Sunday, December 30, 2012

My Twoness

This is the penultimate day of the year. The time when everything is "In Review." We take stock, we reflect, we try to make meaning out of life's random offerings. Often the tragedies get most attention, but I saw a small item the other day that merits it's own 15 minutes right here. Apparently, a guy went into a fast food restaurant recently and bought an item that cost slightly over a dollar. He was in possession of two pieces of legal tender, a $50 bill and a $2 bill, that most rarest of bills, if you don't count the $500 and %1,000. I guess. Anyway, the poor kid who worked there was offered the $2 bill as payment and rejected it after talking with the manager of the place. Both were of the opinion that it was fake; that there was no such thing as a $2 bill no matter how good Thomas Jefferson looked. The man then offered the $50 but was told it was too late in the evening to accept a "big bill." He could have left muttering to himself. I think what happened after much debate was they let him have the $1.04 taco rather than take the $2 bill.
What's wrong with this picture? Where to begin. I guess it's to be expected that some pieces of common literacy have fallen by the wayside as life in the suburban bubble continues to define itself. OK, so it's one thing that two people, probably both under 30 had never heard of a $2 bill, but what does it all mean? A regular Zen Koan this one. Do we dare think that the only significance of the story is that it is reasonable to think that many folks in this country aren't familiar with currency that is not in use? What else might be missing from their general knowledge? Is this even all that important? One thing I do know is that I have carried a $2 bill in my wallet for many years now. Sort of a "saver" should I ever get in a jam. I used to get them everyone from a friend who had a small business and knew of my desire to always have one around. Guess that notion is outdated now! Imagine if I actually had to use it and nobody would validate it's existence.
Funny too how the Canadians have used the bill and the "Toonie" coin for decades. What's with the $2 bill anyway?

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