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H.I.F.

You ever wonder how you get away with that wretched signature of yours on credit card acknowledgements?

In his book, Prank the Monkey, humorist John Hargrave recounts a wonderfully hilarious experiment he conducted that is, importantly, quite capable of being repeated on a massive scale. Hargrave set out to test a hypothesis that clerks accepting credit card signatures almost never pay attention to the receipts we sign. First he adorned his name with rainbows and peace signs on a receipt. Another time, he scribbled a dark black mess that appeared as though he was trying to cover up a signature so that people wouldn't be able to tell who signed. Both made the cut, no questions asked. He did a grid of 28 rectangles on the signature line one time. No problem. Same goes for the instance when he signed his name as a stick figure accompanied by some grass and a flower. Hargrave signed receipts in hieroglyphics, wrote "Mariah Carey," and signed in all caps as "BEETHOVEN." Even when he wrote, "I stole this card" on a signature line, no one called him on it, and the transaction went through.

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