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For those of you not familiar with it, the 2-dollar bill was a unit of US currency that was printed in small quantities compared to other major bills ( 1, 5, 10, 20). They discontinued minting them in the early '80s because no one used them that much. There's a slim chance you may still find one, but most have been snatched up by collectors or pulled out of circulation. I don't know when this story takes place.

NOTE: Since the time when I originally posted this, I have stumbled upon a web site that seems to belong to the individual who first published this story. It is seriously worth reading at least the top portion of his page, so for your convenience, I've made it easy to access it right from here. Use the 'BACK' button on your browser to return here when done viewing the content at


by Peter Leppik

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 ca$h 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 angry at me.

•ME: "Hi, I'd like one seven layer burrito please, to go."

•IT: "Is that it?"

•ME: "Yep."

•IT: "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 says

•IT: "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.

•IT: "Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?"

•MG: "No. A what?"

•IT: "A $2 bill. This guy just gave it to me."

•MG: "Ask for something else, THERE'S NO SUCH THING AS A $2 BILL."

•IT: "Yeah, thought so."

He comes back to me and says

•IT: "We don't take these. Do you have anything else?"

•ME: "Just this fifty. You don't take $2 bills? Why?"

•IT: "I don't know."

•ME: "See here where it says legal tender?"

•IT: "Yeah."

•ME: "So, shouldn't you take it?"

•IT: "Well, hang on a sec."

He goes back to his manager who is watching me like I'm going to shoplift, and

•IT: "He says I have to take it."

•MG: "Doesn't he have anything else?"

•IT: "Yeah, a fifty. I'll get it and you can open the safe and get change."


•IT: "What should I do?"

•MG: "Tell him you can't take it."

•IT: "I can't tell him that, you tell him."

•MG: "Just tell him."

•IT: "No way, this is weird, I'm going in back."

The manager approaches me and says

•MG: "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."

•MG: "We don't take *those* either."

•ME: "Why the hell not?"

•MG: "I think you *know* why."

•ME: "No really, tell me, why?"

•MG: "Please leave before I call mall security."

•ME: "Excuse me?"

•MG: "Please leave before I call mall security."

•ME: "What the hell for?"

•MG: "Please, sir."

•ME: "Uh, go ahead, call them."

•MG: "Would you please just leave."

•ME: "No."

•MG: "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 oldish guy comes in and says [at the other end of the counter, in a whisper]

•SG: "Yeah, Mike, what's up?"

•MG: "This guy is trying to give me some [pause] funny money."

•SG: "Really? What?"

•MG: "Get this, a *two* dollar bill."

•SG: "Why would a guy fake a $2 bill?" [incredulous]

•MG: "I don't know? He's kinda weird. Says the only other thing he has is a fifty."

•SG: "So, the fifty's fake?"

•MG: "No, the $2 is."

•SG: "Why would he fake a $2 bill?"

•MG: "I don't know. Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?"

•SG: "Yeah..."

•Security guard walks over to me and says

•SG: "Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use."

•ME: "Uh, no."

•SG: "Lemme see 'em."

•ME: "Why?"

•SG: "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

•SG: "Mike, what's wrong with this bill?"

•MG: "It's fake."

•SG: "It doesn't look fake to me."

•MG: "But it's a **$2** bill."

•SG: "Yeah?"

•MG: "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.

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