getting change at Pawn Stars

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An imagined scene in Pawn Stars

Customer walks in, let’s call him Bob.  Camera pans to behind the counter.  We have Rick and Chumlee there.

Rick:  Whatcha got for me, boss?

Bob:  A $100 bill.  I’d like some change, my daughter wants to ride the old electronic 25 cent pony machine out front

Rick:  $100 bill, huh?  Ok, what are you looking to get for it?

Bob: just some change, a $100 worth.  Any denomination would be fine

Rick (holding the bill up against the light, examining it carefully) – Well, it looks pretty good to me.  Lemme call in my buddy James.  James helps me with all things currency related

Bob:  Really?  Is that necessary?  Are you afraid it’s counterfeit?  Should I be afraid?

Rick:  Let’s just hang tight and have James take a look

James:  Rick and the guys bring me in whenever they have questions about money stuff.  I am the head narfel at the Clark County Currency Museum, Pez Vault, and overnight weed dispensary. Medical only, of course.   Ok, Rick, whaddya got for me?

Rick:  well, this gentleman brought in a $100 bill, and I am just looking to you for some advice on what you think it’s worth.

James:  well, upon a quick look, everything checks out.  Stardand treasurey $100 bill, this one looks to be 2 years old, and the serial numbers line up with his story

Rick:  So, it’s good?

James:  Well, the only real way to tell with these things is to tear it in half.  Then, dip both halves in mayonnaise and then light it on fire.  If it’s real, it will smell just awful.  Of course, you risk ruining the bill that way… but it’s the only way to be sure.

Bob:  Whoah, hey.  Let’s not do that.  I just wanted some change, sideburns here says the bill is fine.

Chumlee:  Hey mister, I’ll give you a $100 for it

Rick:  See, Chum?  That is why I don’t let you here a lone.  You’d have us bankrupt in 2 weeks.  Bob, whaddya looking to get here?

Bob:  $100 back in change.  My god, this is all really weird, and I still don’t know why you have 4 cameras aimed at me.  Maybe a $50 back, couple $20s, and then some smaller stuff so my little girl can ride the horsey out front

Rick:  well, Bob.  I can tell you that had you come in here about 10 years ago, this would have really been worth something.  In the rapping heyday, everything was about the Benjamin’s (factoid pop’s up on the screen about how Franklin is the only non president on a bill).  Man… ten years ago we could really got a deal.  These days, barely worth what it’s printed on.  Tell ya what; you did come all the way down here.  How does $50 sound?

Bob:  you want to take my $100 bill, and only offer me $50 in change?  That’s nuts.  I’ll just take it back and head somewhere else

Rick:  Listen, man.  I totally understand.  Here’s the thing.  I buy this from you, I gotta store it.  I gotta get it in, and then back out, of the register.  Probably several times.  Then, I gotta go have Chum make a bank deposit run.  He’ll get half way there and run into a strip club and forgot why I sent him out.  Best I can do is $75, and that’s with me probably taking a loss on this one.

Friday Fives – driveaway

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What vehicle do you drive?

 One of two, depending on the commute.  For this purpose, we’ll reference my truck.  2007 Toyota Tundra

truck pic May 2017

 How long have you had it? 

 10 years, 175K miles

 What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?

 Being able to control the stereo with the steering wheel controls.  Even though it’s a given on every car, I still really really love that feature

 What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?

 It’s too big.  It needs to be big to tow the horses and the Red Cross trailers.  As a daily driver, though, it’s just too damn big.  Oh, and terrible mileage.  First world problem, for sure.

 If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?

 One of the older Tacomas’ that I had.  Like…2003.  It’s a perfect truck.  Aggressive, responsive, practical, fun.  Now, since money isn’t an issue, I amk putting a V8 in there.  Then, heated seats.  I don’t even want leather… just heated.  I would also put a subwoofer in.  I don’t know anything about watts, and I don’t want something that can shatter a glass of wine.  This truck, though, has as subwoofer and it really makes a big difference.  Does Bose make car stereos?  If they did, I would get that.  They are just amazing.  For tires?  Prolly go with the BFG mud terrains.  A lift?  No.  Here is how I want my tires.  This is exactly what I tell the guy Discount every time.  Give me the biggest tire you can safely put on there.

