A F Harrold:The Retailer's Tale

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“The Retailer's Tale”
Artist: A F Harrold
Albums: An Englishman's Home Is His (Modestly Priced) Third Album (2006)
Cats Are Better Than Fish (2012)
Composers: A.F. Harrold
Lyricists: A.F. Harrold


2012 remix

Before I got into poetry
I got out of retail
But before I got out of retail I ran a hook shop providing hooks to pirates
Until we were picketed by a pacifist amputee group called the Harmless Armless
After which I only stocked safe plain prosthetic hands
And changed the name of the shop to the Second Hand Shop
Which led to some confusion when horologists started asking for second hands
That is the smallest subdividing moving markers of a clock or watch face
So, faced with an issue of supply and demand
I promptly changed the shop's name again to the Second Hand And Hand Shop
And ran a scheme whereby I bought back people's prosthetics as they upgraded to newer smarter models
And soon had a pile of second-hand hands
But since on the other hand a second-hand second hand is rarely worth very much at all I only sold them new
So the shop became the First-Hand Second Hand And Second-Hand Second Hand Shop
Until the bottom fell out of the hand market and I tried something else

Moving to the seaside I opened up a flip-flop shop
Followed by a fish and ship shop catering for all nautical needs
And my unique venture in which a white English gentleman promoted urban music
Which was the Hip-Hip Hip-Hop Shop
It shut

I moved on to the Stop Watching The Stop Watch Stop Shop
A guidance centre for people who couldn't control the urge to watch stop-watches until they stopped
Then there was a shop which didn't sell a lot but had it very neatly displayed
That was my Ship-Shape Shop
When it went under I opened a store that sold the B-sides to singles which had never charted
Which was the Flip-Side Of The Flop Shop
And then my ultimate circus emporium the Non-Stop One-Stop Big Top Shop

After that I moved up north to Edinburgh
And opened a store selling a children's playground game
Which my Scotch Hopscotch Shop
As a sideline I stocked home-brewing kits using only specially locally-sourced products
And renamed the place the Scotch Hopscotch And Scotch Hops Shop
I sold Old English bards in the Scop Shop
Equine footfalls in the Clop Shop
Before moving into Greek jazz with my Be-bop Aesop Shop
Limited haircuts in the Flat-Top Shop
And an Irish band ballet gear and a variety of moisture
In the Raindrop Dewdrop U2 Tutu Shop
For vikings I ran the Longship Shop
For admirals a Flagship Shop
For archbishops the Worship Shop
And for war veterans there were Shell Shop
For folk who like to watch small pieces of old hardwood vessels be made smaller still
I ran an Antique Teak Ship Chip Chop Shop
I sold French children's stories, a Hanna-Barbera character and certain shaved mammals
In the Bare Bear Babar Boo-Boo Shop
And Polaroids cans containing parts of a Belgian reporter and a Hollywood dog
In my Tinted Rin-Tin-Tin Tin-Tin Tin Shop
If you needed to make animals go away
You should have come along to my Shoo Shop
And for very light pastry there was my Choux Shop
Then there was an Ape Shop, a Cape Shop, a South-American Dictatorship Shop
A Sheep Shop and an Everything's Going Cheep Shop
Which sold baby birds
In old jokes

After that I became a floorwalker
In the Grammatical Deportment Department Store
The ground floor opened out into the shopping centre
Through a semicolon and colon colonnade
On the first floor were the Bracket Booth and the Comma Counter
The second floor supplied cedillas and circumflexes
Alongside the Solidus slash Slash slash Oblique section
The Dash and Dot Desk and the Tilde till
If you were willing to wait we could order in an ellipsis

Eventually I left there
Licked with literacy
And spend a period of time in the Full Stop Shop

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