I Didn't Become A Millionaire By OvertippingCommentary • Opinion • ISSUE 31•02 • Jan 22, 1997 By John C. Turbridge, Millionaire John C. Turbridge Millionaire You see these hands? These hands have shaken the ruby and emerald-bejeweled hands of the Grand Sheik Emir of Omar Al Habib El Sababa! Now, you think that any time some uneducated, unmarried, trailer-trash waitress with four kids and another one on the way carries a couple of plates back and forth from my table, I'm suddenly supposed to start throwing my hard-earned dollar bills around like they're confetti? I'm afraid not! I didn't become a millionaire by overtipping, you know. I suppose you think that throwing away money is the way I acquired a major tile manufacturing business and 17 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Ohio? Not on your sweet life, I didn't! I own those things because once I got them I didn't give them away. That's why I own them! Who do I look like to you, Robin Hood? One of Santa's elfin pals? Mother Theresa? Forget about it! You see this suit? Expensive? Custom-made! Do you have any idea how many assets I have in my bankbook? Of course you don't, you entry-level, semi-literate, go-nowhere lowlife, because that figure is privileged information. People like you aren't worthy enough to scrub the floors of people like me, much less know how much I make in a year. You couldn't even access the people who take the phone calls of the people who actually do know that exact figure! How much do I own? Well, let me assure you that it is indeed a tidy sum. A handsome figure. A generous stipend, indeed! And how do you think my bank account got to be so obscenely large? By giving 15 percent of my dinner bill away to common doggerel every time I conducted a business transaction over a plate of chicken and peas? The Good Lord in Heaven Himself only asks for 10 percent. Not that I'm giving 10 percent to the Lord either, no sir. Hell, most investments don't even turn a 10 percent profit! Fifteen! The very idea! Sit down. I'm not finished. They say you have to spend money to make money, right? Not on your your sweet life! You have to make money to make money! Want to know what spending money gets you? I'll tell you: less money! What the hell do you think a man like me, a man who has been wined and dined by the Archduke of Belgravia, is doing ordering Moons Over My Hammy in some cheap, third-rate Denny's, anyway? I'll tell you: Because cheap food costs less, that's why! And spending less leaves you with more money than spending more does! Sweet Christ! It's not exactly rocket science, dummy! They say you can't take it with you? Wrong! I can take it with me, all right. Let's see now, 15 percent of this $6.42 lunch bill is 96 cents. Here's three quarters, two dimes and a penny. Watch carefully now, because here's the important part: I'm putting that 96 cents in my pocket, and I'm taking it with me! Right out the door! Consider yourself lucky, friend, because you just got a lesson in life worth more than gold!