Wednesday, June 18, 2014

W Is for Wily

Here's something you may not know about American money:

I used this knowledge to my advantage literally all through junior high school. I used to make a bet with various teachers and staff: cover the district numbers on a one dollar bill, show me the face, and I'll tell you what those numbers are. I would always guess right, because I always knew if the reserve letter was G, the corresponding district number was 7, because G is the 7th letter of the alphabet. The numbers always match up. F,6. L, 12. And so on and so forth.

Later, the bill design was changed, and the number and letter are usually next to each other. They don't have that big, encircled letter anymore. So I was lucky the bills looked like they did when I was a kid. I really had to hustle that money.

The reason? Neglect. My Mom was too busy to make me lunch before school, or to wake me up in time to do it myself. I was heavily depressed then and no one had ever taught me how to take care of myself. That's something that I had to learn to do for myself so that I could actually eat lunch in high school.

I know it probably sounds pretty whiny now; what 12 year-old doesn't know how to make himself a sandwich and put it in a bag? That's a pretty easy attitude to have when it's not you and you don't have the same experience, I think. Depression doesn't exactly lend itself to rational thinking.

So I would hustle those dollars out of teachers, one every other day, so I could buy a fifty cent bag of chips and have something to eat.

Boy, was I grateful to the Federal Reserve back then.

ABC Wednesday


Roger Owen Green said...

I love this. I DID notice the correlation on the bills myself, so you wouldn't have gotten MY money.

When I worked in the 1980s, there was some bottled orange juice. The large bottles were made from concentrate, but I noticed that the single-serving bottle was not. My boss actually wagered with me on this fact. One should NEVER wager with me on issues of fact.

Joy said...

What a clever wheeze.

Reader Wil said...

You have, as a Scottish woman once says, learnt life at the university of hard knocks. And she had learnt a lot, she was a tough lady!! And so have you.
I hope you'll find a chance to see a whale!
Wil, ABCW Team.

Vachon said...

The original large-sized Federal Reserve Notes (series 1914) had both the letter and the number in the scalloped circle. When the first small-sized ones came out (series 1928), they had numbers in the circle instead of letters. The letters appeared a few years later.