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Weird Things That I Do; or Kate Kate Bo-Bate

Last week, Nomi received a dollar bill in change on which someone had written the name Kate, along with a phone number. My curiosity was piqued. How did Kate's name and phone number get into circulation in American currency? Might she have given the number to a guy she met at a bar, and he made the mistake of spending it? Could she be doing an experiment to see how far the bill had gotten, or to see if anyone would actually call?

I looked up the number on the Internet and found that Kate apparently uses a Sprint-service cell phone in Richmond, Virginia. So last night, with Nomi's permission, I called her up to tell her about the bill.


"Hi, is this Kate?"

(hesitantly) "Yes..."

"My name is Michael; I'm calling from the Boston area. My wife found your name and phone number on a dollar bill she got in change, and we were wondering what it was about."

(she mumbles)

"Could you repeat that?"

(more mumbling; but I get the idea that a friend wrote her number down on the bill against her wishes)

"Would you like me to cross out your number?"

(firmly) "Yes. Please."

"Will do. So you won't have to worry about anyone calling you again." (I suddenly realize how that sounds.) "I mean...you know what I mean. Have a nice life."

Kate of Richmond, Virginia, if you're out there, we've crossed out your name and number in black Sharpie pen.


This sounds like a great setup for a story.
A while back I received a dollar bill that had a URL stamped on it. I went to the site and found that it was an experiment to see where dollar bills went. It's been a few years and unfortunately, I forget the URL.

I hope your curse (noone every calling her again) is unsuccessful.
You're probably thinking of http://www.wheresgeorge.com, run by Hank Eskin, who lives in precinct 9 of Brookline. Small world, eh?
Yes, that was it. Thanks!
What a great site - thanks for the pointer.

And obviously you were right to call Kate - so that's two good deeds!
You did a good thing btw.

When I do things like that my wife calls me a stalker. Of course, I don't ask her first - she'd only say no.
That is one of those great little nuggets in life that keep it interesting. Thanks for sharing.
Working retail on & off for 2 decades, now, I've seen all sorts of things written on bills. Names, phone numbers, expletives, even poetry. I've yet to notice a palindromic bill (Mark's goal), though I generally don't look all that closely any more.
Well, honestly, we don't know the full story. For example, a woman who has been stalked by a stranger would probably be a lot more freaked out by the phone call than you would be. Nor is everyone as gregarious as you and me.

December 2016

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