Chronicles of Ryebone

The Five Dollar Bill

Most lunches are uneventful aside from the event itself, but occasionally we get to see something out of the ordinary, or something extraordinary occurs. Last week was one such event.

We walked into Harvey's - the one relatively downtown - and we were immediately held up by two slow walking individuals in full business suits. I thought about passing them, but decided to let them meander forward to the cash. Even though we only have an hour for lunch I don't like to rush.

The two men were quite tall, and one significantly older than the other. The elder was standing on the right; aside from their suits there was nothing out of the ordinary about them. Well, that is except, being in suits in this part of town at this location at this time of day. Like I said.

The young man ordered food for both of them. When the cashier asked what they would have to drink, he responded with "this gentleman will have water" and motioned toward the older...gentleman. Then it caught my eye: a five dollar bill fell from the man's right hand to the ground. I leaned a bit to the right and saw it plainly: a wire attached to the bill going up to the man's sleeve. It was coiled - very long - and was glued to the bill in the centre.

Was this a magician?

I looked up at him and he peered back, then quickly snaked the bill back into his hand.

Looking back at my friend, I confirmed that he saw the same thing. We grimaced and looked back to the menu.

Then the older man turned his head around to look us in the eye. He peered into my eyes, searching for something. His expression was plain but anticipatory. Should we say something? Was he testing us?

Then he did it again. I'm pretty sure he was looking directly at me when he dropped it, and as soon as my eyes went down to the motion of the bill falling, he snatched it back up again, still looking at us. A prank. He was a magician, right?

I almost broke out laughing, then put my order in, and we proceeded to eat our meals. We had a view of the entrace/exit and took note when the two men were leaving the restaurant. The older man, still clutching the five dollar bill, stood at the end of the burger delivery system where people could plainly see him.

Another man, with take out bag in hand, started heading toward the door, then it dropped again. Directly facing him, the five dollar bill dropped from the gentleman's hand onto the ground, taking the other guy by surprise. The other guy started leaning over and saying "oh you dropped --" at which point the bill was snatched back up. The guy stood back up and just quizzically looked at the gentleman. He paused for a second, then left the building.

The men in suits left the restaurant, and we watched where they went: across the street into a red van, and drove away. They didn't use the restaurant parking lot - a bit odd perhaps, but it's alright. Were they magicians? If so that wire really needed some work: it was like thick fishing line. There were no hidden cameras...or were there? A social experiment?

We'll never know. But I'm glad we were there.

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