Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Economics 101 and One Dollar Bills

A week ago, I was getting something at a gas station (diet Coke and Skittles; wanted to be a little careless), and I handed the attendant a ten dollar bill. "Got anything smaller?" was his reply to my legal tender. I didn't, so I got a bunch of quarters back. Oh, for the days when I was still using a Laundromat. I would have been so happy.

Twice this week, I ate at Subway. Both times, there was a sign about needing ones. Several other times recently, clerks have asked others in line for smaller bills, in earshot of me.

Now, if you know nothing else about me: I am inquisitive. So I started thinking: where are all of the ones going? Where are all of the Washingtons going (not as impressive is calling out a Hamilton)?

I thought, and I thought, and I thought some more. Certainly if we are talking about random probability, people would be giving as many ones, on average, as people are getting in change. People may lose a penny in the car, but a buck, certainly not. (Note to any statistician reading: this is not porn. Go away. I mean, I know mapping money flow can be exceedingly difficult; the Department of the Treasury has been doing it for years to catch counterfeiters. Now, statistician, go get yourself some porn; that's why you use the Internet.)

Then it hit me: strippers are responsible for the missing ones at convenience stores and such. I mean, I have not been to a strip club since college, but I guess they still "tip" strippers with mostly small bills.

I can see random guy who gives the average store clerk a $10 and gets four dollars back in return. He thinks to himself, "Four ones. That is unusual. When is the last time I had four ones. I know, strip club." And then the guy starts thinking about local gentleman's establishments. He puts the four ones in a front pocket instead of back in his wallet, and the next time he pays for something, he gives the clerk a twenty, hoping for ones in return.

And that is just one random guy. Imagine in the city of Savannah, this happens to 10 guys within several blocks of where you buy small items (a cascading effect, I would like to call "the stripper effect" (hey, the American people bought the red scare with a domino effect; doesn't this sound more legitimate?). Ones start getting sucked out of the area. And if one guy calls a buddy on his cell phone and starts making plans, then several other guys are looking for ones. Not that going to strip clubs is bad for the local economy, but I don't want someone hassling me because I dropped a ten for my diet Coke and Skittles. Of course, the clerk probably thinks I am fishing for ones.


Ian Lidster said...

Hmm -- the stripper syndrome and the missing $1 bills. I think you've hit on something here, one of them being what utter cheapskates peeler bar fans are. Good heavens, only a lousy dollar for probably the 'only' action most of those guys are going to see for a month.
Anyway, be thankful you still have paper 'ones'. In Canada we have goddamn coins for both ones and twos, and they do tend to get weighty in the pocket.
Otherwise, happy Valentine's Day to you my wise, witty, and pretty friend.


Shadowdog said...

Have you ever encountered one of those stamped dollar bills? They have a red stamp on them with a website address and a message something like "where in the world is George?" It's one person's attempt to track as many dollar bills as possible. When you get one you're supposed to log into his website and enter the serial number. If you're curious, I'll dig the one up I have home saved and give you the web addy. I think it's kinda cool.

Leesa said...

ian: Actually, I was working out one day on the treadmill and heard that $2 bills were becoming popular because of strip clubs. The report was about how illegal immigrants liked them, and the anchor offhandedly mentioned strip clubs. Almost made the reporter blush.

shadowdog: you mean

LarryLilly said...

I was at my only one stripper club when I was 18, for christ sakes, that was back in 68, and then a dollar would get you a kick to the head. Then that was NYC, so maybe inflation for the boob jobs had something to do about that.

Leesa, I dread the dollar coins coming out next week. I dont like any change in my pockets, not even a dollar. Well, maybe one or two, but thats all.

Can you imagine where the stripper would have to put dollar coins?


talk about dirty money.

That thought does it, I will not accept ANY dollar coins.

Then again, maybe a contest would be to see which girl can "hold" the most money there. LOL

Anonymous said...

Happy Valentines Day!

GW Mush said...

Happy Valentines day,
I enjoy your blog.

Leesa said...

larry: okay, I am not a pro at strip clubs; maybe people use other denominations.

annon: thanks, secret admirer!

gw mush: Happy V-day!

Shadowdog said...

Yep, that's the website! Beat me to it! :-)

~Deb said...

See, I tend to blow my ones at Hooter's, ...but they have great all you can eat wings for 2 bucks. Can't beat it! ;)

Leesa said...

shadow: yeah, I am quick with Google.

~deb: and wings are just an appetizer!