Insert Money Laundering Joke Here

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We've all heard that well-traveled anecdote about how nearly all U.S. dollar bills contain trace amounts of cocaine. Or urine. Or botulism. Or any other number of awful substances.

For most people, a nice little bottle of hand sanitizer can alleviate any concern about money-riding bacteria. But citizens of Zimbabwe, where American currency is legal tender, have taken things a step further, by throwing the bills in the washing machine.

This Daily Mail article elaborates on the need for this:

Low denomination U.S. bank notes change hands until they fall apart, and the bills are routinely carried in underwear and shoes through crime-ridden slums.

Some have become almost too smelly to handle, so Zimbabweans have taken to putting their $1 bills through a spin cycle and hanging them up to dry with clothes pins.

It's the best solution - apart from rubber gloves or disinfectant wipes - in a continent where the U.S. dollar has long been the currency of choice and where the lifespan of a dollar bill far exceeds the U.S. Federal Reserve expectation.

Forgive the pun, but that sort of gives a whole new meaning to the term "dirty money".

July 12, 2010 - 4:20am
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