 How about electric?  No.  I love the idea for a commuting car to be electric, but a truck?  Weird.  No.  What about stick shift vs automatic?  Can I have both?  OOOH… I would build this ?  You know how they have dual climate control now?  Well, they have had it for a while… my 2007 has it.  I want something similar.  I want to be able to have heat at my feet and cool air at my face.  Remote start?  For sure!

Wait.  I have all this stuff in my truck now, and it’s paid off.  Why start over?  I’ll just keep that.  and a BMW convertible

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Ralph Thomas Dolphin Ford

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If there is one thing I know more than car sales, it’s dolphin care.  Do you know what sells cars?  Dolphins!  Know what dolphins love?  Being trapped in an above ground swimming pool in the desert… in a parking lot.  Obviously that isn’t true at all, you caught me.  What dolphins love more than above ground swimming pools in desert parking lots when its 120 degrees out half the year… is selling cars.  Seriously.  Don’t believe me?  Go ahead and google it, I’ll wait right here.

Don’t know how or why I thought of this, but it was a real thing.  It was a car dealership in Phx, AZ that had a fucking dolphin in their parking lot.  It seems beyond odd, and bordering on cartoon villain evil.  Sadly, it is long since gone.  I would KILL for photos of this whole operation, but this was early or mid 80s.

Friday Fives – air marshal edition

Do you like traveling or are you counting the minutes until the transporter is perfected?

LOVE traveling, and I think it just got about 50% easier.  I now have TSA Pre.  I haven’t used it yet, I just got it a few days ago.  Lot’s of fine print, but I am pretty sure I am basically an air marshal now.  I anticipate an easier life.  Less lines, less searching, less removing of clothes.

If you could visit any country in the world right now, where would you go?

Cuba.  We are close, SO close.  Travel isn’t blocked anymore, but it isn’t really open, either.  Basically, you can get a special educational visa if you give these tourist trap places a few grand.  Then they take you on their little censored tour.  Am thinking a year or two will be fine.  Need to get there soon.  Mark my words, it will be Disney South in ten years, and have zero culture left.

 What is your favorite form of travel?

Well, that was a tie between driving and flying.  Flying is great as you get to go 700 mph with zero effort.  But, the airport and security is such a monster pain in the ass.  You lose a couple hours each way just dealing with an airport, parking, security, etc etc.

Driving is great because you come and go on your own schedule.  PLUS, you don’t need to rent a car when you get there.  PLUS, you can bring your dogs.  PLUS, you won’t get patted down for bombs like I do every fucking time I fly.  Now I have the background check thingy from the TSA.  So, maybe I’ll go back to flying.

Here is a specific example.  Let’s say I am going to Phx, AZ… which we do very often.  That is about a 14 hour drive.  Whether we fly or drive is literally a coin flip.

Our last Mexico vaca was the bomb.  Won’t tell you where it is, as it is a pretty remote island.  To get there was a 5 and half hour flight, then a 2 hour bus ride, then a 45 minute boat ride, and then on the back of an ATV to get to our beach-side cabin.  Yeah… ATV.  No cars allowed on the island.

 What is the longest vacation/holiday that you’ve ever been on?

2 weeks in SE Asia.  It was amazing.  I will go again tomorrow.  To get there, though, 20 hours of flying each way.  I wrote a bunch about it here, though.  The ‘Travel Thai-aries®

Would you travel for a living?

I want to say yes.  However, from everyone I know that travels… the romance wears off quick.  That is when you just want to be home.  And dealing with parking and security every single day would drive me nuts.  So, I guess the answer is no.

Friday Fives – I shot Lincoln edition

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Someone brings you a box full of everything you have ever lost, but you can only take three items. What do you take?

My beautiful long hair, my aunt Sharon, my last United States President

The last thing you purchased is now illegal to own. What is it?

Soup?  You fuckers made soup illegal?  This is BULLSHIT.  Thanks a lot, Trump

What is the best accent and why?

English, because people with that accent just sound smarter.  Sorta like how Southern accents make people sound dumb?  Same thing.

You are thrown back in time 200 years, and need to prove the local authorities that you are highly educated. What do you do?

Hmm.  200 years ago?  That puts us at 1817?  What was happening in 1817?  Just thinking off the top of my head, we have slavery and the civil war around 1860… cars around 1900, and that rapid and insane industrialization all over the world shortly after.  BUT… what happened of consequence in the early 1800s?

