Monday, November 24, 2008

Tracking Dolla Dolla Bills Yo!

Over the weekend I noticed a bill in my wad that was tagged with a stamp from Where's George, the US Currency Tracking Project, that lets you enter a bill's series (2003 A) and serial numbers (L72612279H) to track is travels around the world.

The theory here is a little bit like chain letters, in that whoever receives the bill has to be lame enough to go to the website and enter in the numbers to contribute to the documented history of the bills' travels. I don't normally go for chain letter type ideas, but Saturday as Michigan was losing 42-7 to finish the worst season ever with a particularly tart cherry, I was needing a pick-me-up of the 'you're part of something bigger' variety.

So here we go. I got this bill as change from Za Pizzeria in San Francisco's Russian Hill neighborhood. Upon entering it into the Where's George database, I found that my bill had one previous entry 8 days earlier from the Chancellor Hotel bar near Union Square. In the interim, the bill hadn't gone very far, but if I was going to do this, I wanted spectacular results.

I was already in LA for the weekend, this was a good start and got me thinking about vectors for redistribution that could further accelerate the travels of my bill. I considered a panhandler in Santa Monica, but thought that would just be a short and untrackable trip to the local liquor store. A dead end.

Then I thought a cab driver, or somebody at LAX, but I didn't make it that far. This bill was burning a hole in my pocket. I settled for the bellhop at the Huntley Hotel, who got the bill as a tip for his fine service. From here, who knows, but you can view the bill's tracking report here.

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