Friday, September 3, 2010

Underground New York, in the Form of a $1 Bill

Q: Which is real? A: The bottom $1.

 The laundromat makes me feel 10 years younger.

Before we moved to New York, the last time I'd used one was in the college dorms, circa spring 2001. (Except for that one time our washer and dryer broke in Columbus and I had to drive our dirty clothes to a gigantic Walmart-sized laundromat a mile or two away from our house. I'm still trying to forget that.)

Actually, I still have the exact same tin I used then to collect quarters. Of course we never have enough change, so we always keep the tin stocked with a few $1 or $5 bills to feed the laundromat's quarter machine.

That's the position Paul was in a few weeks ago. But the machine wouldn't take the dollar bill. Finally, the woman at the register came to take a look. She quickly realized what Paul hadn't: the bill was counterfeit.

A counterfeit $1 bill.

I can't help but think that whoever produced it should have aimed a little higher.

It's a pretty good replica. A real bill is just a few millimeters wider and has a slightly thicker, sturdier feel. Certainly nothing I would have noticed had I not been specifically comparing them.

We still have the dollar bill. I'm keeping it as a souvenir of my one and only run-in with underground New York.

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