Fake Jacksons, Baby

Dear lady marking my $20 bills at the grocery store with the magic pen,

What do you think is going to happen if one of them comes up….what?  Pink?  Is that what happens when the vigilant pen detects a fake $20?  What will we do then?  Will you accuse me of being a counterfeit artist?  Will you not accept my money?  Will you call the cops?  I got that money from someone else.  If it’s a $20, I probably got it from an ATM.  I was none the wiser, and neither was the guy who gave it to me.  The money chain before me found it acceptable currency.  You and I can agree to treat it as such, (money is, after all, only valuable because we agree it’s valuable), and the bill can continue on its way.  Your register will even out, and I’ll have my Basic 4 and orange juice.  Nobody needs to know.  Whomever forged that bill is long gone with his illicit purchasing power anyhow.

Why are you even checking these things?  Did SuperGrocerCo contract with the U.S. Treasury to be some kind of counterfeit fisherman, trolling the country’s petty cash to sweep up fake bills?  How many times have you, the cashier, marked a bill with that pen?  Has it ever identified a fake bill?  How much do those pens cost?  The way you treat them, it can’t be much.  Much less than the $20 you are treating with suspicion.  If one of my bills comes out pink, maybe I’ll suggest that the pen is the counterfeit.  Or maybe I’ll be offended right now that you’re implying I may be passing off fake bills.  What then?  Am I taken to see the manager?  Do we rumble in the condiments aisle?

Someday I will write a screenplay centered on the premise that all $20s are fake and the counterfeiters have been inserting fake pens into the grocery stores of the nation.  That, or those pens give us cancer.


6 thoughts on “Fake Jacksons, Baby

  1. zack

    actually, dog, (puts on glasses) most stores implement a counterfeit check policy when they’ve lost substantial money because of counterfeiting. counterfeiting sucks because almost all the time it happens, the person responsible gets away scott free and it’s someone else that gets burned. if you bring counterfeit cash to the bank, they’re not going to accept it, and that’s the store’s loss, despite the fact that the person giving it to them probably didn’t know it was counterfeited.

  2. Emily

    I don’t know about Philadelphia, but in Ecuador the protocol is the following: if you pay with a $5 bill or higher, the person taking your money scatches their nail on the surface of the bill, holds it up to the light, smells it, yanks at it, and then marks it with one of those special markers. If it’s false, they say, “this is false” and don’t accept it. Likewise, if I, the customer, receive a fake bill as part of my change, I said, “this is false” and refuse to accept it. The person with the fake bill, on either side of the transaction, will keep trying to pass the fake bill off and eventually will do so successfully. Basically what I’m saying is, down here fake money works like real money.

  3. Pingback: Nick Mirra: Fake Jacksons, baby |

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