Entertainment

Reimagining The Uber Tipping Situation as a Seinfeld Episode

George Costanza Just Will Not Stand for Unprecedented Tipping Situations

By Sam Eichner ·
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Photo: Sony Pictures
Scene 1: INT—NIGHT—JERRY’S APT George is sitting on the couch, somewhat despondent and deep in thought. Jerry is standing at the counter, interrogating him.

 JERRY
So you’re saying this was her first kiss, ever?

 GEORGE
(embarrassed)
Yes.

JERRY
She’d never even had so much as a peck?

 GEORGE
No pecks.

JERRY
And how old did you say she was?

 GEORGE
26.

JERRY
And she doesn’t have any major disabilities to speak of, you know, that would keep one from being kissed?

GEORGE
Not that I know of, no.

JERRY
Boy. You know I'd have thought your days of first kisses were long behind you.

GEORGE
You’re telling me. (Shaking his head) I’m distraught, Jerry. I’ve never been so confused in my entire life.

Beat.

JERRY
(in disbelief)
You’re going to see her again?!?

GEORGE gets up from the couch in indignation.

GEORGE
It’s like I can do no wrong, Jerry! I’ve never had so much freedom. So much confidence! I can be her (pauses trying to think of the right word) sexual steward.

JERRY
(flatly; laughing)
Wow. Imagine that. You. A sexual steward.

Just then, Kramer bursts through the door, wearing his normal attire and an Uber hat. He’s carrying a medium-sized package.

KRAMER
Can I borrow your box cutter, Jerry?

JERRY
Drawer next to the sink.

Kramer places the package on the countertop and rifles through the drawer, taking out every item piece-by-piece—a wrench, a rule, a tape measure—as JERRY and GEORGE watch. It’s a mess. Finally, he finds the box cutter, cuts open the box and takes out a small white plastic package. He emits a gleeful little shriek.

JERRY
What is it?

KRAMER opens the bag and takes an exaggerated whiff of the bag’s contents, and staggers backwards with delight.

KRAMER
The finest beef jerky in New York, Jerry. From Newman’s cousin upstate. He lives on a farm. With REAL cows. Here, just taste this.

JERRY
We’re supposed to meet Elaine for dinner in half an hour.

KRAMER
Just one bite, Jerry.

JERRY reaches into the bag, pulls out a piece of beef jerky and takes a bite.

JERRY
(chewing)
Tender. Flavorful. Certainly beefy. This isn’t half bad. But why do you have so much?

KRAMER
Uber, Jerry. They just added tipping. And if I want to stand out from the rest of ‘em, I’ve got to offer my passengers something special. Something to remember me by.

GEORGE
I’ve heard about this whole tipping thing. And I don’t like it. One of the best things about Uber was that you didn’t have to tip. You barely had to talk. Now what do I do? Do I tip? Do I not tip? I don’t want to tip.

JERRY
It’s an unclear tipping situation.

GEORGE (working himself up)
Go to a restaurant—you tip. Go to the barber—you tip. Get in a cab—you tip. I don’t mind tipping. I’ll tip a doorman sitting at a desk, for chrissakes. It’s the not knowing whether to tip. And how much. Contemporary tipping situations have a uniform set of standards that go back decades. Centuries. And now this. It’s the wild west of gratuity. I won’t stand for it.

JERRY
When in doubt, you just tip. That’s the rule.

GEORGE
Why can’t they just build the tip into the ride? Why do they have to put the impetus on us? We’re fallible, horrible, greedy creatures. We’re not equipped to handle this level of decency.

KRAMER
That’s precisely why I have the beef jerky. It’s easy—if you accept the beef jerky, you feel inclined to tip. If you don’t, you don’t. It turns the gray area into black and white.

JERRY
A conscious de-graying.

KRAMER
Exactly.

JERRY
(Checking his watch)
We have to go. Kramer, can you take us?

