There is such a thing as fake news, so when I saw the story of the Houston teen being arrested for trying to buy a school lunch with a $2 bill, I had to dig deeper. Yup, it turns out to be a true story.

Read about the fake $2 bill arrest from the Washington Post.

Grandma had the best line of the story…

“There was no need for police involvement. They’re charging kids like they’re adults now.”

After reading the story, I sort of believe the clerk in the lunch line did the right thing if she didn’t recognize a $2 bill. Depending on how old she was, she may have never seen one. To arrest the kid for counterfeiting was taking it a bit far. (Upon further review, they did learn the bill was real and the charges were dropped).

This story reminds me of returning from a vacation and stopping at McDonalds to grab a bite on the way home. I tried to pay with a left over Travelers Check and the teen clerk said they don’t take checks. I explained that Travelers Checks were the same as cash. She didn’t budge. Finally, she called the manager over who told her Travelers Checks were the same as cash. After taking my Travelers Check, she then called the manager back and asked if she had to write a check to give me change. True story!

Are Travelers Checks and $2 bills from a bygone era? Do our kids even know what they are?

My other favorite $2 bill story occurred about 10 years ago when I was moonlighting at Hertz at the Philly airport. For an extra $5 an hour, they’d ask if any of us wanted to hold the big umbrella on rainy days for customers to stay dry as they walk from their car to the Hertz building. I always took that job.

However, I wasn’t holding an umbrella for nobody. I’d give the customer the umbrella as soon as they stepped out the car and offered to walk their luggage to the Hertz building. That was my way of hustling big tips.

One day, a businessman reached in his pocket and without looking pulled out a wad of new crisp bills and slapped them in my hand. I took a quick glance and stuffed them in my pocket. I could only imagine how big that tip was. I did see the $2 thinking I just got a stack of $20s.

Nope. Dude gave me eight $2 bills. Who the hell carries $2 bills, let alone eight of them?

A $16 tip was definitely quite generous and I still have those $2 bills. I just better not try to buy lunch with any of them.