|Illustration by Mark Satchwill|
A lot of his customers had told Gillis Montgomery he looked like Jack Palance and it was true. But when they said it they were thinking of the laughing psycho bad guy character in Shane, not the haunted boxer of Requiem for a Heavyweight. That was okay with Gillis. If his customers felt like they needed to score points off him, so be it. They were the ones in his store, giving away bits and pieces of their lives for a pittance. They always seemed stunned to find out how little their precious engagement ring or designer watch was worth. They always checked the price of gold before they came in and they always had two prices in their heads—the one they really wanted and the one they’d take. Both were always much, much higher than what he was willing to offer.
Gillis blamed movies.
In movies someone would walk into a pawn shop with a silver chain and a string of pearls and walk out with five hundred dollars.
That just wasn’t going to happen at Mongomery Pawn.
The people who watched Pawn Stars were the worse. They’d always want to argue the price, telling him they’d seen the exact same item on the show.
Gillis’ standard answer was that if they thought they could get a better price, they should head for Las Vegas and try their luck.
The show’s producers had originally approached him with the idea of starring in their reality show. They’d heard about his little North Hollywood empire and they’d heard about his movie-star looks. They’d been disappointed when he turned them down.
Disappointed and surprised.
Do I look like a Kardashian? he’d asked them, amused by their dismay.