman who they had never seen before. She thanked them for delivering the two pizzas. Bert and Stan looked puzzled and asked for Mr. Mony.

“I’m sorry. He passed away in his sleep last night. I’m his daughter, Carrie. How much for the pizzas?” Bert and Stan looked stunned but offered their condolences to Carrie and the family. Then, they said that the pizzas came to $25.87. Carrie reached into her purse and gave them $30 and told them to keep the change. The PizzaHome employees told her they had delivered pizza to Mr. Mony’s home for several years. Then, she replied, “I remember him talking about you two. He said he liked both of you.” As a matter of fact, she remembered that she had a note her father wanted to give the PizzaHome service. She told them to wait for a second as she looked for the note. When she found it inside an envelope, she gave it to the two guys.

When they saw it, they got excited. Maybe Mr. Mony had given them something extra for being such good pizza deliverers. They didn’t open it until they arrived at PizzaHome and parked their cars. Mr. Newman asked how the delivery went. The two told him that Mr. Mony had passed away last night, but his daughter gave them an envelope which she wanted them to read.

Bert handed the envelope to their employer who opened it and read it. Bert and Stan looked at each other grinning. However, Mr. Newman read the letter to them. “How much did Mr. Mony usually tip you guys?” he asked. “Ten dollars,” Stan said eagerly. “This is a bill.” Newman read and studied the paper. “Mr. Mony wants you to pay their estate $480.”

Stan and Bert looked slowly at each other and said in unison, “A bill for $480??” “Examine it for yourselves.” He gave the paper to them. According to the bill, Mony listed that the 48 times one of them came, they had left out one or more ingredients: one listed “No sausage, -$10 tip”; another read, “No pepperoni, -$10 tip”, and so on and so forth. “You two are fired!” Stan and Bert looked at each other angrily and started punching each other, blaming each other. Mr. Newman called the police and told them he had “two big tippers” he wanted to be removed from his store.

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