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John's Blog

Give a man a fish and feed him for a day....Teach him to use the internet and he won't bother you for weeks!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Pen Is Mightier Than The Almighty Dollar!

One of the many things that just drives me insane is when I go into a store, pay with cash, and they whip out one of those useless counterfeit detector pens to make sure I haven't given them funny money. Suddenly, I've turned into John Freakin' Dillinger armed with a $20 bill. Give me a break... if I'm gonna turn to the dark side at least give me credit for having the initiative to pull off a crime that's a little more ambitious than passing low denomination currency. I have to bite my tongue when this ritual takes place, since I recognize that I'm dealing with an hourly worker who is just doing what they are being told to do. My temptation is to buy a pen of my own, and to painstakingly mark and examine each bill that they give me in change, in an effort to slow down and back-up the checkout lane.

The pens (in theory) use iodine which reacts with the starch in normal wood-based paper that is used by counterfeiters, making a black mark. When applied to fiber-based paper used in real currency, there is no reaction. This handy little fact inspired another frustrated shopper to come up with a better idea for frustrating cashiers: treating $20 bills with starch so that they register a false positive for counterfeits. But his experience with the less than amused members of the law enforcement community makes me think this may not be the best way to go.
|| JM, 12:13 AM


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