Filthy Fake Lucre!

May 14, 2017 at 6:25 pm (Cussed Dumbers)

Durability Issue

Okay, here’s your mystery question: What’s that in the ashtray?

It’s not a pile of crack, or any drug. (It may have been used in an attempt to procure drugs, though.) It used to be light green. It used to look like money, because it was.

Counterfeit money.

I handle a lot of cash, in every condition. I can usually spot a counterfeit bill before I even touch it. And if it does pass the sight test, the touch-test gets ’em most of the rest of the time. Money feels very specific, and an odd-papered bill in a pile of cash sticks out like the proverbial sore thumb.

Criminals have figured this out, and in a way to capture that authentic paper feel, have taken to bleaching one and five-dollar bills. Fives work well, because they have a ‘5’ watermark that passes in a glance. If you stare looking for the face, you won’t find a face. (They are betting on the cashier being in a hurry.) Another thing hard to fake? The pebble-grained collar on Mr Jackson’s $20 bill. I scan your bill innocuously, and if that collar isn’t rough-hewn you can bet we will be looking at all that other stuff.

When Stuttering James came in, I gave it no mind. We BSed for a bit, then he asked, “Can I get change for this? It’s fifty bucks, two twenties and a ten.” He held the bills out, sorta. He didn’t angle them properly, and there was no good light for these bills anyway.

“Not for those, I won’t” I hadn’t even touched them.

“Th-th-that b-b-ad?”

“I can see from here that they’re fake.”

“Wow, how?” He handed them to me.

“The color’s all wrong. There’s no white on bills, it’s black, red, and varying shades of green. The feel is off. The paper is glossy, cash has an almost-cloth feel.” I finally took them. “Nah, I’d get laughed out of the store before they fired me.”

“I only need $15.”

I pondered for the briefest of seconds. “No, I have no reasonable way to use them that won’t end badly. Sorry, bud. Now if you have $50 worth of food stamps for fifteen bucks…”

“I wish,” he said. “Here,” he said as he handed me the bills. “Can you get rid of them? My l-l-uck I’ll get stopped for a warrant and then I’ll end up with felony charges.” I stuffed them into the cargo pocket of my army pants.

I showed them to Eva, to Uncle Cliffy. That was self-preservation. If I know they know that I have them, I won’t be tempted to pull a fast one.

In fact, I couldn’t think of a way to pull a fast one. No one I’d want to fuck over, at least no one I’d want to be caught ripping off. I forgot all about them, until the other day after I’d finished doing laundry.

Another sign they are counterfeit? Real money still looks like real money when you don’t wash it in anything stronger than Tide.

So my quandary hath been calmed. This icky lump of paper isn’t even green anymore.

Easy come, easy go.

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