Diamonds aren’t really forever
May 11, 2017
Tap. Tap. Tap.
"Everyone hear me okay? Good. Alright, we're going live in five . . . four . . . three . . .
"Good morning, Grand County! With us in the Sky Hi studio today is Tom Shame, owner of The Shame Company, America's largest diamond importer. Tom's a twerp here to tell us about diamonds."
"What? Excuse me? A Twerp?"
"No, no, I said, Antwerp, you know, capital of Belgium. Wow, it looks like you've been smuggling some of those fancy chocolates too, Tom, that coat's a little snug. Let's jump right into the interview. Tell us about the three C's of diamond buying."
"You . . . you . . . (sounds of a deep, slow yoga breath) ah, yes, well, there are actually four C's, Color, Clarity, Carat, and Credit Report."
"A nice engagement ring should cost five years of projected income, anticipating overtime, raises and bonuses, of course. This ring, for instance, is a flawless orange beauty, five and-a-half carats. It comes with its own resting tripod when the intended tires of waving it in front of friends."
"Flawless? What's that smudge there on the side? Uh-oh, I broke a big corner off with my fingernail . . . "
"I can glue it back. Anyway, an engagement ring purchased from The Shame Company, and not one of those rat-infested 'mall' stores, says to the intended that this person's parents have a credit rating between 800 and 850."
"What do mall diamonds say, Tom?"
"Ugly mall diamonds signify that the love might not be such a sure thing. It could be some past indiscretion, or a smoking-hot chatroom friend. It could even be a second family tucked away in Saskatoon. Possibly it's just an embarrassing medical condition but these are all risks you take getting diamonds from moldy mall stores."
"That's totally awesome information, Tom. Tell us about the Cocktail Ring."
"I'm especially proud of that one; I invented it. If a couple can't decide which ring to buy, I feed them glasses of gin with tiny umbrellas until I have a clear picture of their net worth and the value of their unencumbered assets. Then I hold their hand while they sign the promissory note."
"Are they too nervous to sign?"
"Nope, too drunk to stand."
"That doesn't sound ethical, Tom, where are the consumer protections?"
"Every one of our diamonds comes with a Guarantee of Complete Satisfaction. Once our legal department is completely satisfied that the indenture clause is tight, we pack 'em off to detox.
"Tom, I've heard that the high price of diamonds is based upon an artificial scarcity. If importers dumped their stockpiles on the market, diamonds would fall to the price of pea gravel."
"Do you hate me?"
"No, Tom, I hate pitching a product I don't believe in. I'd rather do salad shooters. A smart couple would buy a dependable car, anyway. Let's wrap it so I can go home and soak my conscience in a bucket of bourbon."
"A dependable . . . ? A car? What did you just say? Why would anyone say garbage like that . . . OH YEAH! YOU BETTER RUN (waving a diamond-encrusted scimitar and whooping maniacally)."
"YIKES!" (followed by dead-air silence)
Now you have a fiend in the diamond business.