The phrase “Keep the change” has been around for decades, but where did this phrase come from? Some say it originated in the early 20th century when coins were more valuable, and it was common to tip with a silver dollar. The idea was that if your bill came to $4.50 and you gave the server a $5 bill, they could “keep the change” as a tip.

Keep the Change

My brother took the term “Keep the change” to a new level. A few years ago, my brother, sister, spouses, and I were enjoying ourselves at a comedy club. Near the end of the evening, as the show continued, our waitperson came quietly to the table with our bill. The tab was around 40 dollars. My brother reached for the bill, but I grabbed it first. While this was happening, the server looked away from our table. I think they were watching the comedian.

Being the oldest and, in my mind, a big shot, I laid a $100 bill on the tab. The server saw the check and $100, picked them up, and started to make change. My brother intervened and said, “Keep the change.” The wait person quickly turned and left. My brother got me.

Over the years, my brother and I have tried to one-up the other. In an earlier piece, I mentioned how he would trick me when we were both in public restrooms. Here’s another example, when we would chat over the phone, the first of us to realize the call was for all intent and purposes over, would say something like, “Don’t forget to…” or Dad wanted you to know…” and then hang up. I think he was better at it than me.

A Thanksgiving Turkey

One year, I drove my dad to my brother’s home in Kansas City for Thanksgiving. I made a purchase before the trip, and when my brother and his wife were out, I installed an 8-foot blow-up turkey on his front lawn. It was not the typical thing you’d expect to see in his upscale suburban neighborhood.

I did the same thing to a neighbor who every year said they were going to decorate their home for the holidays, but never did. I put a 10-foot-tall Santa in their front yard. I think I’m funny, fortunately so did my neighbor.

If you enjoyed this post you might like, Breaking the Streak.

And there’s a book of humor

Want to read a collection of humor pieces? Writing I Think I’m Funny: and it gets me in trouble all the time has been a labor of love. Of the 47 stories in this book, more than 30 are true tales from my days on this planet. Most of those make it clear how my warped sense of humor gets me in trouble.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash