Thursday, May 10, 2012
Yeah, but will they buy my Tandy 1000 TX?
Ever been to a pawn shop? There are quite a few of them within a few miles of where I live. When I'm in a certain mood, I like to look at the stuff in the display window. Sometimes I even go inside and check out the multitude of wristwatches, diamond rings, and guitars. Lots and lots of guitars.
Pawn shops are the warehouses where broken dreams are stored away, waiting for someone to walk in and claim them. They are the inventory of every wrong turn, every stroke of bad luck, every financial slip and fall. Every single thing in a pawn shop- the Bose radios, the leather jackets, the Saxophones- was once a treasured possession of a person with high hopes which could not survive the harsh reality of What Is. There is a story in every dust-collecting music box, armchair and coin collection. A sad story.
Well, it's 2012, and the pawn shop- the center of more than one Dickens or Horatio Alger story- has come to television. Check out this Even More Obnoxious than Usual pitchman, encouraging people to sell their used cell phones, promising big bucks for plastic junk that can be found in a hundred different places, including every mall and every other street corner in the United States. This guy is actually trying to convince the audience that their disposable, Out of Date Before You Got It Out of the Box trash is somehow transformed into something truly desirable if you just use the service he's offering to sell it. Thought nobody wanted that 2009 Nokia? Were about to toss it in the recycle bin, or maybe donate it? Boy are you lucky you saw this ad- you had no idea that someone out there was willing to pay Real Money for your ancient, Can't Even Stream Video, Lame 2-D Screen phone, did you?
What a joke. This reminds of nothing more than those Cash for Gold ads-- you know, the ones that promise you rent money in exchange for your memories, as long as those memories can be sent it a prepaid envelope and come in the form of broken old necklaces and engagement rings. Are old cell phones the new Gold? Really? Then how come I find pieces of them scattered along sidewalks everywhere I walk?
I wonder if this guy would be interested in my 1985 Sony Walkman. It comes with a tape player, and the batteries last almost two hours if you restrict usage to the AM-FM radio. It doesn't even hold a lot of sentimental value for me. I'd add "just like a cell phone," but I've seen people with their phones, and the emotional attachment is pretty obvious.