KRAMER
I’ll meet you there. I’ve got to put this jerky out into the field.

JERRY
Alright, I’ll call one.

GEORGE
No, let me. I’ve got a discount code.

End scene.

Scene 2: EXT—NIGHT—STREET OUTSIDE JERRY’S APT

George and Jerry are waiting anxiously outside for George’s Uber.

 GEORGE
Where is this guy? I’m famished. I haven’t eaten all day. I feel faint.

 JERRY
Why haven’t you eaten?

GEORGE
This girl, Jerry. I know it sounds nuts but I think she’s the one.

The Uber pulls up and they get in.

 UBER DRIVER
How are you guys today?

JERRY AND GEORGE
Good, good.

UBER DRIVER
Comfortable?

JERRY AND GEORGE
Yup.

UBER DRIVER
Is the temperature okay?

JERRY
Just perfect. Could not be at a better temperature.

UBER DRIVER
Where you guys headin’?

JERRY
Oh, just dinner with some friends.

George is staring out the window, biting his lip.

 

CUT TO: INT—KRAMER’S UBER

From the inside of the Uber we see Elaine climb in.

ELAINE
Well, what are the chances! I didn’t know you drove Uber, Kramer.

KRAMER
Oh yeah. Five-star rating.

ELAINE
Good for you. God, I’m ravenous. I haven’t eaten all day.

KRAMER
(extending a bag of beef jerky towards Elaine)
Jerky?

ELAINE
(tempted)
But aren’t we going to eat dinner soon?

KRAMER
What if there’s a wait?

ELAINE
Oh, what the hell. (Takes the bag of jerky and tries a piece.) Mmmmm! This is some fantastic jerky!

 CUT TO: JERRY AND GEORGE’S UBER

UBER DRIVER
You guys must be famished.

JERRY
Sure. 

George turns his head towards the driver suspiciously.

UBER DRIVER
I hate going to restaurants hungry. I always over-order.

George and Jerry share a look.

UBER DRIVER
Anyway, I just picked up some of this beef jerky. The best in the city. From real cows upstate. I’ve got a few packs if you guys want some.

GEORGE
We’re okay.

UBER DRIVER
You sure? Free of charge. Just had some extra packs.

GEORGE
We appreciate it, but we’re really okay.

UBER DRIVER
Okay. I could just tell you were hungry that’s all. And who knows—could be a wait.

GEORGE
We’re fine. Totally fine. I'm really more of a hydrated meat guy.

Just then, George spots something outside the window. Cut to: a shot of a young girl passionately making out with a man on the side of the street corner.

GEORGE
That’s her, Jerry! She’s kissing another man! Already, Jerry, she’s kissing another man! I was supposed to be her steward!

JERRY
She must’ve realized what she was missing all those years. You should be proud.

GEORGE
(to the driver)
Stop the car! Pull over!

UBER DRIVER
(calmly)
I’ll pull over. Beat. If you accept the jerky.

GEORGE
No!

UBER DRIVER
(menacingly)
Accept the jerky.

JERRY
George, accept the jerky.

UBER DRIVER
Accept the jerky, George.

Scene 3: INT—NIGHT—THE CHINESE RESTAURANT

Jerry and George arrive to find Elaine and Kramer waiting in the foyer.

ELAINE
What happened to you guys? I thought we were supposed to meet here at 7:30?

JERRY
We had a little Uber trouble.

GEORGE
(despondent)
Let’s just eat. I’m starving. And heartbroken. Did you guys get a table?

ELAINE
There’s a wait.

JERRY
How long?

ELAINE
They said a half-hour to an hour.

GEORGE
What!? Let’s just go somewhere else. I can’t wait that long. Aren’t you guys hungry?

ELAINE
Oh yeah! Kramer drove me over here and had this delicious beef jerky, so I'm good.

George rolls his eyes, exasperated.

JERRY
Did you tip him?

ELAINE
You can tip on Uber, now?

End scene.

 

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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