Pawn shops and immediate gratification

I know, I’m supposed to be working on my novel, but I watched something on TV last night that still has me thinking. There is a program on History Channel about a big pawn shop in Las Vegas. These guys buy almost anything. What struck me were the customers who came in with a family heirloom. Not only were they trying to sell something that had been in the family for generations, they were willing to do it at cut rate prices for the sake of immediate gratification.

Case in point: one young man, maybe mid twenties, came in with a cuckoo clock. This was no ordinary cuckoo clock, either. It was from someplace old, like Bavaria, and was intricately carved top to bottom. And the cuckoo still came out and cuckoo-ed. The shop owner had a clock expert come appraise it – probably upwards of $10,000, if it was restored, which he said he would do for $1500.

Now if I was the young man, and wanted to sell a priceless family keepsake, I would have paid for the resoration and sold it at auction for the highest possible price. But no, he let it go to the pawn shop for a small fraction of it’s value because he wanted the money now.

I wonder what his ancestors would think. Or what his kids and grandkids will say in 30 years when they find out what he did with such a valuable piece of their history.

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