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Doug Clark: Hey, funny money could buy time at the pool

I don’t want to be a nag. But it’s that time of year when you teenagers better start thinking seriously about summer jobs.

You know: mowing lawns, flipping burgers, passing fake $100 bills …

Seriously. Violating federal counterfeiting statutes is a creative way for teenagers to pay for the skyrocketing costs of college tuition and Spokane public pool swim fees.

Passing funny money is not without risk, however.

Every aspiring member of a counterfeit ring should learn the ropes to avoid being busted like those boneheads who made the newspaper Wednesday.

That’s right. The two Cheney teenagers who tried to use a bogus C-note to buy turtle food at a Spokane Valley pet store – allegedly.

What fool tries to pass a fake hundred in Spokane Valley?

That’s just asking to get caught.

This is Stripmallvania. Four of five Spokane Valley store clerks wouldn’t know Benjamin Franklin from Benjamin Button.

Clerk: Hey, this is an odd-looking twenty.

Counterfeiter: Uh, that’s not a twenty. It’s a $100.

Clerk: A hunnert? I’m calling the cops.

Trying to buy just the turtle food was asking for it, too.

Next time, toss in a couple of gerbils and a chew toy and you’ll skate right out the door.

According to our news story, fake hundreds were also found at a Dollar store ( there’s irony for you ) and a Dairy Queen.

Man. How’d you like to have to tell your boss that a counterfeiter just ripped off the store for two Dilly Bars, an Oreo Blizzard and 90 bucks in change?

If I wanted to unload fake bills I’d head to Hillyard and buy a few phony doctoral degrees to better myself.

Plus a diploma mill operator rarely will call the cops on a brother counterfeiter.

Hey, I’d love for every one of you teens to get a nice, law-abiding job.

Trouble is, the economy stinks worse than a ferret rescue shelter.

There aren’t any summer jobs for kids. All the failed Chrysler and GM dealers scooped ’em up.

Dougbench update: Did anyone really think Spokane Mayor Mary Verner would hang tough on her order to remove all bus benches with advertising by next Tuesday?

The Verner administration has more waffles than a Denny’s breakfast menu.

The mayor flip-flopped, and the bus stop ads will stay. We here at Dougbench Central are declaring victory in our pro-bench effort.

Verner’s cave-in makes the celebratory photographs Sue Pupo sent me the other day amazingly appropriate.

“Doug, first let me say how much we all enjoy your articles in The Spokesman,” wrote Pupo, of Vancouver, Wash. “They are passed around from family member to family member.”

(My editor better be reading this.)

“We have all especially enjoyed the bus bench articles,” she added. “So when I was in Spokane … (I visit my parents once a month) – it was a ‘must-see’ with my sister JoMarie.”

The sisters and two of JoMarie’s grandkids struck a pose at the Dougbench with a bottle ( unopened ) of champagne and two glasses.

I am so flattered. Quite frankly, I never expected champagne.

I figured the Dougbench would become more of a destination resort for connoisseurs of cough syrup and crack.

Doug Clark is a columnist for The Spokesman-Review. He can be reached at (509) 459-5432 or by e-mail at Read previous columns at