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‘Why would I? She brought the wrong drinks…’

‘They’re clearly understaffed.’

‘… and you had to send back your steak: it was still alive!’

‘That wasn’t her fault.’

I’m trying not to look like I’m lapping up every word of the argument raging at the next table.

‘Well, I’m not tipping her.’

‘Fine. Don’t tip her then. I need the loo. See you outside.’

The man pays the bill and leaves.

When the woman returns, she slips a banknote under her plate. Our eyes meet. I smile. She looks away.

At the door she hesitates, turns and gives me a wink.

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