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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Goods and Services
I went to get a couple of keys cut today, and while standing in the key-cutting shop I was struck (not for the first time) by the rather strange assortment of things that such shops do. I may even have posted here about it before, but if so, I'm doing it again.

Keys, shoe repairs, trophies and umbrellas. Why just those things? What do they have in common?

In an underground arcade in Osaka a couple of weeks ago I passed a stall that sold exactly the same things (except the umbrellas) so I feel there must be some inexorable reason behind it beyond the random accumulation of associations in the minds of British shoppers.

I once wrote a restaurant guide for a science-fiction convention that included, per my policy of including every food vendor within easy walking distance of the hotel, an entry reading: "Convenience store and locksmith that also sells pizza by the slice. Heinlein did say that specialization is for insects."

Sounds like a Brooklyn bodega.

Well, shoe repairs of the sort they tend to do often seem to involve grinding - removing old heels/soles, shaping new ones to fit. Keys are also ground and cut to shape. Trophies are sold, I suspect, mainly because they use the same precise grinding and cutting machinery to engrave the names.

Umbrellas? We're in Britain. Everyone needs umbrellas.

These are all fair points. "Grinder" would be a good name for one of these shops, if only it hadn't already been taken...

Also watch-straps/batteries.

Yes - good point!

No umbrellas in my local shoe repair/keycutting, trophy engraving shop, but yes, watch batteries. I don't know yet if they do straps - the shop next door in the arcade used to do both AND sell watches. I'll find out!