Counterfeiting with a Purpose

I’ve heard recently that there is a counterfeit problem in Okaloosa County right now and as I was telling the Island King he laughed and asked if I’d ever heard about his foray into the counterfeiting world.

We’ve been together a long time and I’ve heard a lot of stories but never anything close to counterfeiting so of course I wanted to hear this story.

He was working at his grandfather’s radio station when he was 18 and they got a brand new Xerox machine, which promptly became the Island King’s favorite new “toy”.

He said he and his buddy copied everything in sight and that included a $1 bill.

He said that after he copied the bill they thought it looked pretty good so he got out some colored pencils and shaded it a little and then thought it looked really good.

So he did the same thing with a $20 and was just as pleased with the results. 

They ran a couple of sheets of $20s and then crumpled and roughed them up, trying to make them feel more like money and less like copy paper.

When they finished he said it actually looked and felt pretty good.

At this point in the story I had to stop him to ask if he really planned on trying to spend this Xerox copy money.

The man has his flaws but even though he was a teenager, I just couldn’t fathom him actually passing a counterfeit bill.

He got a sheepish look on his face and said that he and his buddy knew the bills wouldn’t fly in a store but got the idea that they could go to a strip joint, get a $20 lap dance and leave immediately.

It’s dark in those places and they figured they could slip the dancer the bill and she wouldn’t notice.

The plan was not to push their luck so they would go to all the strip joints in town, get one lap dance each and then be gone before the dancers noticed.

It took five minutes for me to stop laughing.

That is such a good mix of typical teenage boy and the man that he is today that I could actually see an 18 year old him, drooling over the idea of lap dances in exchange for copy paper.

Once I stopped laughing I asked him if he did it and he said that he thought about it for about half an hour and then decided that a copy paper lap dance was not worth spending years in a federal penitentiary so no, he didn’t do it.

I asked if he saved one of those “great replicas” he made and he said “Hell no! As soon as I decided I didn’t want to go to prison, me and my buddy took them out back and burned them in a barrel.”

I really am glad he made the right decision - Bless his heart.