Sanity Is Not Legal Tender

Story Submitted by Bridget:

Will and I were out to dinner on a first date.  It wasn't clear to me from our pre-date conversations, but he had a chip on his shoulder against the government.  To sum up his views, every president works for a shadow organization of ultra-powerful businessmen, the government was behind 9/11, and currency should not be backed by anything other than gold and silver.

He seemed a bit bitter, and despite a few minor disagreements that I voiced (and that he was quick to shoot down), I simply nodded at everything that he said and played ignorance.

When the time came to pay the check, I pulled out my wallet and he pulled out his.  That was fine.  What wasn't fine was when he pulled out three bills from his wallet, all of which were the size of paper bills, but were actually crayon pictures with dollar amounts scrawled onto them.

He said, "That's a lot on my part, but the service was good."

I asked him, "What are those?"

He said, "Oh, my currency.  Worth more than U.S. toilet paper, that's for sure.  Mine's backed by actual gold and silver."

I picked up the paper strips.  One of them had a picture that looked like himself locked in combat with a bald eagle.  I put it down and said, "I don't think they're going to accept this."

He said, "You'd be surprised how people's minds can be opened."

The waitress came by and we handed her the bills, my American ones and his from made-up-ville.  She looked at his and said, "I'm sorry, we can't accept these."

He replied, "Mine are backed by gold and silver."  He pointed at me and went on, "Hers are backed by nothing."

The waitress stared at him, caught like a deer in headlights.  I said, "Hey Will, maybe if you give her the gold and silver that your bills are worth then she'd consider that legal tender."

Will said, "Sorry.  I don't carry gold and silver on me."

I asked him, "How can you call your currency backed by something if she has no means to exchange it for what you say it's backed by?"

He said, "Not my problem.  Blame the U.S. government."

The waitress put the check back on the table and said, "I'll let you guys work this out."

Will said, "Her problem for being blind.  Ready to go?"  He stood up and hastily put on his jacket.

I asked, "We're just going to leave her half the check?"

He said, "Your bills are worthless."

I said to him, "I'll meet you outside.  I'm going to run to the bathroom."

He left, and I wrote down his name and number for the waitress.  I wasn't about to pay his half, but I wanted some justice to be done.  I slipped it into the check and met him outside, whereafter I made some excuse and went home.

He asked me out again after that, but I declined the offer.  I'm not sure if the restaurant ever followed up with him, but I've since heard that he got into some legal trouble for conspiracy.


  1. So you stiffed the waitress and the restaurant because of this jerk? The honest thing would have been to pay for the food.

  2. My understanding was that she paid her half and she gave the restaurant the details of the jerk who wouldn't pay his half with actual money.

  3. I think the most appropriate course of action would have been to explain the situation to the manager; tell him that you were willing to pay half, but your looney-tunes date left without leaving legal tender.

    The manager may still force you to pay the full tab, or he may be understanding and let you out of his portion while pursuing him themselves. Just leaving your half gips the server out of their own money, as I'm sure the restaurant would require them to pay the full bill.

  4. FYI, Jonathan, the etymology of "gip" comes from "gypsy," so it's an ethnically derogatory word. If that's something you care about, you might want to find a replacement word for the future.

  5. Asking Bridget to pay for her moronic date is just asinine.

  6. Gypsy is an ethnicity? Wow. I feel like I got gipped out of an education.....

  7. BTW, they call themselves "Romanies," so if that is something you care about, you might want to consider using their more ethnically accepted terms.

  8. Sorry Nikki and Agnes, but Rachel got you pretty good on that one.

    On topic - speaking to the manager wouldn't have solved anything other than possibly forcing her to pay the other half of the bill. The server would have been just as able to explain it to him. There is no point getting that involved because of a person you've only met once.

    Though Will does have one valid point about currency. If the economy collapses, all our little pieces of paper won't mean squat. But chips and flakes of gold and silver will.

  9. Sorry, Rachel. However, I'm fairly sure that "gip" doesn't derive from "Romanies" so I thought it more appropriate to use the term that it came from. I feel that the fact that it's not a term that group chooses for themselves adds to my point that the word is derogatory, but I am sorry that my use of the word offended you.

  10. BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. And more uncontrollable laughter. Reee-lax.

  11. Coriolanus, it warms my cold little heart to have you so passionately defend the integrity of the ABCotD comment boards.

  12. ^^ HEY...wait a minute...
    Did Coriolanus say "NIP"?

    I'm not Asian, but I find that rearry lacist!

  13. Hey, if you still got this guy's contact info, I have some gold coins he might be interested in. They're clad in 14mg of pure .9999 (FOUR NINES) gold, even. I'll part with them for just 20 bucks worth of "US toilet paper".

  14. America really need to fight to change the service industry if the waitress would have to pay for the rest of the meal. What a Gyp!

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  16. I wonder if Glenn Beck's wife knows he's dating again.

  17. ^Lol.

    @Ashley. Excuse me! The term waitress is offensive, the correct term is server!

  18. @theMediator...

    Having been a server, I can tell you that your idea that "The server would have been just as able to explain it to him" is false. Servers typically carry their entire bank in their aprons...that includes the pay from their customers, along with tips. Once the customer is gone, there is no way to prove that they didn't pay for the whole meal...especially at a lot of larger restaurants, the manager is likely to not believe the server and make them pay out of pocket. Customers can get meals comped, not servers after the fact.

  19. TheMediator wrote: "Though Will does have one valid point about currency. If the economy collapses, all our little pieces of paper won't mean squat. But chips and flakes of gold and silver will."

    Yeah, that's not true. If there really was some sort of disaster, your dollars would be just as valuable now as they were before, so long as people continued to accept them. And there would be no reason not to accept them, as the currency is just as unbacked now as it would be in the absence of a functioning government. Similarly, gold and silver are only valuable so long as people recognize them as valuable. Given that it's a lot easier to quickly verify the authenticity of dollars than precious metals, my guess is that dollars are more likely than gold or silver to be used as currency in case of a worldwide economic/government collapse.

  20. Mnw, I thought that Terry Pratchett's novel Making Money was a really interesting exploration of the unreality of money, all wrapped up in a light fluffy coating of humor and fantasy. If you haven't read it, you might like it. And you're absolutely right that the only thing really backing currency at this point is belief, not true value. With credit, we've even taken that money one step further into abstraction.

  21. @Mer
    Maybe the people you worked for were just dicks, as my wife worked as a server and never had any trouble like that.

    I'm talkin' global economic meltdown/disaster. Once paper money stopped being actively printed, it wouldn't take very long for the bills in circulation to start to break down. Eventually, they'd disappear. Care to guess what we'd fall back on?


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