MCCULLOUGH: The poor man's rich man

Nate McCullough

Nate McCullough

So the other day I was watching television, and I saw an ad for a show I never would've guessed was needed or existed: "Beverly Hills Pawn."

Yes, I had the same reaction you just had.

A pawn shop? In Beverly Hills? We really have fallen on hard times here in America.

I enjoy the original pawn shop show, "Pawn Stars," mainly because I learn some history while I watch morons haggle with the Harrison family. I have been known to watch "Cajun Pawn Stars" for the same reason. But that's where it ends for me.

The list of those shows is longer. There's one in Detroit, one with women running the place, one where people buy storage lockers, etc., etc., and most focus on the same trash other reality shows focus on: Arguing and cussing. And that's when I check out -- once history and haggling turns into fussing and fighting, I cease to care.

But I have to admit, I'm intrigued by this pawn shop in Beverly Hills. Intrigued enough to watch? I don't know. But I do wonder what they hock in Beverly Hills.

Do they get an interest-only car title loan on the Rolls Royce? Pawn their Picassos? And how does one go about hocking their silverware and jewelry when one lives in a ZIP code so hoity-toity? Do you have to let them make a copy of your driver's license, just to prove you didn't steal that Rolex?

And how bad are things for the upper crust that they're now selling off Mimsy's furs and Biff's golf clubs? And what do they get for them? Is it like most pawn shops, where they never offer you anywhere near what an object is worth?

"Uh, yeah, this Stradivarius is last year's model. So I can give you, like, $5 for it."

"But it's a Stradivarius! It's worth probably $1 million!"

"Last year's model, dude. Five dollars. Take it or leave it."

And then does it end like most pawn transactions?

Sigh. "Go ahead and give me the $5."

If this rich man's pawn shop idea works, what's next? "Haggling in the Hamptons"? "Cherry Hills Country Club Swap Meet"? "Greenwich Garage Sale"? How about a show in which a millionaire tries to cash a check and buy some lottery tickets at the liquor store? Call it "Stanwich Stop and Shop."

Of course, the most important question is, can any Joe Blow walk into one of these high society pawn shops and get a case of Napoleon Brandy or a yacht for bargain prices?

"Can I help you?"

"I was wondering about the Gaugin in the window?"

"The self portrait or the one of the naked lady?"

"Naked lady."

"Two million."

"Take a hundred for it?"

"Hundred thousand?"

"Hundred dollars."

Pause. "Well, it's been sitting there a long time. Make it a hundred and a half."


I'm not sure what weirdness the reality TV industry will unleash on us next. But I'm sure there's something weirder than a pawn shop in Beverly Hills waiting in the wings.

And I'm sure someone is waiting to watch it.

Email Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays. For archived columns, go to www.gwinnettdailypost.com/natemccullough.