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A Treasure Trove

by | Mon, Apr 15, 2024

A treasure trove of bizarre, macabre, intriguing and fascinating stories await discovery in the pawn shop. These bastions of quick cash and unexpected finds, are no strangers to the weird and the wacky. From the mundane to the downright bizarre, these shops see a parade of items that tell a thousand tales. Some are funny, some odd, and some macabre.

A Treasure Trove of Smiles

Let’s start with the lighter side of things. Imagine walking into your local pawn shop and seeing someone trying to pawn… dentures! Yes, you read that right. It seems one person’s desperation for cash led them to offer up their chompers. The pawnbroker lent a modest sum. It was just enough to ensure the owner would return.

Then there’s the case of the cat. It looked as though it had been preserved by a blind taxidermist. It was a three-legged bobcat named Lucky. No mere stuffed animal; this was a beloved treasure that the owners would repeatedly pawn and reclaim. Purportedly the pawn shop staff even had a bit of fun with the deceased animal. They would move him around the store to startle the owner’s cat-averse wife.

And Now For Something Completely Different

But not all pawn shop stories are for the faint of heart. And some just may be urban legends and tall tales.

As an example, there is a persistent story about a man who tried to pawn something he had stolen from that very pawn shop. In one version of the story he returned with a lawnmower that still had the shop’s price tag on it! Needless to say, this reolved the mystery of the pawn shop burglary.

There are ample stories about attempts to pawn truly macabre items. One of these tales is about a gold tooth plucked from someone’s deceased grandmother’s ashes. It’s a stark reminder that for some, sentimentality has a price, and it can be found in the most unexpected of places.

Pawn shops such as Pawn World in Kingman, Arizona are a microcosm of human life. They mirror our needs, our desires, and sometimes, our desperation. They are a place where the value of items is not just monetary but also historical and even emotional. Each item that passes through the doors of the pawn shop carries a story. Some are humorous, some peculiar, and some downright eerie.

So the next time you pass by a pawn shop, take a moment to ponder the stories hidden within its walls. Who knows what treasures—or oddities—you might find? Who knows what story is behind each item?

Pawn Shop

The pawn shop is a venerable institution rooted in history. For centuries these lending institutions have provided a valuable service to individuals and to communities. They are linked to major historical events. And they are a source for endless stories that reflect our predisposition to eccentricity as well as what we encounter during the ups and downs of life.

Written by Jim Hinckley of Jim Hinckley’s America 


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