We have an admittedly and frequently acknowledged complicated relationship with Kevin Smith around these parts. We (and I will say “we” even though most of the time, ‘we’ hate being conglomerated into one singular-opinioned being) love a lot of his movies, we love his passion and his unabashed geekery. We DON’T, however, love his seeming total lack of self awareness, his more lackluster recent efforts, or his hissy fits.
I know it can sometimes seem like we don’t like the guy around these parts. I know why it feels that way. It isn’t the case, but I get it. Still, this story of Kevin Smith being a completely awesome (if not always self-aware!) dude makes me really happy. It comes from Jezebel’s Kitchenette feature, which is just a compilation of readers’ stories from the food industry, and it therefore totally unsubstantiated. I’m choosing, however, to believe it, and hope you do too. Because I really want to believe that Kevin Smith is this guy.
As told, an unnamed celebrity (later in the story named as Smith) came into a popular Hollywood-adjacent restaurant about a decade ago. When he, his wife, and daughter came in, it was about 9:45, and the restaurant closed at 10. That sucks, as any food service worker can tell you. But the server said they couldn’t really complain, because when the Smiths left, they left a 100% tip on their $35ish bill. Yes, that’s a cool move, but it gets cooler.
Then, before the door could close behind him, his hand thrust back in to hold it open. He came storming back.
“You guys close at 10?”
“What time did we get here?”
“Jesus. No wonder this place was empty the whole time.” He was genuinely, sincerely upset. I mean it: his hands were shaking a tiny bit and he was talking unreasonably fast. “Look. I have the life I have today because I won the lottery in a way. I’m no more or less deserving of anything than anybody, and I always promised myself I’d never pull entitled bullshit like this.”
Well, it wasn’t like you did it on purpose.
“Yeah, but there’s still something to be said for being considerate enough to look at the hours on the door. How many people are still here?”
Myself, a cook, an assistant manager, and a busboy.
“Okay. You can tell that being diplomatic with me isn’t going to work, right? I swear I’ll be extremely fast, but don’t bother with the ‘don’t worry about it, sir’ crap. I want to talk to all four of you right now because I will make this right.”
I don’t know what it was, but I absolutely knew in that moment that truer words had never been spoken. I went to the back where my three co-workers were and I said, basically, that the guy who just left came back and wanted to talk to all of us, and I REALLY think we should go up there. Somehow, they too knew that this was serious shit. We quickly walked to the front.
“Like I told C.J. here, I’m really, honestly upset with myself for delaying you guys. I don’t want you guys to go home angry at me or angry at your job for forcing you to deal with dumbasses like me. Another thing I told C.J. was that there’s no point in arguing, because I won’t let this go. Are there any questions at all?”
There were none, and he handed us each one of the four piles of one thousand fucking dollars in cash he’d neatly made on the register counter.
So, Kevin Smith is a good dude.