There was a sale on at the mad shop and the shopkeeper was 87 years old. During the run-up to Christmas, he started work at 6.00 in the morning and did not finish until 9.00 o’clock at night.
It had been like this for 46 years ever since the then young shop-keeper had taken over the business of the running of the mad shop from his elderly father-in-law Tom Stoppard.
Not having any children of his own, the Shopkeeper had no-one to hand the shop down to, no-one to share the load with, and no-one but his elderly wife to help with the books.
‘You should hire some help, Jacob!’ said his wife Pris.
‘Next year if I am not done by next year I will sell up, and we shall retire!’ said Jacob in reply to his wife.
‘Next year, next year, its always next year wth you!’ she would say back. It had been like this for nearly 25 years.
Just in case you were wondering there are some questions that I as your fourth wall breaking narrator has deliberately left unanswered – thus far. One. Why is it called the mad shop? Two. Wasn’t Tom Stoppard Famous? Three. Why didn’t they have any children? Four. What does Jacob mean when he says ‘If I’m not done by next year I will sell up, and we shall retire!’Five. Why has it been like this for ‘ nearly 25 years’?
The truth is that I do not know how all these strands will expire and come together or not in the ensuing story. I am not omniscient.
To be continued…