Les Gold, the “star” of Hardcore Pawn, is a third-generation pawnbroker and the seemingly evil-eyed patriarch of American Jewelry and Loan — but looks can be deceiving.
Les Gold earned his fortune when he opened American Jewelry in 1978 in Detroit, but in spite of his vast wealth and his keen ability to cinch a deal, there is one thing that money cannot buy for Les — a straight spine and an erect posture.
It’s easy to dislike Les because he walks like a monkey, and he sneers at customers with a menacing and unwavering stare when he offers them what seems to be paltry sums of money for their items. But is Les Gold really a skin flint pawn broker or is there a real human behind that Neanderthal stride and unwavering stare? According to a reknowned Indian veterinarian, Les Gold is not a bad guy. He is imply a victim of a rare and tragic disease that has plagued many Homo Sapiens for eons.
“Les Gold has a disease called S.T.O.O.P.S. – or Shouldered Transoperative Originatus Primate Syndrome,” said Dr. Sheeky Messhy of Mumbai, India.
“The disease causes the spine to progressively curve forward and downward until the person afflicted with the disease begins to walk like an ape and eventually begins to resemble a cooked shrimp or, in the worst cases, a human fetus. Ironically, the disease is caused by a gene mutation wherein the body is unable to assimilate the minute amounts of gold that accumulate in the body as we grow older.”
Dr. Messhy specializes in degenerative spinal curvature diseases and in spite of the fact that he is a veterinarian who works primarily with apes and monkeys, Dr. Messhy is the only doctor in the world who has done any extensive research on the disease. Although the disease is caused by elemental gold, Dr. Messhy is quick to dismiss the notion that handling gold or wearing gold has anything to do with what’s ailing Gold, and the disease process itself.
“STOOPS disease was first seen in what are now the African countries of Angola and Mali. Baboons and chimps once walked upright on two legs perhaps one hundred thousand years ago, but gradually a genetic mutation gained control in the gene pool of both species and the result is what we see now — apes and monkeys of all varieties who are stooped over with knuckles dragging on the ground.
“In the lower primates, the disease is present at birth and is no longer viewed as a disease but rather an evolutionary process. In humans, however, STOOPS is progressive in a strange way. If you look at a newly formed fetus, the STOOPS posture is quite evident, but as the embryo develops, the STOOPS posture straightens and the baby gradually grows to stand upright.
“In some individuals, however, there is a primitive gene that begins to kick in at about 35 years of age, and those afflicted gradually return to the shape of an embryo. I am quite certain that Mr. Gold from Hardcore Pawn is suffering from a serious case of STOOPS.”
we asked Dr. Messhy what this all has to do with the element gold — AU on the Periodic Table of the Elements. Why is a man named “Gold” who deals with gold afflicted by a disease that is caused by gold but yet the disease has nothing to do with being in contact with gold? It’s quite confusing to say the least.
“Throughout the course of our lives we are surrounded by atoms of gold but we are not aware of it. We inhale them and we put then in our mouths and ears and eyes. Like all elements, it accumulates in our bodies to an extent, but normally all life forms are able to dispose of this gold, but in people with STOOPS, the ability to eliminate gold through feces and urine is lost and gradually the gold builds up and causes the forward curvature of the spinal column.
“Another aspect of STOOPS is that it causes those afflicted to stare down angrily at others of its own species when there is some kind of confrontation or any social intercourse. This nasty stare is quite evident in Les Gold, and it probably explains why the gene that causes STOOPS is so prominent in ape and monkeys.
“The menacing stare and the unwavering eye-to-eye contact usually intimidates other males. The males with STOOPS are the ones who unwittingly get to mate because the unafflicted males will eventually look away or blink which in primates is a sign of submission. In Les Gold’s case, the seller backs down to the pawn broker’s lowball offer. It’s actually an amazing anthropological anomaly.
“In humans the disease does not manifest until later in life so the staring and glaring is less of a factor in natural selection. As a matter of fact, the disease makes human males very unattractive to the opposite sex. It’s amzing to us at thei nstitute to see that many STOOPS sufferers have wives and families, but again, it does not strike and become noticeable until a person is nearing forty years of age.”
So does this all mean that Les Gold’s body is full of gold? Does this mean that people who have STOOPS are worth their weight in gold? How much gold are we talking about?
“The amount of gold in Les Gold is essentially worthless. The average healthy person has about one thousandth of a cent of gold in their entire body, but those afflicted with STOOPS have about one hundreth of a cent of gold in their bodies, so in spite of his wealth, even Les Gold is worth far less than a penny. But that minute amount of gold makes all the difference in determining if one is afflicted with STOOPS or not. The disease has nothing to do with exposure to gold. Even people who work in gold mines are not afflicted, but one out of every 300,000 people is a victim of STOOPS disease because they carry the primitive ape gene, and never has the disease been associated with handling gold. It’s very strange to grasp that fact, but it’s a fact of medicine.”
So, Les Gold walks like an ape and eventually he will look like a fetus walking along the streets of Detroit, Michigan USA, but in spite of his fame and the the fact that he owns a huge pawn empire, he isn’t worth a cent as far as gold is concerned.
For those who would like to help people with STOOPS, you can donate to your local STOOPS foundation. STOOPS is rare and considered to be an “orphan disease” but every little bit helps. Hopefully one day Les Gold will be able to walk erect like a human being, but don’t count on it just yet. There is a lot of research yet to be done.
DAMIEN LeGALLIENNE reporting for TheDamienZone.com