My girlfriend and I had a couple days in Las Vegas, so our time was limited. So, given that we could only do so much with the time we had, we went to a pawn shop. Sounds fun, right? Go to Las Vegas and visit a pawnshop.
No, we hadn’t lost everything gambling and needed money to get back home. This was different. As such, Las Vegas week continues on my blog today with our visit to the Gold and Silver Pawnshop.
It is possible that not everyone knows about this pawnshop. I would doubt it, given the facebook responses we got to our photos. For those who are out of the know, though, this is the Las Vegas pawnshop featured in the History channel show “Pawn Stars.”
Pawn Stars show follows business at a family owned pawnshop. Viewers get to see interesting things people bring in and hear the history (or lack thereof) behind them as they are appraised. Also, you get the comedic antics of the staff. The Old Man is the owner and, though a shrewd pawnbroker, seems mainly there to deliver insult comic style lines. Rick (the Old Man’s son) seems like the main rational operator of the store, being on screen for most of the background on stuff being pawned and talking about his interests in memorabilia. Big Hoss (Rick’s son) is a sort of Rick in training, sometimes getting things right and sometimes buying fakes without getting proper appraisal or buying things they can’t sell and giving everyone a chance to laugh at him. Chumlee (everyone’s favorite and Big Hoss’s friend) is the comedy relief, the perhaps unaware butt of many jokes and general loveable oddball.
Now, I don’t watch much television, but my girlfriend is a big fan and watches all the time. Usually, I’m reading and/or writing with my earplugs in while she’s watching. Still, occasionally I’ll look up once and a while and actually take my earplugs out sometimes to hear. On rare occasions, I’ll actually watch. It is one of the few shows she watches that I’ll occasionally tune into. It is usually interesting and is often pretty comedic. Actually entertaining, which was a surprise to me for a show about a pawn shop. It’s much better than that “Hard Core Pawn” show. I’ve only gotten trapped into watching that one once or twice, but it is so overly melodramatic, trying to pretend everyone is in danger all the time when they clearly aren’t. Nothing interesting or entertaining, just a few things for shock value. Mostly annoying things. All the worst things about reality TV.
Anyway, we go for a visit while we are in Las Vegas. It’s no easy task either. It’s right on the strip, but way down so there is quite a bus ride there and back. Also, you have to wait in line to get inside and though the line is fast moving, it is pretty long. Watched by a guard with a gun. Inside, the shop is crowded. There is a good amount of space taken up by show merchandise and not a huge amount of room other than that. Mainly jewelry display cases. They do have some really cool stuff, but most of it is astronomical in cost, like the Faberge spider for something like $18,000.
Worse, no Old man. No Rick. No Big Hoss. Worst of all, no Chumlee. They didn’t seem to be working. Just a bunch of guys I’d never seen before. If they were working, they were clearly in back instead of actually in the shop. It was disappointing for a visit, but I suppose I understand. It is still a shop and there were so many tourists that if they were there nothing would get sold. They’d be pestered for photographs and autographs all day.
Anyway, it was still cool to go. I had fun poking around a shop I’d seen on TV and even though I didn’t get to meet or see any of the guys I still saw some of the cool stuff I’d seen pawned on TV (the old jug for making wine, the odd painting of a beach in some weird Technicolor technique, the cardboard howdy doody marionette, and so on). It didn’t take that long and was worth a morning trip. My girlfriend got a small sapphire ring with diamond chips and I got an old casino chip from the former Barbary Coast. It wasn’t as cool as it could have been, but it was still a cool thing to do on a morning in Las Vegas. Something different other than drink booze and see topless shows.