February 2, 2004
I just got back from the bank, $40 poorer than I had hoped to be, and in quite a sour mood, because they wouldn’t accept one of my checks. This particular check was one I got from the girl to whom I sold my American Politics: Past and Whenever book to at the beginning of the semester.
The reason they wouldn’t take the check: It had been modified without having her initial the changes. Gasp! Horror!
The modification in question was some scribbled out words on the “Pay to the Order of” line because she had started to write the total there, scribbled it out, and then written my name above. It was all clearly done in the same hand, and with the same pen. I pointed this out to the manager I talked to, who remained adamant that they could not accept it. Which is, first of all, bullshit, because they can take checks that aren’t even signed. Second, it’s only $40, so they could just debit it from my account if it ended up being forged. And wouldn’t that be a small price to pay to get a check-forger behind bars? Plus, the only rational reason to refuse it is to protect against the possibility that I came across a check to Mr. Forty Dollars and ruthlessly (with malice aforethought) changed his name to mine, which is statistically unlikely.