Give yourself a dollar and find George

Posted on February 4, 2002

From the department of I Don't Have Much to Do Because

My Wife Just Left Me to Join the Shriners:

A friend sent me a link to the site called Where's

George. I

thought I would check it out, thinking the George everyone

was looking for was either George Costanza of "Seinfield"

or George Papadapolis of "Webster."

Either way, I was wrong. At Where's George, you can

enter serial numbers of American dollar bills you have

in order to track them in the future.

Let's take a short minute (59.26 seconds) to ponder

this idea and realize it is perhaps the most ridiculous

thing to hit the Internet since Velcro.

True, Velcro didn't hit the Internet, but was unfairly

strapped to it a

while back. Anyway, I'm still surprised any person would

take even a long minute (60.56 seconds) out of the day

to type in serial numbers of dollar bills. Evidently,

some people have. At approximately 2:15 CST January

31, George said: "We now have 1,030,845 users who

have entered 15,227,413 bills, totaling $89,872,891

worth of U.S. currency!" I missed the press conference

when George said this, but the quote was on the site.

According to a

question posed on Straight Dope, there is approximately

$825 billion in U.S. currency available, which means

about .01 percent of it is accounted for on Where's

George. Granted, you can't enter coins, but still, this

is a small number. The Straight Dope answer also gives

a good example of how the U.S. economy operates and

how it could topple over at any given minute. Obviously,

if George Costanza and George Papadapolis were to become

Shriners, this would happen, but realistically, this

probably won't.

So a question still looms: "Why do all animal

crackers look either like a bear, a hippo or a camel?"

Another question would be, "Why would anyone want

to monitor a dollar bill anyway?" I guess if it

were counterfeit, I could understand, but other than

that, it seems slightly worse than a chain letter or

rye bread.

Having said all of this, Where's George is definitely

an interesting, unique and fun idea. The guy isn't trying

to make money or charge anyone. I guess I'm just having

a hard time believing so many people have time to enter

serial numbers, considering all the data entry positions

I see in the newspaper. And get this: You get paid for

those jobs!

Some of you may have seen a dollar bill with ""

stamped on it. Supposedly that means the bill has already

been entered, but

unfortunately, the stamp is bad, bad, bad. It is illegal

to deface American currency. OK, OK, according to the

Bureau of Engraving and Printing, it's illegal only

if the bill is unfit to be reissued. I really don't

think anyone would want a stamp on George's face, unless

Kramer, Jerry or Elaine were to put it there.

If you get bored, and you have a couple of dollars,

you can do one of three things:

1. Go get some nachos.

2. Enter your bills and then get nachos.

3. Get your wife a new motorcycle helmet for those tricky

moves the

Shriners make during most parades.

Nine out of 10 Georges recommend No. 2. Unfortunately,

George No. 10 spent all his money on a new Fez with

a Velcro chinstrap.