I was going through a pile of papers today and found some old correspondence with the Mathematical Association of America .
In 2004 I purchased from them a copy of Robert M. Young’s wonderful book Excursions in Calculus . I paid by credit card on the web site, I think, or else by phone. Anyway, the point is I paid in advance. The book arrived soon after, and then a while after that I got a bill. Why they sent the bill, I don’t know, since I’d already paid. Which they obviously knew, too, since the bill was for $0.00:
Maybe they meant it to be a receipt or something?
Anyway, I did what any red-blooded hacker would do when sent a bill for zero dollars by Mathematical Association of America: I paid it…
Oh, how I wanted them to deposit it! But they didn’t even try; they sent the check back uncashed. Maybe the MAA is using one of those accounts-receivable clearinghouse services, and it isn’t really their fault. But if you can’t write a check for eiπ + 1 to the Mathematical Association of America, whom can you write one to?
The handwritten reason for the rejection was totally lame, too: “check needs to be wrote out in US dollars” [sic]. But it was in U.S. dollars! Sheesh, it’s like they’d never seen a π-dollar bill before or something.