Saturday, August 29, 2009
Kismet and Hardy's
There is a vendor on Smithgate that sells dreams and wishes. Not the sort you could order in advance with a 'a dozen naked lesbians frolicking in my bedsit' or 'a lottery win on the Saturday after next' but the sort you didn't realise you wanted until you happened to go in 'just in case they've got something suitable for our Lisa's birthday'.
Once inside you are drawn in to the luxury and delight of an Aladdin's Cave of curious goods – mirrors framed in driftwood and sea shells; Laurel and Hardy statuettes made in Nepal by people who never saw the originals; hammocks made of fishing nets and dream catchers with pictures of American Indians on the packaging.
Like the shop in Stephen King's 'Needful Things', each item appeals to the customer as something to make their life complete; as if stepping into the shop was an act of serendipity. "Where did you get this?" ask the buyer's jealous friends.
"Kismet and Hardy's," the purchaser will say, with just a trace of smugness. "It was a one-of-a-kind."
NB: Although the shop sells similar items to both Curious Chattels on Strang Street and Hammer Time on Cheap Street, the shops don't appear to suffer from the competition. If one traces the tax records, the reason becomes obvious. All three shops have a common sleeping partner: Mr. J de Ville.