By this point, I'm certain you are all familiar with the story of Pastor Alois Bell and the holier-than-thou assholery she displayed at her local Applebee's restaurant. If not, let me bring you up to speed. Following what I can only guess was an uplifting evening of Friday night worship (You gotta go to church on Friday night now??? Man, am I glad I'm out of that whole church racket.), Pastor Bell and her small congregation dropped in at Applebee's for some Green Bean Crispers, Grilled Chicken Wonton Tacos, and a hot, steamy bowl of Queso Blanco: all of their microwaveable favorites! By all accounts, the large party's waitress did an excellent job. At the conclusion of the meal, Pastor Bell and her dining partners were presented with checks, which is the style of the time. An automatic gratuity of 18% had been added, standard for parties of 8 or more. Seeing this, Pastor Bell was, I guess, filled with the Holy Spirit. Eager to spread the message that sweet Spirit was whispering softly into her ear, she wrote the following message on her check:
Recognizing this to be one of biggest dick moves in semi-fine dining history, Pastor Bell's waitress promptly - but not before consulting the Applebee's employee handbook - snapped a pic of the check and posted it on Reddit. Multiple Web sites picked up the story from there, including Yahoo, the very site where your intrepid reporter of all things trivial and obnoxious (i.e. me) saw it.
"I gotta write about this," I thought, before falling asleep halfway through a game of Bejeweled on my phone. I would write something about it the next day, unless something came up, like, the final episode of the 30 Rock (Which was sooooo great, you guys!!! Didja see it???) or a strong desire to fall asleep listening to You Made It Weird. (Update: Both of those things happened.)
When I caught back up with the strange tale of Pastor Bell, I found that it had developed, as stories often do. It was now being reported that Pastor Bell telephoned the Applebee's in question, after finding out she had become a viral sensation, and demanded that the ENTIRE STAFF BE FIRED.
Look, I have a bit that I'm working up to because I'm quite aware that every blog in the known universe has already commented on this story and to justify writing about it further requires a hook of some kind, but can I answer Pastor Bell's question real quick? I mean, I assume it's a question. The dimwit left the question mark off. Anyway, Pastor Bell, the reason you should tip your waitress is because she is a waitress who needs those tips to live. God doesn't need your money. God's doing pretty well for Itself. And I've never understood that whole "10% to God" thing anyway. What, is the pastor putting everybody's tithes into a huge envelope addressed to "Heaven" and popping it into the mailbox? If your pastor is doing that, stop him. He needs help. He is mentally unstable. Your money is making a postal employee very rich.
So, Applebee's fired the waitress, Chelsea Welch, and Pastor Bell whined about bringing shame to her ministry.
But what next? As I type these words, the story of Pastor Bell is still developing. In fact, we here in the Giant Electric Penguin offices have exclusive access to a time transporter (Here comes the bit, dudes!) and we have been able to look into the future and see what happens next.
One week from now: Pastor Bell, unable to set foot in another Applebee's because of the crippling guilt she feels about not everybody getting fired as she originally had hoped, visits a Chili's with her parishioners and, before being seated, demands that the entire staff be fired. The manager, a 19-year-old community college student, believing full throttle in the credo "the customer is always right," follows suit. Without a kitchen or serving staff, Bell and her friends are unable to eat lunch. "Oops, I did it again," Bell says in a cutesy voice no one laughs at. The group dines at a local Bennigan's without incident.
One week later: Pastor Bell visits her local Red Robin and immediately demands that everyone in the place be fired, including her fellow patrons. When her request is laughed off, Pastor Bell threatens to get God involved. She is laughed at again. Bell leaves, after ordering an onion ring tower to go.
Three days later: Everyone either working or eating in the aforementioned Red Robin the night of Bell's visit is killed in 70 different spontaneous fires in the local area. Hundreds of people unlucky enough to be around these individuals perish as well. An embarrassed Pastor Bell refuses to leave her house for three days.
Ten years later: Every chain restaurant in America has shuttered its doors, fearful of Alois Bell's mighty wrath, except for TGIFriday's, because of their well-known policy of only hiring atheists.
Forty years later: As Alois Bell approaches the Pearly Gates of Heaven, St. Peter looks over the late Pastor's entry in his Book of Life and shakes his head grimly.
"What's the hold up?" Pastor Bell asks.
"Well, remember that whole 'Applebee's receipt' debacle in 2013? Yeah, um, that was a pretty dick move. I'm sorry." Pete slams the book shut and pulls a lever next to his lectern. "Next!"