The General Stores – Under New Management!
by our own reporter
The General Store has been
placed under new management, No.19, or was it 56 has been replaced. It would
appear a recent audit of the Store’s books has shown a number of discrepancies
in the accounts, in brief it appears the shopkeeper has been “cooking” the
books! No.2 said that this is an administrative error the fact that the Store’s
books had never been checked before!
No.112 has now been given the position of shopkeeper, and has already implemented a number of improvements to the village shop, a number of “special imports” now stock the shelves. Various LP records are now for sale, which any prospective buyer can listen to in the newly installed record booth. Although I cannot see much call for Cuckoo clocks! For those budding photographers there is now a selection of cameras and photographic equipment which can be purchased as well as 3 pounds of King Edward potatoes, Brussels sprouts, oranges, pineapples, and for the table, and imported blue and white Cornish ware, along with Portmeirion pottery. A 1940’s till is also a new addition to the shop. I asked the shopkeeper No.112 why there was a need for the till when the village is a cashless community which runs on credit?
“Well sir, every time I clip a customer’s credit card I have to keep the clippings somewhere, so what better till could there be for what is supposed to be an olde worlde, typically English corner shop?”
I found I could not argue with the man. So I asked the shopkeeper for 20 cigarettes.
“Yes, I’ll take 20 woodbine, oh and a box of matches.”
“I’m sorry sir, but we don’t sell cigarettes.”
“You do there’s a cigarette machine next to the door” I said turning to look.
“There used to be sir, but I had it removed.”
“Since the no smoking policy in the village sir.”
“I’ve never heard of anything so ridiculous, a no smoking policy. I’ll see Number 2 about this!”
Ting ling a ling.
I stood outside the shop for a few moments, took out a packet of woodbines from my pocket and a box of matches and lit a cigarette, a passer-by gave me such a queer accusing look, but my mind was on the previous shopkeeper who couldn’t make up his mind what his number was. A question buzzed around inside my mind, with the village being a cashless community, how could the shopkeeper No.19 or 56 have been found to be “cooking” the books, and so removed from his position because of fraud? There was no possible way he could have skimmed cash off the top, there being no cash to skim, unless he was philching goods, but then to what end? The shopkeeper isn’t the only citizen not to be seen recently, there’s No.14 the ex-Count, the painter No.42, and No.58. I have asked around, but no-one could say they have seen any of them; no-one leaves the village, and the only funeral recently was that of No.73. So where are they? It’s as though they have been wiped off the chessboard, as if they never existed! What’s more there are no more games of chess using people as chess pieces!
Be seeing you