Sunday, 20 September 2015

People Who…

People who, when the bill comes after a meal with friends in a restaurant, say ‘Now let’s see; you had the steak, which is more expensive than the fish I had. And you had more wine than…’

People who, in similar circumstances, or rather, just a few minutes before the bill arrives, suddenly feel frightfully tired and must at once go home; they then put down on the table an amount accurately calculated (whether consciously or not) to be rather less than their share, but not so very much less as to excite comment at the time or be worth following up later.

People who own several houses in Greece, not to mention whatever they may have in other countries including their own, who, after an evening with friends in a bar, look suspiciously at the bill and complain that the prices are too high.

These are just a very few examples of a common trait. The possessors of this trait — the perpetrators of the above sins, among others — are often not aware of the nature of their behaviour. If made aware of it, they will call it being ‘careful’ or ‘economical’ or (that most boring word in the English language) ‘sensible’. They are almost always very comfortably off; in many cases better off than the bar-keeper or taverna owner, who is struggling in difficult circumstances.

Give me, any day, the careless generosity of the poor, who will cheerfully share what little they have, rather than the cold, grudging charity of the rich.

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