You gotta be careful about pranks because they can so easily backfire. For instance, some time ago I was out and about and found a five dollar bill on the ground (see above.) I tucked the bill into a book I was holding and forgot about it. Recently I found the book – and the fiver – so I tucked the cash into my wallet, feeling so much the richer.
The other day my daughter asked me if she could have some cash to buy firewood for a beach bonfire with her friends. Remembering my great find I took the five bucks out of my wallet and handed it to her. When she went to put the money in her wallet she unfolded the bill and discovered that she was suddenly FIVE BUCKS SHORT! Hardy-har-har! She was in a hurry and didn’t find the joke very funny in the moment, but I cracked up because it turned out that the joke was on me. I wasn’t as generous as I had thought I was.
But here’s what was not so funny about the joke. When we turned the bill over and looked at the back we discovered that it was a Gospel tract. “Disapointed? Jesus won’t let you down.”
Wow. I really can’t image a scenario where the message on the back builds hope. Handing these fake bills out to homeless people is just plain mean-spirited. Dropping them on the floor of the Mall is a little better, but still – the feeling of having your hopes crash to the floor is so unlike the promise of salvation that the whole thing just feels like sick humor. It would be better to attach the tract to a real five-spot. At least real money would send the recipient’s hopes in the right direction.
Bottom line: short bill = funny gag. Short bill + Gospel message = Thanks for playing. Try again later.