Kurt McKee

lessons learned in production

Hey there! This article was written in 2008.

It might not have aged well for any number of reasons, so keep that in mind when reading (or clicking outgoing links!).

Ol' five-dollar Lincoln

Posted 11 July 2008 in toy store and work

Today at work a young man -- perhaps 27 years old -- came in while I was at the register. He stared at the doll section for a while, and then asked if there were any more dolls in the store, informing me that his daughter had recently graduated, and he wanted to buy her a doll. That didn't sound quite right, but I showed him a few plush humans around the store, and he without hesitation chose a $25 doll that's designed to help toddlers get acclimated to all of the things you and I use to fasten our clothes each day, such as buttons, zippers, and snaps.

He'd been in the store about two minutes when we got back to the register, where he threw down a $100 bill to pay for his purchase. I unceremoniously held it up to the light, and found a watermark of Abe Lincoln -- not Ben Franklin -- staring back at me.

"Sir, this bill is a counterfeit," I informed him. He immediately took the bill back, walked calmly out of the store, and disappeared down a nearby alley. I then called the police and gave a detailed description of the man, but although the police arrived within five minutes, they had not seen the man.

According to the police, one of the ways to make a counterfeit bill is to take a $5 bill, wash it of its ink, and print a new $100 bill over the $5 bill's paper. The watermark of ol' five-dollar Lincoln, however, remains intact, which is the giveaway.