One of the perks of my job is that the south wall of my office is a window. I have a great view of the candy store, the bus stop, a mechanic’s shop, and a pawn shop.
We spend a good portion of the day people watching. I have to admit that my heart skips a beat when I see someone coming up the street with a load that is obviously going to the pawn shop. I love to watch them go in with such anticipation. Then when they come out, face downcast, still carrying their item … I feel a little sad for them. But, on a day like yesterday, when they come out with money in their hand and a little lift in their step … I feel happy for them.
One thing about pawn shops is that they always seem shady to me. When I first moved to Illinois I was taken to the pawn shop, by a friend, to buy a bike. I kept wondering who it had been stolen from. Every time I road it past a child, I wondered, what if this is his bike? What if he accuses me of stealing it? When I was growing up my family was not really one that visited very many pawn shops. My “Illinois family”, however, was very fond of pawn shops and went there almost weekly. I actually got my wedding ring at a pawn shop … and sold said ring at a pawn shop. If that ring could talk the sad stories it could tell. To me a pawn shop is full of items that once had some real value to someone, but eventually, they became worth whatever the shop would pay. I don’t know many people that actually go back to get their stuff, but I’m sure some do.
Overall, pawn shops intrigue me. In my mind, most people go there out of desperation. One of the men yesterday was carrying a 15 ft ladder. Had he stolen it? Was there a man somewhere nearby wondering how the heck he was going to get off the roof? Or was it his own ladder? Had he lost his job? Was this his only option to put a few dollars in his pocket? I will never know … but I’m intrigued with the story.
The other man that had good fortune yesterday was carrying a speaker of some sort. He too came out with cash and a spring in his step. As I waited anxiously for him to come out, I noticed the pawn shop phone number was printed on the sign out front. I thought it would be kinda funny to call them … describe the man and the speaker he was carrying … and tell them he had stolen it from me. But … it was only a thought.
Any experience in the underworld of pawn shops? What is your opinion … are most of the items stolen … or just a piece of a dream that someone gave up on? I would love to hear some good pawn shop stories.