Yikes! The taxman cometh

This is the time of year when unexpectedly high tax calculations send people digging in the back of the closet for something they can pawn to help pay the IRS.

Customers don’t have to tell a pawnbroker why they need the money, because the collateral they offer does the talking — we’re different from banks that way — but they often do anyway.

For instance, recently a customer, who said he had to raise a couple of thousand dollars more than he had counted on to meet his tax bill, brought in a silver-gilt sugar bowl. It was dented and tarnished, but it had a history behind it.

According to him, his grandfather had fled Hitler’s armies in Lithuania in 1941 with silver, gold and amber. The sugar bowl was part of that stash that had found its way to Maui 70 years later.