Wednesday was not a good day for the –ies at Silver Dollar Pawn. For starters, their very first guest, Dennis, brings in three cases of “legal white lightning,” legal “pharmaceutical” liquor from the prohibition. The alcohol belonged to his great-grandfather, and he hopes to cash it in for a savings bond for his six-year-old daughter, like a present from her great-grandfather. That sounds about right. After acting excited about the acquisition and going into way too much exposition on the history of prohibition and the high quality of these bottles, Jimmie ultimately turns it down. His lame excuse? He doesn't have a liquor license and he's afraid of cheating the federal government. That's right. Jimmie's the world's only honest pawn broker.
Next, Johnnie entertains Robert, who has brought in a wooden practice drum pad that was signed by Louis Armstrong, his band, and even his wife. Johnnie has Robert (and the rest of us) suffer through an unnecessary explanation of who Louis Armstrong is and why this drum pad is valuable. He even summons Stuart, the historical documents expert, who says that even after several years in the business, stuff like this still gives him a “historic thrill.” He promptly declares the signatures authentic and gives it a retail value of $750. So naturally, Johnnie's offer is $150. What? Robert is trying to take his family to Disney! He says $700 is as low as he's willing to go, and Johnnie lets him walk right out the door.
Surely Tammie can salvage this episode with a great deal on a World War II Browning pistol, right? She's practically salivating over it and insists on getting to shoot it, which only proves it more valuable. Her expert values it at $1500, so her counter offer is a respectable $800. The seller plays hardball and without much arm-twisting, she agrees on $1000. And then says she might keep it herself. How are the –ies supposed to turn a profit?
Which leads me to the question, are the folks at Silver Dollar Pawn deliberately tanking it? Like the Clintons or like Jack Donaghy? But to what end? Do bad deals make for better television? Is good television even what the History Channel is going for with this show?
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