Forty-seven bills were stamped and placed into circulation. Nine were found, but only three of those were actually returned. Several people wrote or called asking what the reward was. Some sent photocopies of the bill to prove they had indeed found it. Here's my form letter for those who were afraid to send the dollar without reassurance about the reward.
K. LoPresti of San Jose said my form letter was outrageous and insulted her intelligence. She said if the reward were something worthwhile she might send the dollar, but if I couldn't tell her, it was a standoff.
H. Franklin of San Francisco returned one of the dollars, along with a note asking "Are you for real?" I sent him seven $1 lottery tickets along with a note that said, "Yes, I am for real." I didn't hear back from him.
A couple from Fremont found the dollar in a 7-11 in Auburn, California. I sent them three pairs of new argyle socks.
J. Simms of San Jose found one of the dollars and called my house wanting to know about the dollar thing. I was out of town. My girlfriend said he was rude, stupid and belligerent. He wanted to know the nature of the reward and whether it was in connection with a burglary or something. My girlfriend played dumb. Mr. Simms got angry and said "I think there's something funny going on here." He said he was going to check it out with the police.
He called again five hours later, saying "I checked this out with my lawyer, and he thinks there's something funny going on here." He called again after I got back in town. Wanting to calm this brutish dolt, I told him I was a writer and said this was an experiment in human nature. It was just a game, and he could play along or not.
He wanted to know what the reward was, but I explained that it varied depending on how I was feeling. He asked, "Well, uh, how are you feeling?" I told him I would decide when I got the dollar.
A few days later I got the dollar. I didn't want to send him something worth less than a dollar, as that would only confirm his paranoid suspicions that everyone's out to get his money. And I certainly didn't want to send him more than a dollar's worth. So I sent him a different dollar bill. I sent it registered mail, so he would have to go down to the post office and sign for it, and so he could see that I'd gone out of my way and spent additional money in order to inconvenience him.
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