The Merchant of Maryland
by Monk 12 July 2011
After a whirlwind romantic encounter with the current Mrs Monk who successfully courted me in Wimbledon where I lived at that time, I made a nervous trip to the USA to meet her parents.
Mrs Monk was brought up in the Myers Drug Store in a very small American town, Mount Airy in Maryland. Her father was the town pharmacist, and was known, to all his customers as Doc Myers.
He spoke with a slow drawl and wore a bow tie at all times. He was a respected member of the community and he once told me that his daughter had a talent for selling his merchandise. I have been hearing such ever since from Mrs Monk; about how she would work in the drug store after school, dispensing ice cream sodas, roast beef sandwiches, toothpaste, Tampax, Playboy, and yes, even prescription drugs.
Doc Myers recognised Mrs. Monk’s gift of the gab, and he was keen to point out her merchandising skills to me. On his day off, he would invite me to join him for a trip to the races, but pointedly would not invite his daughter because of this same gift, which was known to be so tirelessly exercised, and has been to this very day.
She even talks in her sleep.
Yes, I have heard about these mythical marketing skills for too long, and have trouble recalling any occasion in the last 30 years where this talent has realised a profit.
In fact Mrs Monks talent is more inclined to be on the other side of the cash register. Her day consists of swimming and shopping and shopping and shopping and then a last trip to the corner Co-op for those little private last minute items that a gal must have.
Mrs Monk can be an impulsive shopper and I do believe she would buy snowballs from an Eskimo if they had a red sticker attached. She buys clothes without trying them on, and there are discarded ill-fitting shoes in every room of the house. She buys huge quantities of toothpaste because she is unaware of the 12 unopened tubes of Colgate in the bathroom cabinet, not to mention the four tubes that are currently in open service.
The Myers Drug Store is now a museum. Mount Airy is no longer a small leafy town on a green hill, but is now somewhat unrecognisable from our courting days of 1971.
I draw the readers attention to the Knickers story and the Shoe Shuffle Movie.