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Meet our new plastic fiver


This thing is our new plastic five pound note. They’ve started appearing over the last month or so. For a little while, there was a gold rush of currency collectors buying up notes with AA serial numbers for stupid money on eBay, but that seems to have passed. Then there were all the people stress-testing them to see if they’d go through the dryer or catch fire.

Now the thrill is gone, and shopkeepers are finding that plastic notes, once folded, never again lie flat in the cash register. Two of them together in the pocket slip around in the most unpleasant way. I start every month drawing £50 in cash in £5 notes for mad money, so I’m getting a big, irritating dose of it.

We have been assured that plastic banknotes have been used in Australia and Hong Kong for ages without any problems so quit your bitching already.

So everybody did. Until today. Today it leaks out that animal fat is used in their manufacture, and the vegans and vegetarians are having a hissy. I can understand a conscientious bunny-hugger of a vegan being upset, but honestly, vegetarians — just don’t put them in your stupid mouth.

Phun phacts: y’all probably know that every color copier and image manipulation program has a built in currency detector to prevent counterfeiting. We were warned about this when our office got our very first color copier in the Eighties (back when they cost a quarter million dollars and were the size of chest freezers). If you try to make a copy of a bill, you get a blank page or a scary warning message. If you persist, you eventually get a visit from the Feds.

We had a routine copier service at work the other day and I got to chatting with the technician. Apparently this is still true. He said you get three tries to copy a banknote and then your copier seizes and has to have a service in person.

I mention this because I right-click-and-copied the image from this article, tried to paste it into Photoshop, and got a scary warning and no image. I’d do it again to show you the scary warning, but I’m skeert. In the end, I did a screen grab and then cropped it down to the note, and we’re just waiting for the knock at the door.

Don’t try this at home.

You’re going to try this, aren’t you?

November 29, 2016 — 7:13 pm
Comments: 22