Gems from the 'net: The $2 Bill

Tuesday, August 1st 2006


Here's another one I read a long time ago and just happened across again. Snopes can't verify whether or not it ever actually happened, but it's a good story whether it's true or not.

The following is a true story. It amused the hell out of me while it was happening. I hope it isn't one of those "had to be there" things.
On my way home from the second job I've taken for the extra holiday cash I need, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat. In my billfold is a $50 bill and a $2 bill. That is all of the cash I have on my person. I figure that with a $2 bill, I can get something to eat and not have to worry about people getting mad at me.
Me: "Hi, I'd like one seven layer burrito please, to go."
Server: "Is that it?"
Me: "Yep."
Server: "That'll be $1.04, eat here?"
Me: "No, it's "TO-GO" [I hate effort duplication]
At this point I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill. He looks at it kind of funny and...
Server: "Uh, hang on a sec, I'll be right back."
He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within earshot. The following conversation occurs between the two of them:
Server: "Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?"
Manager: "No. A what?"
Server: "A $2 bill. This guy just gave it to me."
Manager: "Ask for something else, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A $2 BILL."
Server: "Yeah, thought so."
He comes back to me and says:
Server: "We don't take these. Do you have anything else?"
Me: "Just this fifty. You don't take $2 bills? Why?"
Server: "I don't know."
Me: "See here where it says legal tender?"
Server: "Yeah."
Me: "So, shouldn't you take it?"
Server: "Well, hang on a sec."
He goes back to his manager who is watching me like I'm going to shoplift.
Server: "He says I have to take it."
Manager: "Doesn't he have anything else?"
Server: "Yeah, a fifty. I'll get it and you can open the safe and get change."
Server: "What should I do?"
Manager: "Tell him to come back later when he has REAL money."
Server: "I can't tell him that, you tell him."
Manager: "Just tell him."
Server: "No way, this is weird, I'm going in back."
The manager approaches me and says:
Manager: "Sorry, we don't take big bills this time of night." [It was 8pm and this particular Taco Bell is in a well lighted indoor mall with 100 other stores.]
Me: "Well, here's a two."
Manager: "We don't take those either."
Me: "Why the hell not?"
Manager: "I think you know why."
Me: "No really, tell me, why?"
Manager: "Please leave before I call mall security."
Me: "Excuse me?"
Manager: "Please leave before I call mall security."
Me: "What the hell for?"
Manager: "Please, sir."
Me: "Uh, go ahead, call them."
Manager: "Would you please just leave?"
Me: "No."
Manager: "Fine, have it your way then."
Me: "No, that's Burger King, isn't it?"
At this point he BACKS away from me and calls mall security on the phone around the corner. I have two people STARING at me from the dining area, and I begin laughing out loud, just for effect. A few minutes later this 45 year old-ish guy comes in and says [at the other end of counter, in a whisper]:
Security: "Yeah, Mike, what's up?"
Manager: "This guy is trying to give me some [pause] funny money."
Security: "Really? What?"
Manager: "Get this, a two dollar bill."
Security: "Why would a guy fake a $2 bill?" [Incredulous]
Manager: "I don't know? He's kinda weird. Says the only other thing he has is a fifty."
Security: "So, the fifty's fake?"
Manager: "NO, the $2 is."
Security: "Why would he fake a $2 bill?"
Manager: "I don't know. Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?"
Security: "Yeah..."
Security guard walks over to me and says:
Security: "Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use."
Me: "Uh, no."
Security: "Lemme see 'em."
Me: "Why?"
Security: "Do you want me to get the cops in here?"
At this point I was ready to say, "SURE, PLEASE," but I wanted to eat, so I said:
Me: "I'm just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this $2 bill."
I put the bill up near his face, and he flinches like I was taking a swing at him. He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and says
Security: "Mike, what's wrong with this bill?"
Manager: "It's fake."
Security: "It doesn't look fake to me."
Manager: "But it's a $2 bill."
Security: "Yeah?"
Manager: "Well, there's no such thing, is there?"
The security guard and I both looked at him like he was an idiot, and it dawned on the guy that he had no clue. My burrito was free and he threw in a small drink and those cinnamon things, too. Makes me want to get a whole stack of $2 bills just to see what happens when I try to buy stuff. If I got the right group of people, I could probably end up in jail. At least you get free food.
Comments on Gems from the 'net: The $2 Bill
Comment Tuesday, August 1st 2006 by tagger
When I was a kid, a lot of the folding money in circulation was around during WW II--consequently there were a lot of "Silver Certificates" (as opposed to "Federal Reserve Notes", steel pennies (when penny coins actually were made of copper, steel pennies were used so the copper could be diverted to the military) and $2 bills. Half dollars, quarters and dimes were made of silver, and silver dollar coins were common.

I suppose the $2 bill story could be true, since a high percentage of the Taco Bell workforce, indeed the food services community in general, seems to comprise total ignoramuses who were granted high school diplomas only to get them out of the seats needed by next year's crop of nincompoops. Some of these kids are so stupid they can't even count change. I've seen one cashier break down in tears over counting change, and have heard stories of others who quit their jobs because counting change was just "too hard." On the bright side, they probably do well with computer games.

Puts me in mind of a commercial that ran some years back, where some kid is interviewing for a job. The guy doing the interview is reading the kid's resume and says something like, "I see you scored 60,000,000 playing Space Invaders . . . what do you know about computers?"
Comment Tuesday, August 1st 2006 by Magus2
I saw the same thing happen at a gas station with Susan Bs. The attendant had no idea what they were. Fortunately, I was there to back up the legitimacy of the coins. Some people just don't get out much I guess.
Comment Tuesday, August 1st 2006 by tagger
Susan Bs, huh? How dumb you gotta be to suspect anyone of making up phony coins--especially one as ugly as a Susan B?
Comment Tuesday, August 1st 2006 by pmd
You could correct the problem by creating a Susan B quarter. I'm thinking you can put just about anything on the other side of a quarter and people will take it. Show a kid a quarter with Ceasar Rodney on the back and they'll probably think he was some Roman dude.
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