Posted on by Dave Woodruff

The simple truth is there are some things you can do without, and some things you just need. I couldn’t remember how long it had been since I had lost my job. The truth is, I didn’t lose it. It was still there, the real complication was, someone else had it. So, being short on cash and needing to buy some essentials, I had the idea to take some things to sell to a local pawn shop.

I looked around my apartment for items I thought fell into two categories. One… things I didn’t really want anymore, and two, things somebody else might want to pay money for.  I decided on an old 35mm Nikon camera I hadn’t used in about five years, The microwave oven was rarely used due to my diet consisting mainly of sandwiches and burritos.

I asked my neighbor if he’d give me a ride to the pawn shop because I couldn’t carry all the stuff on the bus. He accepted begrudgingly only after I agreed to let him borrow my lawn mower. Moments after he said that, I realized I should pawn that too. He dropped me off in front of Royal King Pawn at the corner of Fifth and Flatbush. I told him “I’d take the bus home.” Good thing, because I don’t think he would have waited anyway. And if I had asked, he probably would have suggested I mow his lawn with the borrowed mower.

I should have had him wait. The entire transaction only takes about ten minutes. The owner buys all my stuff in exchange for a wad of bills. A small wad, but a wad nonetheless. For the next few days I live high on the hog.  I even˙ eat out a couple of times. The week shapes up quite nicely. But as the days gone by, the wad gets smaller. So again, I look around the apartment for more items to take to the Royal King Pawn. On the second trip, I take a waffle iron, an auto battery charger, a pair of electric hair clippers and an antique chess set that is missing a pawn from the red side of the board. 

This time I take the bus to the pawn shop, everything fits in a box I can carry, and I don’t need to be owing any more favors to my neighbor. At the pawn shop, they buy everything again. Although I feel guilty about neglecting to mention the missing pawn. After my wad is rejuvenated, I’m standing at the bus stop, trying to imagine what the person who buys the chess set will use in place of the missing pawn.  I imagine a small salt shaker would work well. Then I remember about all the antique crystal I could pawn on my next visit.

You’d be surprised how long you can get by working in a reverse economic system. In the past, I would have day I’d have to think of something else.

Unfortunately, That day came. I sat in the apartment looking for anything of any value, trying to think of ways to make the remaining crap seem valuable. I decided to go to the pawn shop to see if the stuff in there would give me any ideas. On the way I made the decision to pawn my watch, the only reason I had held out for so long was that I needed it to keep track of the bus schedules. The pawn shop didn’t reveal any great ideas to me for additional items. And since I no longer had my watch, I walked home because I didn’t know what time it was, and I d

Genius comes sometimes in ways that can’t be fully understood. I’m sure it's probably a physical manifestation of some electrical force or something, but as I’m walking home from the pawn shop I see a sign in the back window of a passing car that gives me a great idea. I’ve passed the halfway point between being closer to home that the pawn shop, so I decide to wait ‘till tomorrow to see if my idea is as ingenious as it seems right now. I decide to have steak tonight, in full securely that my new idea will be fruitful and glorious.

The next morning, I’m waiting at the Royal King Pawn when the owner arrives at 9 am. He asks what I have to pawn today,

“Well, to tell the truth, I was thinking of pawning myself.” I tell him matter of factly. 

“I guess you better come in then.” He says completely unshaken, as if he hears this all the time.

“How much were you looking to get for yourself?”

The plan was that I would sell myself to someone to do anything they needed, and in turn, I’d get money for it. I figur

A few days went by, there were lots of lookers, but no takers. I would come in every morning and go home at night with the wad getting smaller everyday.  On the way to the pawn shop the next day I had a breakthrough. I was just doing sales, I needed marketing.

I made a new poster to sit next to my stool that I sat on. I described in detail the qualities I possessed and all the skills I could bring to any consumer. All the modern conveniences one could ask for, at a great price. I was sold by 11 am.

I get bought by an elderly woman named Selma Bellars. she is in need of someone to do her ironing, light cleaning, new tile in her bathroom, and general handiwork. I also get the admirable taskest bedroom. I work at a slow, leisurely pace, I take my cues from Simone. “Move slow, sleep late.”

Life goes on, I work on my chores, I plant flowers, I iron, I clean Simone’s poo clods off her butt. Mrs. Bellars lets me borrow the car sometimes. I just drive around listening to the radio. After a few months, on a cold Tuesday morning, Mrs. Bellars is practicing her long distance olive spitting for the upcoming county fair. In an unfortunate act of bad luck, she chokes to death on an olive pit, And I find her after it’s too late. She is buried on a Monday.

After I think about it for awhile, I decide to stay in the house. Mrs. Bellars, had no relatives.

Eventually, and probably out of a newly acquired habit, I decide to sell some of Mrs. Bellars belongings at the royal King Pawn Shop. The good part is Mrs. Bellars had lots of really nice stuff. I figure that I can do this for quite awhile. All the clothes are ironed and hanging in the closets, so I pawn the iron and ironing board, The house is clean. The new tile looks great.  Around Christmas, I walk into the pawn shop with a box of fine silverware to pawn. while the pawn shop owner is counting out my cash for my wad, I see something I suddenly realize I need to buy. In a strange bit of irony, It’s my old pair of electric hair clippers that I pawned months ago. Why didn’t I think of it sooner? This could be the cure to the butt poo problem for Simone.