My father, old King Lear, was very keen on tipping well. In America, of course, 15% is the minimum as the waiters and so on are so badly paid.
But my father would tip with gay abandon ( but please note he was anything but a homosexual).
I was reminded of how useful the Maitre D' can be the other day. There are certain places where it is impossible to get in for some time, and a previous good tip can help immeasurably.
Maitre D's are of course privy to lots of secret information. That illicit lover's tryst, that business deal, that contract being discussed, all have their weak links when the Maitre D' is hovering nearby. Many a table has been acquired by the passing of folding money, well palmed as the hand is shaken.
There was a very famous Maitre D' in Glasgow, long since retired, who I shall call Albert. An old Uncle of mine always took care of him, and when we would go out for dinner, Albert would invariably make sure we were well attended to.
Badly behaved people were soothed. People trying to be clever were helped to understand that Albert knew better.
On one occasion there was a group of younger people making quite a lot of noise at a table near us, and the glances of the other dinners were having no effect.
Albert glided over, and whispered in the ring-leader's ear. There was no more hilarity after that and they all left quite quickly.
" You see, " said my uncle," you can't put one over on the Albert's of the world"
As I was paying the bill I asked Albert what he had said.
" Oh, sir, that's a professional secret - but it has to do with large men kicking he and his companions in the balls once they leave the establishment."