By Grant McGee: Local columnist
Two-dollar bills always seem to get a bad reputation. Many folks don’t want them in their wallets and some cashiers even scrunch up their faces when you pay for stuff with them.
I ran across an article the other day about $2 bills used regularly as change at some exotic dance clubs. The mindset is the $2 bills tell others “I’VE BEEN TO AN EXOTIC DANCE CLUB.” So the patrons make sure to empty their wallets of the bills before leaving for the night.
Folks around Clovis don’t have to worry about this because we don’t have any exotic dance clubs around here.
I’m a big fan of the $2 bill. It goes back to when I was a kid. I was a coin collector and the $2 bill was just as much of a mystery to me as the $100 bill.
I satisfied my curiosity about the $100 bill by going up to a bank teller one day and asking to see one. I got away with such a simple request because I was about 10 years old and the teller knew my mom. I imagine if I went up to a bank teller here in Clovis now and asked to see a $100 bill she’d probably smile at me while hitting a silent alarm.
Anyway, as I got older the $2 bill remained a mystery to me.
How could the folks who churn out the paper money make a bill that was nowhere to be found? Over time I learned people simply didn’t want $2 bills.
There was no slot for them in cash registers and some folks believe they bring bad luck. The only bad luck I can think of is if a guy who lives in a city with exotic dance clubs comes home to his wife with a wallet full of $2 bills.
So I started asking for $2 bills at banks about 20 years ago and started “The Two-dollar Bill, Liberation Project.”
With a wallet full of $2 bills I’d go about paying for stuff. You see, I thought about all of those $2 bills sitting in the bank and not getting out and seeing the world.
If I was bored I’d sit around and jot “Two-dollar Bill Liberation Project” on the notes. What? There are laws about writing on money? Well, let’s just say I knew this guy…
Paying for stuff with $2 bills can be problematic when the cashier is, say, under 30 years old because some think the things are fake.
Like the time I pulled off Interstate-10 at Lake Charles, La., for munchies at a fast-food joint. I paid for my stuff with a couple of $2 bills. The cashier looked at my money, looked at me, looked back at my money, looked back at me then said, “One moment please.”
She turned around and eased over to her manager. She held the money up to him, whispered something, then pointed to me.
“Yes, they’re real,” he laughed. Then he looked at me. “She’s never seen a $2 bill before,” he said.
A similar thing happened to me last year here in Clovis.
I like $2 bills, I don’t care what folks think of ’em. I keep a well-worn one tucked away in a pocket of my wallet. It’s kind of like a good-luck charm. If I run out of everything else I still have two bucks.
Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: