"... uuhhhhhhhhmmm ... I can't see the hologram on this bill ..."
I got the message. loud and clear. The guy behind the counter was intimating the note I'd given him and which he was scrutinizing wasn't genuine. But he didn't want to come right out and say so. It was as if he was holding back that information. Why? Was he making an attempt at saving me from embarrassment? Anticipating a confrontation if he called it out? Did he fear I might throw a fit about it?
He didn't know me. He was simply preparing for the worst in a possible bad situation ... but I wasn't going to react to his timidity.
"Huh," I commented. "That's all I've got to pay with. I'll zip over to the bank and see what's up with it," I told him.
He handed the bill back to me and apologized. I told him it wasn't a problem, there was nothing to apologize for. And I meant it.
Off to the bank I ran.
Was it true? Was I trying to pass a fake bill? I looked at it while on the go and he was right: The hologram was obscured.
Arriving, I walked through the doors and went right up to one of the two tellers standing around doing absolutely nothing. "Good afternoon. How can I help you?" the teller asked as I approached the counter.
"What can you tell me about this bill?" I put the note on the counter in front of him.
"It's counterfeit" he responded.
"You can tell that just from looking at it, laying there on the counter?" I asked.
"Yeah ... the paper alone ... you can see it's not paper used for currency ..."
"Maybe you can see that, I cannot. I'm nowhere near that qualified. So ... what can we do about this situation?"
"Well ... I have to confiscate this bill and write up a report. I'm going to need some information from you about it ..."
"That's fine. But ... what will be done about the funds themselves?"
"I'm sorry to say: Nothing. You're out $100.00. If it's any consolation, you never had the $100.00 to begin with ..."
"I had a feeling that might be the case. So ... had I simply run the bill through an automated teller machine I would have at least been credited the hundred bucks." (I'd heard someone had done that when they had come upon a similar situation with possibly counterfeit money and it jogged my memory while talking to the teller.) "By coming to you and being honest, I'm SOL ... right?"
"Right on both counts," the teller confirmed.
Instead of the various sundries I had planned on purchasing that afternoon, I went home with a copy of a report on its way to the Secret Service.
.......... Ruprecht's ( counterfeit bill passing efforts STOP now )