BOOK 1 Chapter:1 - WHAT ARE THE ODDS?
There it is, perfect, I hate when they’re so busy my favorite parking space is taken. No, I am not lazy, unlike everyone else who wants that space by the front door. My choice is the one all the way down on the left, a space the security camera can’t see. Is it possible Eckerd Drugs are unaware their camera’s have a blind spot? As usual, the cashier is an older woman, polite, and not overly friendly. Maybe she is suspicious of people who don’t buy anything. There was a point in my career when walking past them without an explanation was nerve-wracking, but not anymore, now I simply ignore the meaningless person. Okay, let’s get down to business by crossing the street and walking past the 7-11 to the Mc Donald’s. Check my watch, not quite eleven o’clock, so there are only a few cars in the parking lot. Too many customers cause the shift managers to start helping out on the registers. Patience, always remembering to take my time, without any display of anxiety. Two teenagers are placing an order from my kind of cashier, who appears to be sixteen or seventeen, white, with short hair. An ideal profile, the kind that calls me ‘sir’ and means it.
Whoa! Big problem! That black teenager in front of me has just handed him a counterfeit twenty dollar bill! I’m six feet away and it’s screaming, "Fake." Even this young cashier isn’t totally stupid, he’s already heading for the office. This might be entertaining to watch. I should do the smart thing by leaving immediately. Won’t happen, curiosity will always defeat reason. Panic time, they’re running toward the exit as the cashier is returning from the office, looking anxious. It might be tricky, but this is a case where split-second timing could make a difference.
"Where did they go?" A reasonable question considering the circumstances.
"Uh, they left. Why?" Acting nonchalant while approaching the counter.
"That bill was counterfeit!" Utter astonishment showing in his voice.
"Really? A counterfeit bill?" I’m desperately trying to sound naïve, when I should say, no shit kid, anybody could tell that from six feet away.
"He used to work here," according to the girl at the drive thru.
Why am I not surprised? A casual question should prove adequate. "Does that kind of thing happen often?"
"I started working here last month and that’s the first time it’s happened to me."
Keep the reply simple. "Well, at least now you know what counterfeit money looks like." Believe me kid, you have no clue what counterfeit money looks like. Time to move on. "Let’s see, a small order of fries and a Coke to go. Extra ice."
"Yessir, $2.87 sir."
"Here you are," handing him a twenty. Yes! Right in the drawer, he didn’t even look at it. Congratulations kid, you just experienced your second counterfeit bill. I'm wearing an extra friendly face while putting the change in my pocket. "Thank you," completes our transaction.
"Thank you, sir."
He meant every word, nice kid. Okay, no need to hurry, the Winn-Dixie grocery store is right next to the Mc Donald’s. Carefully, and as casually as possible, glance behind to be reassured nobody is tailing me. Following procedure, I’ll throw the food in the garbage can by the front of the grocery store and walk right in. Let’s see, register #5 is lookin’ real good, she’s around seventeen, blonde, bet she’s a cheerleader.
I love when the day gets off to a good start. Those two kids passing their homemade twenty are amateurs, but I’m not. This should be a really great day, after all, that’s my job. I'm a professional counterfeiter.
This incident occurred exactly as described at a Mc Donald’s in Orlando, Florida. It is absolutely true. Another thrilling day in a thrilling life. Keeping in mind, I used to be ordinary and boring, just like everybody else. Including you?