Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Cash and carry

I think I very nearly met a Secret Service agent today. (I exaggerate, but not by much.) I was planning on visiting the casino to circulate some bills, then seeing The Number 23 with Jim Carrey. Along the way, I stopped by a store that shall remain nameless to get some jelly beans. I was hoping this would be an uneventful trip, but I just had to test out a new Where’s George stamp that I got yesterday.

It’s circular and goes around the Federal Reserve seal or any similarly sized round thing on the bill. The idea was to get noticed, and that it did. The cashier took one look at my bills and walked away. When she came back, she didn’t have the bills. She had been followed by a man (presumably the manager) who walked into an office.

He emerged a few seconds later and walked over to the register. He asked me if the bills were mine and if I had marked the bills, to which I answered yes. He then asked why I did it. I told him that it was to track the bills. He told the cashier to accept the bills, but that they would go to the bank and that the bank would deal with it.

I told them that if it was going to be a problem, that I’d use debit. Normally, I don’t mind getting bills into circulation, but if I know they’re going to the bank, then there’s no point. I took the bills back and spent some of them at the theater.

Fortunately, I wasn’t late for it, but I think if I had dared this guy to call the Secret Service on me, I would have missed the movie altogether. He wasn’t rude or anything, but he had a tone like I was doing something wrong. I think that if I had argued much with him, he might have banned me from the store.

My manager and other coworkers have told me that they’ve had problems with customers getting my bills, but this is the first time that I’ve ever had a problem with someone. I sincerely hope that someone from the store I went to goes to the bank to get change and all the bank has is marked singles.

It’s not that I’m trying to be sadistic or anything. I’d just like to see what happens when he has to deal with it. All I know is that he’s not getting any of my bills directly from me. I think I’ll spend my money elsewhere

In other bill-marking news, I got a bill marked “Ruth” and what appears to be an extension number. At first, I didn’t know what the letters and numbers were, but when I showed it around the Where’s George chat room, someone suggested an extension number.

It makes sense if someone was calling their office (or some other familiar number) and tried to reach this Ruth person. They got one extension, which was wrong and subsequently scratched out. When they called the operator back, they either got the correct extension or gave up.

It kind of makes you wonder who Ruth is. Look at how far her name and extension went. It’s too bad that the full phone number isn’t on the bill. I could give her a call and ask who it was that wrote her extension on the bill in the first place. Granted, that would be a little much, but it’s kind of why I signed up for Where’s George. I want to know where the bill has been.

As for this one, my only theory is that Gonzo had a sex change. Is Gonza really a name? AltaVista’s Babel Fish doesn’t seem to translate it from French, Spanish, Portuguese or Italian. It’s possible that I’ll meet Gonza one day and find out that it’s a common name, but the Gonza on the bill is really her.

I remember marking my bills once to see if they ever came back to me, but bills have such wide circulation that they never did. I only did ten or twenty of them, but even after entering more than 10,000 bills, only one or two bills have come back to me. A lot of them end up in other states, and rather quickly.

That’s all for now. I’ll post again if anyone else gets angry with me.

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