No social commentary today, I’m sorry to announce. No important life lessons. Nothing prophetic. Just rants.
So I was on my way home from church last night. On the way, I decided to get stop by a local gas station to pick up a little something to snack on. No big deal, right? Oh, if it were only that simple. I picked up a package of beef jerky and a Gatorade. Grand total: $3.29. So far so good, right? Well, watch this…
I hand a $5 bill to the cashier. She looks at it. She looks at me. She looks at it again. She looks at me again. She then holds the bill up to the light. Then she starts rubbing the bill between her middle finger and thumb. After all this, she puts it under some ultraviolet thingy near the register (as I later found out is a machine used to identify counterfeit bills). She then grabs a co-worker to show her the bill. This co-worker starts to perform all the same “tests.”
Now, before I go any further, please allow me to remind you that this was a five dollar bill.
Anyway, I guess the results of their investigation were satisfactory because they eventually wound up accepting it. Incredulously, I asked “So, what exactly was that about?” (though, I admit the question floating around in my head wasn’t nearly as civil and Christ-like). She replied saying that they had been receiving counterfeit $100 bills lately, so she’s just playing it safe. My response was simple: “I get that. But this is a five dollar bill.” She then went on to explain that many people pay with counterfeit bills, buy small items, and keep all the change.
Got that? The sinister evildoers against whom she was being so vigilant participate in nefarious acts of using fake bills to purchase insignificant items (say, Gatorade and beef jerky) and keep all the change.
I suppose I understand her logic. But, come on. Seriously, people. It’s a frickin’ five dollar bill! I mean, who in their right mind would go through all the trouble — while risking serious jail time in the process — for some beef jerk, Gatorade, and $1.71?! The logic is escaping me at the moment.
Looking back in retrospect, I’m glad that I didn’t have to give her any coins. How embarrassing would it have been to sit through the long and painstaking process of her weighing my nickles to see if they actually measured out to be five grams? Or how about sitting around patiently while they tested the metallic composition of my pennies? Sheesh.
As a side note: there were two customers ahead of me who, incidentally, didn’t receive the same treatment. They weren’t checking anybody else’s money. Just mine. Just my frickin’ five dollar bill.
OK, I’m done. Thanks for listening.