Did 'Cash for Gold' Hit the Jackpot?

Did 'Cash for Gold' Hit the Jackpot?

Ever click past those 24-hour jewelry shopping networks late at night? Did you sit there amazed that someone would actually buy the ugly junk they were selling? If so, then this weeks "Cash for Gold" episode might be right up your alley. The South Park creators not only showed how the elderly are taken advantage of on a daily basis, but they also demonstrated how our own actions create a circle of never-ending cheap products.

When Stan receives a hideous bolo necktie from his grandfather, he decides he wants to sell it. He cannot believe that is grandfather would spend thousands of dollars on a gold, diamond and turquoise bolo. The boys head out to find a few of those "cash for gold" buyers that are constantly advertised these days.

The first buyer only offers Stan $15 for the bolo. He refuses the offer and wonders where he should head next. To his luck, there is another cash for gold dealer right next door. This one offers even less - $8. Where else can they sell this bolo? Why, Taco Bell, of course! The cashier at the Taco Bell offers Stan a 7-layer burrito in exchange for the bolo, and he won't go any higher - perhaps the funniest moment in the episode.

Where did Stan's grandfather find such an ugly bolo? It turns out that his grandfather, along with every other person over the age of 60, is addicted to watching Jewel Bonanza with Dean. The host, presumably named Dean, tricks the elderly into buying the cheapest rings and necklaces for a huge profit. My favorite item for sale was the "Genuine Faux Sapphire." I almost fell off the couch in laughter with that one.

Stan is determined to find out who is responsible for creating this cheap jewelry. In the end, it all turns out to be a huge retail circle. The crappy jewelry is melted and sent to India. Indian sweatshops create the jewelry pieces. They are shipped to the U.S., where they are sold on those jewelry channels. Old people buy the items and give them away as gifts. The recipient of the gift takes it to a cash for gold buyer for money. The gold is melted, and the cycle starts once again.

While all this is going on, Eric Cartman decides to get in on the action. He can never turn down a good business opportunity. Cartman starts up his own "Old People Shopping Network," selling even crappier jewelry to his elderly clientele. Did anyone else think the emerald ring looked suspiciously like a Ring Pop?

I don't want to give away too much, but you have to see how this one ends. Excellent. While this was not my favorite episode by any stretch of the imagination, it was very accurate to our current social times. Want to see how it ends? You can watch it at the South Park website.