Taco Bell & the $2 Bill 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 pissed 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 his point I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill. He looks at it kind of funny and says, "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.
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.

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."
MG"I'M NOT OPENING THE SAFE WITH HIM IN HERE." [my emphasis]
IT"What should I do?"
MG"Tell him to come back later when he has REAL money."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 and turns it over a few times in his hands.
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.