A few weeks back, I was interviewed for a documentary being made about $2 bills. A nice guy with a good sense of humor, John Bennardo had decided that $2 bills are interesting enough to make a whole documentary about them. So did a bunch of other people, because he raised almost $20k on Kickstarter to make it. I was unsure about the whole thing, but agreed to do it, largely because John seemed like a nice guy with a good sense of humor.
Oh, I should backtrack. Why would I be in it? Well, I wrote a story about Taco Bell and $2 bills in 1993, which had become an internet meme. (It has a Snopes entry, that kind of thing.) It’s a story about going to a Taco Bell and trying to pay with a $2 bill and how mall security was called because the people working there thought it was a forgery.
I posted the story on a newsgroup and it took on a life of its own. Boing Boing magazine picked it up and printed it back when Boing Boing was a magazine made from paper and everything. Anyhow, this nice guy with the good sense of humor asked me to be in the documentary and to tell my story, and talk about whether it was true or not, and he happened to be coming out to the Los Angeles California area from where he lives out in Florida. So I did it. Look, I dressed up for it and everything:
John is right, the $2 bill is a thing that deserves a documentary. The other two people he was interviewing that day alone made it interesting. They were two very different people doing very different things, but the $2 bill was a major part of each of their lives. One guy might have been crazy. (Maybe I’m crazy.)
There’s a story out there that tops mine, someone tried to spend some $2 bills at a Best Buy and the police handcuffed him to a pole and put him in leg irons until the secret service could come. I believe the nice guy with the sense of humor has also managed to interview this man who went through the ringer for his currency choice, though I am not 100% sure about that. I hope so.
I’m looking forward to seeing The $2 Bill Documentary when it’s completed. Weird stories, weird people, weird currency, what could be better? (Separately, I found out also that Taco Bell ran a promotion in 2010 involving $2 bills, and I’m going to go ahead and take credit for inspiring that. )