See, I am thinking that I need something historical about to happen, so I can say ‘told you so, dickless!’   but… that isn’t what the result would be, is it?  If I said ‘Abe Lincoln will be killed tomorrow’ and it happens… am I a hero?  A seer?  No.  They would either assumed I was directly involved in the killing, or some kind of evil magician.

What is the best thing you have seen thrown out

A vacuum.  I was working at Target  in college, and Target was really big on talking about all the good they did in their community.  It was Christmas time, so Target was especially talking about their love of the proletariat.  Anyhow, there was a really nice vacuum that was a display model, and it was being thrown out.  The planogram (official store layout) had changed.  Now that the vacuum was no longer being featured on an end-cap, it was to be thrown away.  It was brand new, never even used.  Just taken out of the box.  I thought ‘let’s sell it as used’… or… give it to one of these poor families we are always celebrating… or give it to an employee.  Shit, it was Christmas-time.  Give it to an employee.  We all made minimum wage.  For me, it was fine… I had no overhead as a college kid.  My friends there had kids… lots of them… and made minimum wage.  It’s a chiche, but many of them couldn’t afford to shop there.  Target isn’t that cheap.  Target is great because you can get everything there, but if you are poor… you shop at Wal Mart.

And this $400 vacuum was just thrown out.  That super pissed me off.  Not just 21 years ago, but to this day.  I think I am still cheesed about it because they asked me to throw it out.  I remember putting it at the top and edge of the dumpster, hoping a peer would steal it out.  I don’t remember if they did.

Another thing I didn’t like, since we are here… you had to work at Target for a year an a half before you could get health care.  Again, when you could get it, many couldn’t afford it… as they only made minimum wage at the time – $4.80.  This isn’t for me, I was just covering a reasonable rent on a college pad.  I didn’t have a car, and I had health care from my folks.  Minimum wage was fine for me, but it would suck ass if I had kids.  Stupid kids.

Friday Fives explains crop dust circles

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What was your favorite past time in high school?

Besides the usual stuff of parties and cars and girls and all those other Springsteen tropes?  Playing football.  I wasn’t on the official team, for a variety of reasons.  However, every day at lunch we would meet at the field and play tackle football.  It was great fun, I still miss it.

What is your all time favorite board game game?

Stratego.  I think it’s out of print, took me years to find it.  Totally holds up.  Just can’t find anyone else who cares.  So… it just sits there in the corner.  Know something weird about board games?  I think there were all made by Milton Bradley.  Know what other board game Milton Bradley makes?  Ouija board.  Yeah, doesn’t that seem kinda fucked up?  I have never gone near one, and have no intention to.  Even though I am pretty confident it’s total bs.

What is the last movie you saw at the theater and what did you think of it?

I think it was probably La La Land.  It was enjoyable.  You can do a lot worse than staring at Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling for a couple of hours.  I have the hots for Emma, and it’s safe to say wifey feels the same about Gosling.

What is something (no matter what kind of mood your in) that makes you happy the moment you do it, see it, or hear it?

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Do you believe that crop circles are made by human or alien?

I think this has long been settled, has it not?  Englishmen, pranksters… use wood boards held up with ropes to gently tramp down the crops, using their body weight over the boards.  They move along ‘tramlines’, which are the unplanted walkways designed for farmers to quickly move around their fields on ATVs or such.  Ok, ran a google and found out I was right I am Correct.… pretty much on every single point I had remembered.

Friday Fives – Spring Fling

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it’s Spring, what’s your thing?

 

spring cleaning – got a big cleaning coming up?  Any cleaning you do (only) seasonally?

not for the interior.  Outside, though, yes.  The wonderfulness of Winter in Colorado on a ranch is not doing a damn thing to the property all Winter.  Now, it’s time to spread a LOT of manure, check the fencing, put a new mailbox in, stuff like that.  you know, I hated doing yard work on my teeny tiny tenth of an acre in town.  It seemed stupid to mow and water and fertilize 20 feet by 30 feet.  now that I have 5 acres, though, I LOVE working outside.  The key is having decent wireless headphones.

reminds me of a game.  I game I invented.  The Wii yard work!

baseball – juiced up overpaid meatheads?  Or, America’s past time?

ha!  I made a funny.  I wrote these questions, as my editor is likely in the drunk tank again in Commerce City.  I think we are supposed to call baseball ‘America’s Pastime’.  I typed the question as ‘past time’.  Total fruedian slip ‘Sirian slip‘.  I am sure baseball was a great pastime, and now that time has passed.  I am not against baseball… but nor am I for it.  Don’t care.  Baseball is like Paris, or the NFC.  I am aware it exists, but indifferent about it.  HA – another example of google subtext.  I went to google a picture of the NFL’s NFC conference, and typed in AFC.  Even my formidable and incredible hands could not take the order seriously to look up anything about the NFC.

