by Sam Jordan on September 27, 2011
We’ve all cut up a credit card before. Whether it was due to an expiration date or the feds finally tracking you down in a seedy Detroit meth lab, most Americans have snipped their plastic to render it useless.
But what about premature laceration? You know, cutting your card too soon. Can you still use a credit card if it’s been cut in half and put back together again, a la Mr. Dumpty? Let’s find out.
I needed to work up some animosity towards the card, so I pretended it insulted my Irish-Italian heritage with a series of off-color jokes. They’re too offensive to print here.
For the sake of science, I offered to cut my one and only American Express card in half, but I wanted to do it in grand style—plain old scissors just wouldn’t do. I neatly assembled a selection of knives that I had gathered during my days as a circus knife-thrower before “The Accident” forced my early retirement.
I discovered my bizarre selection of knives looks even creepier when a blood-colored tablecloth is involved.
Choosing shine over sharp, I opted for a wacky serrated butter knife of sorts. I went with the traditional vertical cut, as opposed to cutting it horizontally, which would’ve left the magnetic stripe intact. I was going for the gusto!
If there’s ever an infomercial for this knife, they will not be touting its credit card-cutting capabilities.
Having only been able to manage a small cut with my roided-up butter knife, I thought I’d earn some macho cred with an old fashioned karate chop of the card. However that, too, failed to split it.
These innovative bar stools held the card perfectly, but they totally screwed up my feng shui.
Humbled, I was forced to whip out the scissors and go with the classic cut. I must say it felt strange, cutting up a perfectly good credit card. Not as strange as that one time I discovered my mom’s personal massager, but still, pretty strange.
This particular pair of scissors had the word “Jean” written on it. Whoever you are, Jean, god bless you.
After achieving a successful slice, it was now time to tape it up. I carefully used two precise pieces of the sticky stuff to make my card whole again. I was now ready to test it out in the real world.
I’m used to taping up hands and mouths, but this was my first time trying to reattach a credit card.
My first stop was a little mom & pop deli in New Rochelle, NY. I lucked out because they had no customers when I walked in, so if there was going to be a scene, at least it’d be
a small one. Feigning hunger, I ordered a turkey sub from the mid-50s woman behind the counter. It’s safe to say she didn’t attend charm school as a child. Her gruff persona had me nervous about handing her a taped-up credit card, but I wasn’t about to let this deli lama get the best of me.
The tape, bent middle, and guilty-looking customer triggered this lunchlady’s spidey sense.
Twas with great trepidation that I attempted to buy a turkey sub with this taped-up card. The cashier greeted me coldly.
“What do you expect me to do with this?” she asked--a common phrase I hear from women.
Perhaps it was the sheepish grin I was wearing, or maybe it was the fact my cousin was taking pictures of me buying lunch, but regardless, this seasoned sandwich-maker sensed something was up. As she took the card, it bent slightly in the middle, and she stared it down like a moldy brick of honey ham.
“I mistakenly cut my credit card,” I said, tail between my legs. She paused, smiled, and then dished out some sass. “Well I can tell you right now it’s not gonna work,” she chirped. She ran it through the machine. Once. Twice. Three times. No luck.
I plunked down my debit card in a show of good faith when she doubted my intentions.
“The machine senses the split between the card,” she said, as if this were some Jedi-made device. I quickly paid with my debit card, took my sandwich, and slinked out of there—surely never to return again.
Realizing I’d need to change it up a little if I was going to succeed with this experiment, I decided I had to go super— super glue! With all the craftsmanship of an inebriated Tim Allen, I removed the tape and glued the two pieces together.
Pay no attention to that seam down the middle of the card.
Glued up and ready to go, I decided to bypass the human component in my next attempt. I pulled into a gas station, ready to fill ‘er up with my new creation at the pump. Maybe the lack of a crafty, cranky, menopausal card-taker would yield better results this time.
Remove quickly—but what if your card is super glued? No instructions for that.
Once again, though, rejection was my destiny. I tried inserting the card slowly, quickly, mediumly, you name it—but each time the same message blared back at me: CHECK CARD DIRECTION. I did, and still, no luck.
Bossy little machines, aren’t they?
It was now official: Both man (well, manly-looking woman) and machine had determined that a cut and paste credit card was not legit. I had no choice but to make my way to the nearest cemetery to retire my cherished piece of plastic.