If you've watched television within the past few months, you're probably aware of a great cultural shift that's already begun to take place. Americans aren't simply standing still on the shore while the Greatest Depression looms before them, threatening to crash down in thunderous waves and engulf them. No, instead Americans are on the move: uncovering hidden riches, digging for gold, making a better economic future for themselves by any means necessary (read: pliers), not just waiting for it to happen. The Great Gold Rush of 2008 is well underway, and calls of "There's gold in them thar hills" can be heard in living rooms far and wide–well, except that "them thar hills" are now "them thar sleepin' grandmas' mouths" and/or "them thar freshly dead husbands."

In case you're wondering, Cash For Gold USA is very real. Too real. In fact, it's one of dozens of loud gold buyers that are currently clogging television stations with infomercials.

The whole "pulling grandma's teeth out with pliers, putting them in a plastic bag, and mailing them to a weird internet pawn shop for gold" thing would be funny, if it didn't seem so plausible. There are simply too many of these gold infomercials now to be anything other than frightening. (Halloween costume alert! Toothless grandma clutching a GoldPaq and weeping.) "Sell scrap gold" should never be the answer to the question, "So what do you do?"