Council of Nicea – a unifying summit of godly goodness?  Or the greatest cover up of all time?  Defend your answers, and show your work

I am not a fan.  Do you know what it is?  Allow me to very briefly explain.  For a few hundred years, there was a LOT of versions of Christianity going around.  It was admittedly confusing.  In 325 ad, a bunch of important people got together and said “listen, we need to simplify and unify the message of Christianity.  Doug, for example, has been going down to down explaining that Christ’s message was for you to show him your boobs.  We need 1 message, and 1 bible.  We aren’t leaving this room until that is done.”

I get that part, and it makes sense.  Thanks a lot, Doug.  But, mostly it censored everything the pushy guys didn’t like.  Mary, for example, was not a marginal player or lowly prostitute following the gang at a distance.  She was a very significant figure.  It is believed she was likely at least an equal of the men, and a full apostle.  She had her own book.  A lot of people did, and they cut all that out.  Only much much later did we find some of these original censored and ‘satanic’ bibles.  The Dead Sea Scrolls was one such find.

the other thing I didn’t like about this it that the council was held in 325.  this means LONG LONG LONG after Jesus, and all his people, were dead.  So, no one could pipe up and say “actually, Donald, Jesus was fine with Doug doing that whole boobie thing.  It was the rest of us who had to put the kibosh on it.”

I have said this before, and I shall explain again.  I do believe there was a Jesus.  I do believe he was a great and charismatic leader of men.  I do not believe he had any magical powers, though.  I also do not believe he was the son of god anymore than you or I am.   Well… obviously not you.  Look at how you are dressed!  I believe Jesus was sadly and cruelly executed, and that is story ends there… up on that cross.

Regardless of your beliefs, we do know the Council of Nicea was real, and had real consequences.  Please read more about it, from people smarter and less biased than I.  Here is the wiki page.

jesus – god’s resurrected son who walked out of that crypt, or charismatic leader and mortal who sadly did die that day on the cross?

Didn’t we just cover this?  who writes this dreck?

Tony Romo- was he great?  Could he have been?  Would you keep him, if you knew you could protect him?

I don’t think he got the chance to be great.  I think he might have been great, but was either too fragile, or had shit for an offensive line to protect him.  If you say his name 3 times in the mirror, he breaks a collarbone.  Sure, he blew a couple really really big plays… but who did that more than Peyton Manning?  Being great isn’t easy, and it comes with an epic share of monumental fuck ups along the way.

thing is, football is just murder on the body.  I bet he is getting offered the EXACT same amount of money (around ten million is an educated guess) to do tv as he was to play football.  In fact, Shannon Sharpe left football when he was playing amazing top notch football.  It was a huge surprise when he retired and went to CBS.  When a reporter (probably the great Rick Reilly… miss that guy)*** asked him why he walked away, he said “they offered me the same money, and no one is trying to kill me every Sunday anymore.”

you can’t argue with that logic.  I’ll tell you what we can, do.  Take this opportunity to look at the amazing Jessica Simpson.  At the time, she was brilliantly dubbed ‘Yoko Romo’.   and maybe since we are on this topic, take a moment out to remind us all how horribly creepy her father was.  The man said ‘she’s got double d’s.  You can’t keep those puppies down!’.   Can you imagine your dad saying that about you?

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ok, we started talking about Spring, and then a pretty thoughtful conversation about Jesus, and whether or not the council of Nicea was good old fashioned bullying.  How did we end up looking at hot and vapid pictures of Jessica Simpson?  My guess is you didn’t come here for Sunday School, did you?

*** Rick Reilly is not dead, he just retired about ten years ago.  Find one of his books of columns.  He was a sports guy, but with a brilliant wit.  Combine Dave Barry and Bill Simmons and you have Rick Reilly