Two Hundred Dollar Bills

Tonight on the way home from work I spontaneously decided to stop at the convenient store so I could pick up a delicious six pack of Sam Adam’s summer ale. It’s a nice wheat brew that’s a bit like a hefeweizen. I dropped my prize on the counter and the man behind it instantly said “ID.”

Not “ID, please” or “May I see your ID” but a pretty matter-of-fact “ID.”

I already had my wallet in my hand, though, so it wasn’t much trouble to open it and slide my driver’s license out and place it into his hands.

“This driver’s license is expired” he says to me.

I’m not going to deny it – my driver’s license is expired by almost a month now. However, the driver’s license explicitly states that I was born in 1978 so its expiration shouldn’t be much of an issue.

“Yeah, it’s expired,” I said. “But that shouldn’t really matter. It still shows the year I was born and I’m obviously way over the age limit required to buy beer so…”

“But it’s expired.” He looked at me with a very serious business expression.

“I realize it’s expired, sir, but it still shows the year I was born, regardless.”

He then gave me what I swear to God is one of the blankest, most confused and dumbfounded looks I have ever received in my life. He just sort of stared at me as if what I had been saying was some sort of voodoo science that made no sense. Then comprehension slowly dawned on his face.

“Six fifty-three.” He said, again very matter of factly.

I had exactly two hundred dollars in my wallet in the form of two one hundred dollar bills. I handed him one.

“Oh, no, I don’t have change for this.” He said, disappointingly.

Keep in mind that by this time there were at least four or five people behind me in line shuffling their feet. I was already embarrassed, regardless of whether it was my fault or not that we were having this delay, so I was ready to just leave and accept the fact that I wouldn’t have any golden ale tonight when…

“Here” the guy said from behind me, slipping me five twenty dollar bills. I handed him my hundred. I guess there are still good people in the world.

“Oh, thanks.” I said. Problem solved.

I handed a twenty dollar bill to the cashier. He plinked open the register as if none of this were odd and gave me my change. Thank God that ordeal was over.

I moved my stuff off to the side and started stuffing change into my wallet so the next guy could buy his stuff. I didn’t want to hold anybody up anymore. I heard the cashier give him his total which was just a couple of dollars. Then I heard, “I don’t have change for that.”

I turned my head and saw the guy who just helped me holding what was moments ago my hundred dollar bill.

“But this is all I have”, he said.

At this point I’m fucking dumbfounded. This guy just gave me five twenties knowing that I needed them because the cashier couldn’t give me change for a hundred. Then he immediately tried to use the same bill to buy his pastry and energy drink.

The guy looked at me. I looked at him. The cashier looked at us both like we were the biggest idiots he had ever come across in his life. Four people in line stared incredulously at my new friend and I.

I handed the cashier a ten dollar bill and said, “here, use this” and without question he did. The guy buying the pastry and energy drink mumbled a weak “thanks” and hurried out before I could even get my change.

I don’t have a clever way to end this story because I’m still pissed off I paid for some asshole’s pastry. The end.

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