There once was a man from the store. Let me rephrase this: he was a man, to be sure, but his store lacked attributes to be a proper store. He had never sold anything, and more importantly, his cash register was regularly spotted 'taking the waters at Vichy' - hence, it could not deal with the metric system. In any case, he was constantly losing money because of the faulty - though rather dashing - machine. Her habits included keeping her money-drawer closed uncouthly long, until the man from the store started thinking it was stuck; just before impact with the paper-weight, Mrs Register (aka The Monkey Thief (she once closed her 'drawer shut on a miniature monkey belonging to a Madam from Brussels (who called him her pleasure-scratcher))) would move her springs and release. This release was often paired with moaning, however unnoticeable to the untrained ear.

Customers - if you can call the masses who flocked, in a flocking way, to the store - came and went, without buying much, as stated. There was a theoretical upper limit as to what could be purchased: a can was possible, but not in conjunction with a tin. There were other combinations, but they have been forgotten. The store was open at regular hours, so to those hippies out there who think it was an art-project, possibly state-funded, you are all wrong. There was no such thing where the man lived - a happy place.

Nevertheless, the man was well-off, as he knew what not to sell better than anyone else around. This advantage, some would say difference (but that seems to be a dirty french word to me), gave him an edge. His edge, based on a constant itch, was a sign of a sublime mess. Hence, people were rushing through his store door.

Back in the store, the man was often seen avoiding stocking. As he was pursuing his profession, the latest in what-not-to-sell became such a success, people were drawn in, some would say barged in. The result for many a novice store-man would be disastrous, but not to our man. He knew what not to buy at the exact right moment. The real beauty of it all was his warehouse: it was neatly organised, on shelves and in precise stacks, with numbers and barcodes. But there was no obvious logic to his classification; because that would have been too Prussian, like the pursuit of a logic argument in a pub. People sometimes forget who they are, supposedly.

The man didn't like chitchat - he loathed people leaning in and going on about the weather, or some other embarrassing piece of 'news'. Some kept asking about his Register, but that was a no-no: She did what she needed to do, anything else was pretentious mouthing-off.

However, there was a hair in the butter, and no one could have predicted what followed (it brings this hapless story to an end, I assure you). There was the obligate market day, when everyone who was living in woodwork, would come out (an odious business, like the unlucky visit to the zoo when the hippos are in heat). Some of these unqualified shoppers accidentally visited the man's shop, asking for a pair of wellies or a sack of fertilizer. These items were not for sale, obviously, and labeled 'for display only'. It was the man's revenge on the people from the charity stores, who put that kind of dreaded sign on all the luggage and musical instruments. A terrible business indeed.