When Mike Judge’s satire “Idiocracy” was released in 2006, it didn’t make much of a mark on the landscape of cinema. Possibly just a little more than a blip of actual recognition. The film was a fairly ludicrous tongue-in-cheek poke at where our society will end up in 500 years if ignorance prevails. It was worth a few chuckles. Sadly, with each new year, more and more signs that “Idiocracy” is actually a documentary rather than a work of fiction, creep up. The latest has me shaking my head not just at law enforcement, but the education system.
You’re probably not going to believe me when I tell you this, but there are people—MANY people apparently —that don’t know that a $2 bill is a real thing. They’ve never heard of it, never seen it, pretty much think it’s the same thing as bajillion dollar bill. Don’t believe me? Seem a bit too, dare I say, idiotic? Unfortunately, I am shamefully stating a fact and the link to the story is here. Have at it.
To sum up, in case you can’t open the link for some reason (or don’t feel like reading about utter stupidity), this poor eighth grade student tried to pay for her school lunch with at $2 bill given to her by her grandmother and was denied. The people working in the school cafeteria (did you catch that key word “school”? You know, a place where kids go to learn) thought she was passing off a fake bill. That’s embarrassing enough, right? That in an environment of academics and scholastics, the people working as an appendage of an educational institute didn’t recognize United States currency. However, sadly, it doesn’t end there.
So appalled were the cafeteria workers that this conniving middle schooler was trying to put one over on them that the police, yes the POLICE, were called in to investigate. Now, you’re probably thinking, “Well, they’ll nip this problem in the bud right away and set everyone straight.” Well, you would be wrong. So wrong. They didn’t know what a $2 bill was either. To repeat, a police officer for the Fort Bend Independent School District did recognize what a $2 bill was. What did he do in the face of this brand new, obviously fabricated bill coming from the pockets of a charlatan-in-training? He threatened her by telling her she could be in “big trouble” for trying to use the fake bill. Cause you know. Counterfeiting and such.
Where does the ridiculousness end, you may be asking yourself? Not much longer, but still a trail of bread crumbs far too long. First the student’s grandmother confirmed that she gave her granddaughter the bill. THEN the police went to the convenience store who supplied the grandmother with the bill in the first place to make sure they backed up her alibi. THEN, they took the bill to a bank where bank officials confirmed that, yes, $2 bills do exist and what they had in their hot little hands was one of them.
I’m sorry but as much as I would love to find a way to reason with the school workers and police department, I just can’t figure out how to give them the benefit of the doubt. Sure, it’s not like we see $2 bills every day, but it’s still in circulation and was even deemed somewhat popular up until 1966. It’s not like this kid was trying to pass off dinars. It was legal US currency being used in the US and it fooled multiple levels of “educated” professionals.
If this isn’t a harbinger that “Idiocracy” is getting closer, I don’t want to know what is.