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as phoney as a 2 dollar bill -says best buy

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by fraublugher, Apr 7, 2005.

  1. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

    For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest.

    Finds himself, in front of a store full of customers at the Best Buy on York Road in Lutherville, locked into handcuffs and leg irons.

    Finds himself transported to the Baltimore County lockup in Cockeysville, where he's handcuffed to a pole for three hours while the U.S. Secret Service is called into the case.

    Have a nice day, Mike.

    "Humiliating," the 57-year old Bolesta was saying now. "I am 6 feet 5 inches tall, and I felt like 8 inches high. To be handcuffed, to have all those people looking on, to be cuffed to a pole -- and to know you haven't done anything wrong. And me, with a brother, Joe, who spent 33 years on the city police force. It was humiliating."

    What we have here, besides humiliation, is a sense of caution resulting in screw-ups all around.

    "When I bought the stereo player," Bolesta explains, "the technician said it'd fit perfectly into my son's dashboard. But it didn't. So they called back and said they had another model that would fit perfectly, and it was cheaper. We got a $67 refund, which was fine. As long as it fit, that's all.

    "So we go back and pay for it, and they tell us to go around front with our receipt and pick up the difference in the cost. I ask about installation charges. They said, 'No installation charge, because of the mix-up. Our mistake, no charge.' Swell.

    "But then, the next day, I get a call at home. They're telling me, 'If you don't come in and pay the installation fee, we're calling the police.' Jeez, where did we go from them admitting a mistake to suddenly calling the police? So I say, 'Fine, I'll be in tomorrow.' But, overnight, I'm starting to steam a little. It's not the money -- it's the threat. So I thought, I'll count out a few $2 bills."

    He has lots and lots of them.

    With his Capital City Student Tours, he arranges class trips for school kids around the country traveling to large East Coast cities, including Baltimore. He's been doing this for the last 18 years. He makes all the arrangements: hotels, meals, entertainment. And it's part of his schtick that, when Bolesta hands out meal money to students, he does it in $2 bills, which he picks up from his regular bank, Sun Trust.

    "The kids don't see that many $2 bills, so they think this is the greatest thing in the world," Bolesta says. "They don't want to spend 'em. They want to save 'em. I've been doing this since I started the company. So I'm thinking, 'I'll stage my little comic protest. I'll pay the $114 with $2 bills.'"

    At Best Buy, they may have perceived the protest -- but did not sense the comic aspect of 57 $2 bills.

    "I'm just here to pay the bill," Bolesta says he told a cashier. "She looked at the $2 bills and told me, 'I don't have to take these if I don't want to.' I said, 'If you don't, I'm leaving. I've tried to pay my bill twice. You don't want these bills, you can sue me.' So she took the money. Like she's doing me a favor."

    He remembers the cashier marking each bill with a pen. Then other store personnel began to gather, a few of them asking, "Are these real?"

    "Of course they are," Bolesta said. "They're legal tender."

    A Best Buy manager refused comment last week. But, according to a Baltimore County police arrest report, suspicions were roused when an employee noticed some smearing of ink. So the cops were called in. One officer noticed the bills ran in sequential order.

    "I told them, 'I'm a tour operator. I've got thousands of these bills. I get them from my bank. You got a problem, call the bank,'" Bolesta says. "I'm sitting there in a chair. The store's full of people watching this. All of a sudden, he's standing me up and handcuffing me behind my back, telling me, 'We have to do this until we get it straightened out.'

    "Meanwhile, everybody's looking at me. I've lived here 18 years. I'm hoping my kids don't walk in and see this. And I'm saying, 'I can't believe you're doing this. I'm paying with legal American money.'"

    Bolesta was then taken to the county police lockup in Cockeysville, where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret Service was called in.

    "At this point," he says, "I'm a mass murderer."

    Finally, Secret Service agent Leigh Turner arrived, examined the bills and said they were legitimate, adding, according to the police report, "Sometimes ink on money can smear."

    This will be important news to all concerned.

    For Baltimore County police, said spokesman Bill Toohey, "It's a sign that we're all a little nervous in the post-9/11 world."

    The other day, one of Bolesta's sons needed a few bucks. Bolesta pulled out his wallet and "whipped out a couple of $2 bills. But my son turned away. He said he doesn't want 'em any more."

    He's seen where such money can lead.


  2. Hurley


    Feb 12, 2004
    Cape Cod, MA
    Wow, just... wow. :scowl:
  3. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    That's awful. I think there should be a huge public apology. I mean, seriously huge. Like a billboard on the front of the best buy.
  4. That's awful. I don't know who to blame here. In any case, all parties who share it definitely owe the guy a public appology at least.
  5. +1

    I got a 2$ bill from a taco bell once as change, I was like "Sweet, a 2$ bill!"
  6. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA
    I'd like to see the Best Buy corporate office step in and fire every one of the employees who was involved in that debacle.
  7. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    Yes because one data point and a trolling media looking for any news proves our stupidity.
  8. What's really happening here is that by using $2 bills the guy is supporting terrorism. Just like the anti-marijuana ads on TV. By a joint, support Osama......that's quite a conclusion to jump to...anyway....
  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX

    brad cook
  10. DanGouge


    May 25, 2000
    I was going to comment on the same thing. That's a lame cop-out (no pun intended) if I ever heard one. In the post-9/11 world? Every time a cop overreacts to a situation, that's going to be the explanation.
  11. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Some people need to get a clue. That "post 9/11" comment is also an example of a news outlet that also needs to get a clue.
  12. yeah, I'm sure he's a real threat to our security with all those $2 bills!
  13. Kelly Lee

    Kelly Lee Yeah, I'm a guy! Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    Marana, AZ, USA
    If I go to buy anything from them anymore I'm paying for everything with $2 bills. :spit: I dare them to get me arrested!

    Best Buy really screwed up by insulting and humiliating a customer. :mad: This is such BS!
  14. Don't_Fret

    Don't_Fret Justin Schornstein

    Dec 10, 2003
    A big *** on this one.
  15. McHaven


    Mar 1, 2005
    people are morons.... I'm pretty sure all American money printed in America is still legitimate. I could go buy a hamburger with a 1856 dollar bill and it would be perfectly acceptable except i would of lost a 800 dollar investment.
  16. PunkerTrav


    Jul 18, 2001
    Canada & USA
    Extensive research shows that $2 bills are sharper along the edges and more useful in cutting major arteries.
  17. HiFi


    Apr 20, 2002
    Anaheim, CA
    Must have been reading a little to fast for my own good. Thanks for noting that, and I agree.
  18. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    I think that he might have A LOT more two dollar bills coming his way once his lawyers find out about this... :rollno:
  19. Josh Ryan

    Josh Ryan - that dog won't hunt, Monsignor. Supporting Member

    Mar 24, 2001

    People are afraid of everything now. We need to be more like George...

    Carlin, that is. :D
  20. Marlat


    Sep 17, 2002
    London UK
    ...george, george of the jungle....