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If not, why not? Have you ever owned gold? Do you intend to join the Gold Rush of the new millennium and get yourself a nice pile of gold?
I've owned gold objects over the years, or objects that supposedly contained a certain amount of gold, but I've never gone out and bought myself a brick or two of 'gold.'
I wonder where you would go if you wanted to buy gold? I remember seeing a marquis in front of a store in South Portland that said “We pay highest priices for gold and silver” and then it gave the current price for each - just like they do with gasoline in front of a convenience store.
So, that answers the question of where you can sell gold, but I’m still not clear about where I should go to buy gold. And when you buy gold, how would you carry it home? Carry it in a regular shopping bag?
The reason I raise the subject at all is because lately I've been hearing more and more ads on the radio telling me why I should drop whatever I'm doing and dial an 800 number and start buying GOLD!
There are even nationally syndicated talk show hosts who weave the 'buy gold' message into their shows. You'll hear a host say something like: "Well, every economic indicator that’s supposed to be up is down and whatever is supposed to be down is up. Unemployment will continue to soar and retail sales continue to plunge, oil could soon hit $200 a barrel and $20 a-gallon before Christmas - and that's good news to your ears if you've bought gold. That's why I'm buying all the Gold I can and you should too."
At first I ignored the ads, just letting them roll over me and drone on in the background. But now there are so many BUY GOLD! ads that I've begun to wonder what's going on? Do these people know something I don't - which wouldn’t be difficult - or do they just want my money like all the other advertisers?
These ads must be getting to me because recently I started asking myself: John, Why haven't you bought Gold? Why isn't gold a part of your investment strategy?
Is the world as we know it coming to an end? Will our paper money become worthless overnight? Will the stores where we now trade soon refuse our business if we don’t have bricks of gold to trade?
As a kid I remember watching TV westerns where a scraggily miner – who looked like he didn’t have two pennies to rub together - would come into the saloon, with the honky-tonk piano playing in the background, and he’d saunter over to the bar and ask the bar-keep for a drink. When the bartender would ask how he was going to pay for it he’d take out a small leather pouch and pour some gold dust on the bar. Miners assumed that all wild-west saloons had scales for weighing gold dust
Some movies would drag the scene out further by having the bartender ask the miner if he’d taken his gold over to the assay office to make sure it wasn’t iron pyrite: FOOL’S GOLD!
In most movies the bartender would eventually be satisfied with the purity of the gold dust and would place a bottle of rot-gut whiskey and a dirty glass on the bar in front of the miner.
Somehow I can’t see Hannaford and Shaw’s and other grocery retailers going back to those days – replacing their debit machines with scales and weighing gold dust with each order.
It's slow enough now with debit cards, imagine how it would be with scales?
I still haven’t decided whether I should dial one of these 800 numbers and get me some GOLD! Like the bartenders in the old westerns I don’t want to pay for gold and end up with a pile of iron pyrite.
John McDonald is a humorist and storyteller who performs regularly
throughout New England. John’s e-mail address is
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