Right In The Old Bread Basket

I’m no stranger to the dinner table.  In fact, I’ve got over five decades of anecdotes of my over-eating.  There’s the time I gobbled so much food at my grandmother’s Thanksgiving table that I fell asleep with my face in the plate.  Were it not for the tryptophan, I might have eaten myself to death that fateful turkey day.  In college, the local Mexican joint suffered mightily during my attendance at their all-you-can eat taco night.  The same thing went for the place in Colorado with the all-you-can-eat steak dinners.  A note on that last one, swimming isn’t the only thing you should avoid doing immediately after eating; driving a truck loaded with all your possessions in the dark of night while the majority of your blood flow is busy trying to digest the better part of a cow is also to be avoided.

Given my rich history of gluttony, I couldn’t help but be impressed with the recent news story of the woman who was found by customs inspectors in the Dominican Republic to be smuggling seventy thousand dollars in her stomach.  She had another sixty-nine thousand found hidden in her suitcase.  I’m guessing they found the suitcase loot first, and then noticed her bloated belly.  Typically, airline passengers have a tough time filling up too much on the palm sized portions of pretzels they give out these days.  Even if she bought one of the sixteen buck turkey sandwiches and washed it down with with a couple of splits of champagne, her tummy would still have appeared relatively normal.

Of course the news outlet which carried the story helped to make it all the more amazing by using an illustration featuring a file photo of stacks of crisp hundreds bound with red rubber bands.  The size of a stack of hundreds is rather substantial when juxtaposed with the opening  of a standard pie hole.  I whipped out several number two pencils and some scratch paper and did a little math.  After a half hour of cyphering, I can say with a degree of confidence that she would have had to swallow seven hundred of those c-notes to come up to the total listed in the story.

I'd think the corners of those stacks would be especially tough to swallow.  Not to mention the fact that money is dirty, any one of those bills could have been touched by a politician.  (Image from picsbox dot biz)
I’d think the corners of those stacks would be especially tough to swallow. Not to mention the fact that money is dirty, many one of those bills could have been touched by politicians. (Image from picsbox dot biz)

I didn’t have a hundred dollar bill laying around, but if memory serves, they’re pretty much the same size as a twenty, which I did (miraculously) have handy.  I folded it as small and tight as I could, then took a pic of it next to one my allergy pills.  Since these pills have no effect whatsoever on the molds, stink bug droppings and various other things which make autumn as fun as spring for me, it’s nice to finally have a use for them.

Since snapping this pic, I've squandered the twenty smackers on a cup of coffee and a handful of magic beans.  My wife scolded me about the beans and threw them out the window.  On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that swallowing a human thumb would be even more difficult than a rolled up bill.
Since snapping this pic, I’ve squandered the twenty smackers on a cup of coffee and a handful of magic beans. My wife scolded me about the beans and threw them out the window. On an unrelated note, it occurs to me that swallowing a human thumb would be even more difficult than a rolled up bill – hats off to you cannibals!

I suppose that someone will point out that she could have gulped down a mere seventy one-thousand dollar bills or the tiny paper currency of the island nation of Tonga* to minimize the gut bulk.  Even so, seventy thousand clams adds up to a whole lot of swallowing.  Perhaps she dipped them in butter or possibly apple sauce to help get them down.

I’m no expert in human physiology, but the “harvesting” of the cash poses a few lovely options.  Perhaps her colleagues had planned on an ipecac syrup cocktail and a few reruns of “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo” with a well placed bucket.  Another choice would have been the colonoscopy prep approach, which would have run the risk of partially digested c-notes and a new high bar setting for the term “dirty money”.  Lastly, there was the possibility of some motel room surgery, which is usually performed for more cosmetic purposes, such as silicone-caulk buttock enhancement.

I looked for photos of actual squatters, but felt the ones I found were demeaning.  This woman chose to dress this way to perform squats, and as such, she demeans only herself.  By the way, honey, love the shoes!  (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com)
If motel surgery was really an option, then the smugglers might have considered hiding the “wampum in dee bumbum” in the first place.  Though eagle-eyed customs inspectors who are twerking aficionados might spot tell-tale cash-stack lumps amid the curvy splendor of the booty.   (Image from thegreatfitnessexperiment dot com and/or dudelol dot com)


Irrespective of how the money was to be rescued from this woman’s digestive system, swallowing that much money is pretty impressive  If I have more than five bills in my wallet, my sitting posture gets all catty-wampus and I end up having to spend that cash on chiropractic adjustments.  How ironic is that?  I recently took a short flight to Florida and spent the entire two hours squirming around like a meth addict with ADHD.  Every time the seat belt light came on, I surrendered any fleeting hopes of comfort.  I can’t help but wonder how anyone could sit in one of those seats with seventy large in their breadbasket.  Maybe on the way to the airport, she decided to treat herself and burped up enough cash to upgrade to first class.

* A quick Google search revealed that the people of Tonga do not actually use paper money at all, and in fact used to pay for everything with plastic.  Sadly, the huge amount of plastic which washes ashore there on a daily basis nearly ruined their fragile economy.  They have addressed the problem by changing their monetary system back to the original forms of currency which consisted of puka shells and human teeth.  An online calculator estimated that seventy thousand US dollars would convert to roughly 1237 pounds of shells and enough bicuspids to outfit every player in the NHL with a flawless smile.

15 thoughts on “Right In The Old Bread Basket

  1. I’m assuming that $69,000 in her suitcase was to pay for the operation to remove the $71,000 from her stomach. I just don’t see how it is physically possible to remove that money in any, ummm, natural way.

    1. I never noticed whether she was flying into or out of the Dominican Republic. That piece of information could have provided us with more clues as to what her next step was going to be. I hope the money was kept as evidence and will never make it back int circulation, where it would inevitably reach my wallet.

  2. When I lived in Vegas there was this one casino buffet where once a week, their seafood buffet included all-you-can-eat whole lobsters (well half, cut lengthwise). I’m pretty sure I managed to eat the equivalent of that money in lobster every time I went, equivalent in volume and probably value too!

        1. As one of my favorite Brit bloggers (and Brit in general for that matter), you strike me as British. Sure you spent some childhood years living off the grid in the Alps(?), but I wouldn’t have guessed you lived in Sin City. On a side note, it’s not easy to picture you as a glutton, even if the main course was lobster (though I’m sure you kept your pinkies out-stretched throughout the dining process).

          1. Ah yes, I am a British Brit indeed. I lived in Vegas for a few years from 1997-2001 (end of my 20s beginning of my 30s), long story of how I ended up moving there and why I ended up coming back, but it was a fun experience! I generally hate gluttony and over-eating of any kind, but with those lobsters I couldn’t resist! In fairness to me, I skipped dessert on those occasions 🙂

  3. I thought your second line was going to be…I’ve got 5 decades of experience at the dinner table. haha. Put THAT on your resume! It’s an accomplishment. Also that lady was clearly certifiable. That money was done for in her stomach acids. What a waste. Literally.

        1. If she used collectible gold coins like a Saint Gaudens then she would only need about 39 of them 🙂 Of course they would need be well covered because the value could be seriously degraded in a stomach.

          1. I used to see solid gold coins for sale at impossibly inexpensive prices on TV. When someone actually showed me one, I finally understood how they could sell solid gold coins for so little. The coins were roughly the size of the emoticon in your comment. The trouble with the mini-coins would be the likelihood of the smuggler accidentally passing a few thousand dollars worth right into the local sewage plant.

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