A new study to be published next month has revealed that the stress levels produced by divvying up a restaurant bill between a large group of people is on a par with moving house or getting divorced.
The University of Tewkesbury questioned 12,000 people in the largest ever study of its kind. Early results suggest that as splitting a bill is usually done at the end of the night, after everyone has had several drinks and is desperate not to miss the last train home, the situation can spiral disastrously out of control.
University spokesman Dr Julian Smith says that problems can occur when someone announces “I’m not drinking much tonight, I’ve got an early start tomorrow”, and then insists on working out the price of two thirds of a glass of wine. “Then someone always orders a main course that is way more expensive than everyone else’s, and no one can quite agree how much of a tip to leave. Things get worse when the waiter inevitably adds an extra gin and tonic in the hope that they’ll all be too pissed to notice.”
One survey respondent commented, “My wife and I had just moved into a new house so that we could live closer to her family. To celebrate, I organised a big family dinner with 8 of her relatives, but splitting the bill between that bunch of pissheads caused so much aggro that we’re now getting divorced. Fuck my life.”