It’s very sad. Geez, I think I’ll talk about it.
A couple of years ago, a guy and his girlfriend were over at our house and we were having a good time. The guy’s a Habs fan and plays drums, and I’m a Habs fan who can play the radio, so we had lots to talk about.
We sat and he went on about how much he loves the Habs, and I was so much in the moment, aided by several beer, that I went to one of my rooms, picked out a Canadian dollar bill signed by Maurice Richard, and presented it to him. I said, I’d like to give you this special dollar bill, from one Habs fans to another. I was proud to do it. I think my chest swelled.
That’s part one of the story.
Several months later I was browsing through the local pawn shop, and there was the dollar bill.
I thought about this and knew my sort-of-friend was between jobs, and maybe he was having a tough time. So I decided that he needed the money and would eventually come back and reclaim his item. That’s how pawn shops work. They buy your stuff and you’ve got about 30 days to buy it back or they’ll sell it to someone else.
Yesterday, which is about three years after the fact, I went for a walk and happened by the pawn shop. So I went in, and surprisingly, the dollar bill was still there. I chatted with the store owner, who agreed the whole idea of it sucked, but he said he sees this kind of story often. Drug addicts and kids still living at home do it most, he told me. They need a few bucks right now and never ever consider buying it back.
Here’s what I did. The pawn shop was asking 89 bucks for it, but after I told the guy the sad story, he looked up on his computer to see exactly what he needed not to lose money, and found that my friend still owed just over 50 bucks for it.
I bought it back. My original dollar bill, that I had given away to someone who I thought would like it, to someone who would appreciate that the great Rocket Richard had signed the thing, and he turned around and sold it to a pawn shop.
It cost me 50 bucks and I learned a lesson. And yes, maybe the guy couldn’t pay the rent. But he somehow manages to drink beer in pubs.