The Two-dollar Bill Story

Received as an email from Rickity & Rutheless

Everyone should start carrying them!  I am STILL laughing!!  I think we need to quit saving our $2 bills and bring them out in public.  The younger generation doesn't know they exist.
The Story begins here:

On my way home from work, I stopped at Taco Bell for a quick bite to eat.  In my billfold are a $50 bill and a $2 bill.  I figure that with a $2 bill I can get something to eat and not have to worry about anyone getting irritated at me for trying to break a $50 bill.

Me: "Hi, I'd like one seven-layer burrito please, to go "

Server: "That'll be $1.04.  Eat in?"

Me: "No, it's to go."  At this point, I open my billfold and hand him the $2 bill.  He looks at it kind of funny.

Server: "Uh, hang on a sec, I'll be right back."  He goes to talk to his manager, who is still within my earshot.   The following conversation occurs between the two of them: 

Server: "Hey, you ever see a $2 bill?" 

Manager: "No. A what?" 

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

Manager: "Ask for something else. There's no such thing as a $2 bill." 

Server: "Yeah, thought so." He comes back to me and says, "We don't take these.  Do you have anything else?"

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

 Server: "I don't know."

Me: "See here where it says legal tender?"

Server: "Yeah." 

Me: "So, why won't you take it?"


Server: "Well, hang on a sec." He goes back to his manager, who has been watching me like I'm a shoplifter, and says to him, "He says I have to take it."

Manager: "Doesn't he have anything else?" 

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

Manager: "I'm not opening the safe with him in here." 

Server: "What should I do?" 

Manager: "Tell him to come back later when he has real money." 

Server: "I can't tell him that!  You tell him." 

Manager: "Just tell him." 

Server: "No way! This is weird.  I'm going in back." 

The manager approaches me and says, "I'm sorry, but we don't take big bills this time of night.

Me: "It's only seven o'clock!  Well then, here's a two dollar bill." 

Manager: "We don't take those, either" 

Me: "Why not?" 

Manager: "I think you know why." 

Me: "No really, tell me why." 

Manager: "Please leave before I call mall security." 

Me: "What on earth for?" 

Manager: "Please, sir." 

Me: "Uh, go ahead, call them." 

Manager: "Would you please just leave?"


Me: "No." 

Manager: "Fine -- have it your way then." 

Me: "Hey, 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. 

Guard: " Yeah, Mike, what's up?" 

Manager (whispering): "This guy is trying to give me some (pause) funny money."

Guard: "No kidding! What?" 

Manager: "Get this--A two dollar bill." 

Guard (incredulous): "Why would a guy fake a two dollar bill?" 

Manager: "I don't know.  He's kinda weird.  He says the only other thing he has is a fifty.

"Guard: "Oh, so the fifty's fake!" 

Manager: "No, the two dollar bill is." 

Guard: "Why would he fake a two dollar bill?"

Manager: "I don't know!  Can you talk to him, and get him out of here?" 

Guard: "Yeah." 

Security Guard walks over to me and says "Mike here tells me you have some fake bills you're trying to use." 

Me: "Uh, no." 

Guard: "Lemme see 'em." 

Me: "Why?"


Guard: "Do you want me to get the cops in here?" 

At this point I am ready to say, "Sure, please!" but I want to eat, so I say "I'm just trying to buy a burrito and pay for it with this two dollar bill." 

I put the bill up near his face, and he flinches like I'm taking a swing at him.  He takes the bill, turns it over a few times in his hands, and says, "Hey, Mike, what's wrong with this bill?"

Manager: "It's fake." 

Guard: "It doesn't look fake to me." 

Manager: "But it's a two dollar bill." 

Guard: "Yeah?" 

Manager: "Well, there's no such thing, is there?" 

The security guard and I both look at him like he's an idiot, and it dawns on the guy that he has no clue. So, it turns out that my burrito was free, and he threw in a small drink and some of those cinnamon thingies, too.

Made me want to get a whole stack of two dollar 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. You get free food there, too.

Just think--those two will be voting soon. . .

Another Related Story
The following is from

In March 2005, the Baltimore Sun published a tale like the one described above, only taken one step further: the subject reported he actually was arrested for proffering payment with $2 bills.

Mike Bolesta, a 57-year-old Baltimore County resident, stated that in February 2005 he purchased a radio/CD unit for his son's automobile at Best Buy (a chain of retail electronics stores). Bolestra said in order to rectify a mix-up they'd made in selling him the wrong unit, the store initially waived the installation charges for the stereo, then called him back the next day and threatened to report him to the police if he don't come in and pay the $114 installation fee. Irked that Best Buy had gone from "them admitting a mistake to suddenly calling the police," Bolestra decided to stage a mini-protest by paying the charge with fifty-seven $2 bills. He described to the Baltimore Sun what happened next:

"I'm just here to pay the bill," Bolesta says he told a cashier. "She looked at the $2 bills and told me, 'I don't have to take these if I don't want to.' I said, 'If you don't, I'm leaving. I've tried to pay my bill twice. You don't want these bills, you can sue me.' So she took the money. Like she's doing me a favor."
Nonetheless, police were summoned when a Best Buy employee noticed that the ink on some of the $2 bills was smeared, and after one officer noted that the serial numbers on the bills ran in sequential order, Bolesta was handcuffed and taken to the county police lockup. Police reportedly kept him handcuffed to a pole for three hours while they notified the Secret Service, but when an investigator from that agency (which is tasked with handling counterfeiting cases) determined that the currency was legitimate, Bolesta was finally released.