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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Pawn Pawns

This is complete and utter fiction...hopefully.

     A few weeks ago after watching the tv show Pawn Stars, I decided I wanted to see if I could get a part time job in a pawn shop.  It looked like fun, and I would be able to see a variety of items that people wanted to get money for.  I mentioned this to Chinstrap, and he decided he wanted to go for a job, too.  I happened to have a friend named "Charles" who had a small pawn shop near where I live, so I asked him.  He told me it's always hard to find good help and would welcome us as clerks as long as we were careful.  So one Saturday afternoon I met Chinstrap outside the pawn shop.  

     I had thought it would just be me and Chinstrap, but he had also brought along a Chinese guy named "Choy Su."  I don't know where he found this guy, but Chinstrap guaranteed me Choy Su would be great in the shop.  Charles went over the basics with us, and after watching me make an offer on a watch a customer had brought in to sell, decided that he could trust us three with the shop while he went to lunch.  What could possibly happen in a hour, right?

     I was at one counter, while across the store Chinstrap and Choy Su worked another counter.  A guy walks into the store with a small pistol and comes over to my counter.  He starts to go on and on to me about how the pistol is 600 years old and how he had paperwork to prove it.  I start to look at the papers he pulls out, and out of the corner of my eye notice Choy Su talking to another guy holding what looks like a beat up, old record.  I then hear Chinstrap yelling.

     "I told you you're too fat to try on the rings!"  He's yelling this at a large, female customer.  I want to go over and stop him from yelling, but the idiot with the gun keeps going on and on about the paperwork.  Now I see Choy Su counting out a pile of hundred dollar bills to the guy who had the beat up record.  Finally, after a few minutes, I can't stand to listen to this guy anymore and tell him he needs to come back in an hour when the expert (owner) comes back to look at the gun.  After getting rid of him, I quickly go over to Choy Su and ask why he was giving the guy with the record all that money.  He holds up a really old Hawaiian shirt and the beat up record and says, "Mambo kit!"  I ask how much he paid for the "Mambo kit" and he says "Si tausan"  I don't understand him.  I ask him again, and again he says "Si tausan."  I call Chinstrap over to translate, and he tells me Choy Su has paid SIX THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR A BEAT UP RECORD AND OLD SHIRT!  I can't believe this, we're now going to be in so much trouble when the owner comes back from lunch!  I tell Choy Su he is no longer allowed to buy anything from the customers!

     Chinstrap is now back at his counter and with a customer.  He's showing Chinstrap a watch.  Chinstrap tells him the watch is fake.  The guy insists the watch is real, and again, Chinstrap tells him it's fake.  The man tells Chinstrap he doesn't know what he's talking about, and Chinstrap picks up the watch, and throws it at a nearby wall.  Now he tells the man, "Fake or not, now it doesn't even work!"  I think I'm in a waking nightmare!  The man, now clearly very upset, picks up the watch and says we'll be hearing from his lawyer.  But at least he leaves the shop.

     A man in an electric golf cart now tries to drive through the shop door.  The cart won't fit, but he keeps ramming the doorway anyway.  Chinstrap leaves his counter and goes over to the front door to yell at the man in the cart.  The man stops the cart long enough to pull out a large knife and wave it around wildly.  Chinstrap grabs the knife, and throws it inside the store, into a painting hanging on the wall with a price tag of $2,000.  He's now leaning out the door, across the cart, trying to punch the driver.  As he's leaning over the front of the cart, the driver backs up, and then goes speeding out across the parking lot with Chinstrap across the front of the cart.  I remember being amazed at how fast the little cart drove.  Finally, Chinstrap rolls off the cart across the lot, and the man zooms away.  I want to go outside and see if he's ok, but he jumps quickly up and stalks his way angrily back towards the shop before I can.  
     Choy Su is now taking some money from a customer and smiling ear to ear.  After the customer leaves, I go over and mention to him again that he's not supposed to be buying anything else.  He says "No, I sell!"  He proudly shows me the tag he removed from the watch he's just sold to the customer.  It says "Rolex watch:  $5,000."  I ask him to show me the money he got for the watch, and he proudly shows me two twenty dollar bills and one ten.  "I make fify dollar!" he says proudly!  He then stuffs the money into his own pocket instead of into the nearby cash register.  I now start to think I may be going to prison after my shift.  My stomach starts to hurt, and I'm about to go over and tell Chinstrap that I might just go home and leave him and Choy Su to wait for the owner to come back.  But just as I'm going over to his counter:

     Chinstrap leans across the counter and slaps a guy.  He slaps him hard, too!  He slaps the guy so hard, the man actually spins in a complete circle!  It was like watching an old Charlie Chaplin movie.  I'm so stunned, I don't know what to do!  The man stands there stunned for a few seconds, and then turns and staggers unsteadily out the door.  I go up and yell "Why the hell did you hit that customer?"  He answers "What customer?"  I can't believe this.  "You just slapped a guy so hard, he spun in a circle!"  Chinstrap smiles and says "Yeah, that was neat, wasn't it?"  He still doesn't bother to tell me why he slapped the guy, though!  I really want to leave because now it's almost been an hour and the owner should be back any minute.  I now see Choy Su wearing all the watches that were in the case in front of him a few minutes ago.  

     I go up and start to ask why the hell he has all the watches on, but stop myself.  I just yell for him to take them off!  He smiles at me and says "You buy watch?"  I grab him and try to drag him across the counter, and as we're struggling, the owner walks back in.  I stop struggling with Choy Su and he yells "You no buy watch!"  The owner, Charles, walks calmly across the store and pulls the knife Chinstrap had thrown earlier out of the painting.  He looks around and then asks how much money went out the door.  Chinstrap leans casually on the counter nearby as I'm trying to tell Charles how sorry I am.  He asks again how much money went out the door.  I tell him $6,000 and a $5,000 watch.  He rubs his chin and asks "That's all?"  I tell him yes, that was the painting, and the man saying he was going to call his lawyer, and the slapping.  He actually thanks us for our help and tells us to go home.  Before we leave, he tells me the last people he left in the shop while he went to lunch destroyed the shop.  So he was actually happy there was no damage to the store.  Charles is good people.

And you know what?  I don't think Choy Su took off the watches before he left!

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