Gimme Gimme Gimme Back My Fifty Dollar Bill!!!
I know, I know. I spent an entire month in America, visiting two coasts (Florida and California), and all I have to blog about is a lousy fifty dollar bill?
Well, it isn’t just any fifty dollar bill. It’s a special fifty dollar bill. Or special to me anyway. Thank god I hadn’t given it to the taxi driver who took me to San Jose International Airport last Wednesday morning. Fortunately, I’d found enough cash on me to scrape together my fare without having to relinquish it, despite the fact that it was given to me for this express purpose. The fifty was still safely folded into one-fourth of its original size inside my wallet when I returned to Fort Lauderdale International Airport and had remained there until…
… a trip to Office Max on Sunday afternoon. I’d gone in to buy some cheap 2 gig USB flash drives (cheap in U.S. dollars anyway). When I went to pay, the cashier told me there was a special deal on some 4 gig flash drives that were even cheaper than the 2 gig ones I’d already chosen. I guess in all the excitement of the moment (and here you thought I led an interesting life) I didn’t pay attention to what I was doing. I reached into my wallet, removed the fifty, and plonked it down on the counter. The fact that I had a $25-off coupon only added to the confusion and pandemonium and before I knew it, I’d given away something that held great significance to me.
When I returned to the car, I suddenly realised what I’d done. I was in tears. How could I have been so stupid? HOW??? Seeing my state, my mother turned her car around and returned back to the crowded parking lot, speeding up and down lanes, ignoring stop signs, and nearly running over several dimwitted pedestrians just so I could get my precious fifty dollar bill back.
I was in a panic. What if it wasn’t there anymore? What if there were other fifty dollar bills in the cash register and we couldn’t figure out which one was mine? What if they rang the police, thinking I was operating some kind of counterfeit scheme or con game? South Florida isn’t high on my list of favourite places, therefore the thought of being imprisoned here held little appeal. Mind you, the thought of returning home to Blighty after being back in the San Francisco Bay Area again held little appeal either. I mean, the only thing I have waiting for me back in England is a broken vacuum cleaner.
I nearly pulled the glass doors out of their hinges in my haste to get back into the store. The cashier saw my panicked face racing toward her from even before I entered. I came to a skidding halt in front of her and poured out my tale of woe – or rather a vastly abbreviated version of it, since there’s only so much Pasternakian tragedy a person can take. My stricken expression must have told her all she needed to know. (Even the guy who’d helped me earlier looked on the verge of tears.) The cashier popped open the register and pulled out a fifty. Is it my fifty? I asked dubiously, hoping she wouldn’t take advantage of my delicate emotional state. I explained to her that my fifty was very crisp and new, and had been folded into one-fourth its original size. She said yes, it was definitely mine, as it was the only fifty in the cash register. And judging from the lack of customers, it seemed unlikely that she was lying to me. I hope not anyway. Christ, even now I’m worrying and wondering. Should I go back to double check?
And will they call the police this time if I do?
Entry filed under: Uncategorized. Tags: California, fifty dollar bill, Fort Lauderdale International Airport, Office Max, San Francisco Bay Area, San Jose International Airport, South Florida, USB flash drives.