Saturday, June 17, 2006

Mo' Money, Mo' Problems!

Have you ever tried to pay for something small with a fifty dollar bill? Worse yet, have you ever tried to go in some fast food place and just get change for a fifty? They look at you like you’re holding one of those cartoon bombs that looks like a giant bowling ball with a sparkling wick hanging out of it. It’s as though you two were playing a game of hot potato with, say, a baby you were supposed to be watching or a gun that you were being hunted with and then, on the last pass back, they handed you one ACME Kaboom special.

It’s a blank-eyed look like, “Is he going to notice that he’s holding a fifty?”

I know it’s a fifty. I just want change.

It can never be simple. First, they take the bill from you like they’re running third-string IED lookout duty in Iraq. They examine it like the Coke bottle from The Gods Must Be Crazy. Then they call over the manager. You can always tell who the manager is at the fast food restaurant because he or she is the oldest and looks the saddest.

The manager comes over and the cashier says something like, “I don’t know. He handed it to me and he swears that it’s money. I’ve never seen anything like it before, though. It’s probably counterfake.”

The manager regales Mister or Misses Cashier Person with tales of how once, three years ago, C. Thomas Howell came in and paid for his and his friend’s meal with one of these. He was wearing a snowsuit and kept shouting, “Wolverines!”

Finally, after lots of discussion, they turn back to me and say, “Sorry. The highest bill we accept is $20.”

Jesus Christ.

Carrying around a fifty is like a modern-day Scarlet Letter. Except, at least Hester Prynne got some (I’m writing this sans Internet, so I can’t look up her name. If I even got her name close to right, I’ll be shocked). Hookers don’t even take fifties. That’s why you just murder them afterward (or before).

1 comment:

Scarlet said...

I can see there being a problem if paying for something small with a $100 bill. But a $50 shouldn't be a problem. Cash registers should start out with AT LEAST $100 in them and it would just take a $20 or two to change a $50. Stupid!