The Dollar That Changed My Life

You never know what kind of change you can get at the McDonald’s drive-thru.


The one-dollar bill, as received from the McDonald’s. There are no new alterations to the dollar since the reception of the dollar.

I was on my way home from soccer practice and I needed something to drink. My throat had been burning throughout the day and I thought soda was the best option to stop the pain. As I pulled up to the McDonald’s drive-thru line, I grabbed my wallet and thought that this was a great opportunity to use a ten-dollar bill. My order was simple: a large Sprite and a large order of fries. The total was three dollars and fifty-nine cents.

As I pulled up to the first window, I had my ten-dollar bill ready and my window rolled down. The cashier recited my order back to me and I confirmed that it was, in fact, my order. I gave the cashier the ten-dollar bill and he prepared my change. Looking back at this event, the cashier looked like he knew what he was about to do as he prepared to give me the dollar that would change my life.

I get my change back and I think nothing of it until I see the sharpie on the one-dollar bill. I look at it, move up in line, and look at it some more. I think to myself, “Does it say ‘Daddy!’?” and “Why is George Washington saying ‘Penis’?” My focus quickly shifted back to the drive-thru line, as the window worker prepared to give me my order. I received my order, thanked them and drove back home. 

Once I got home, I quickly showed the dollar to anyone that would look and texted a picture of the dollar to everyone who I thought would find it funny. Although it is a crime to tamper with paper money to any extent, the otherwise bizarre circumstances of receiving a graffitied dollar at a McDonalds was a surprising way to find enjoyment in a mundane situation.

The dollar has provided fun moments in my life in and out of school. Is somebody having a bad day and need something to cheer them up? Show them the bill. Is the line at the vending machine taking a while? Mention the dollar. 

I have not spent the dollar and I do not intend to in the future. The circumstances that led to me finding the dollar, as mundane as they are, have helped me realize that comedy can come from anything. The dollar has also helped refine my comedy and help create jokes from various types of scenarios. Now any time I look into my wallet, the sight of the black sharpie ink on the one-dollar bill makes me crack a smile.