A few years back, I had an idea for a new kind of old shop. Everyone harks back to the idea of an old fashioned sweet shop, don’t they? They want to see the jars of sweets piled high to the ceiling and some benevolent old man weighing out sweets with enormous scales. Cola bottles, gobstoppers, white mice, those white chocolate buttons with hundreds and thousands on them.
The problem with these kinds of shops is that they can’t work for us anymore as adults. As adults… we are too tall. We are the same height as the people running the shop. We can see over the counter, we can reach the jars at the top.
So the answer is pretty obvious to me. What we need to do is build a really big shop. The counter for the shop should be 6 feet high. Giant animatronic puppets should work behind the counter, weighing things. Puppeteers would have plenty of room to hide behind the counter.
The ceilings would have to be really tall and then up at the top you would employ dwarfs to climb around taking things off of the shelf to make it seem even further away than it is.
It would be a totally odd operation, obviously. But if you sold every kind of sweet and you had the shop in central London – Covent Garden suggests itself to me – then you could make it a tourist destination. Probably best to get the Tussauds group involved to have a steady supply of actors and so on from places like the London Dungeon and have a bit of cross promotion.
People would go into the shop just to have the experience of going to the shop. “When in London,” people would say to each other, “you have to visit this crazy sweet shop”.
The only problem is that I don’t have a name for the shop. What do you think? Something old-fashioned sounding would be ideal.