Friday 21 July 2017

Shop mannequins: white trash

This shop is where mannequins come to die. Or, more specifically, be killed. They’re beaten up, neglected and sworn at (the last one might just be me).

First there was Wobbly Wendy. She used to lean awkwardly into the corner between the till and the wall because she had no base plate. Any time a customer wanted to look at the clothes she was wearing I had to warn them to stand back in case Wendy suddenly took a lunge at them whilst I was trying to get her kit off and took their eye out. Either that or she’d slide resolutely to the floor and refuse to get up.

Photo: Free-photos, Pixabay

Months later I found Wendy’s base plate base in the kitchen. There was no need for Wendy to be wobbly at all.

Then there was Droopy Dora. Someone had smashed Dora’s shoulder exactly where her detachable arm slotted in, which meant her arm, when attached, pulled her shoulder apart and hung limply down her side, making her look like a dejected gibbon. I tried to fix her with clear sticky tape, which sort of worked but looked shit (I had to use a lot of sticky tape), and it meant Droopy Dora couldn’t wear anything sleeveless. She’s still here. Still covering up. Still looking shit.

After that it was Static Sally. She was one of a clutch of cheap new arrivals that were lightweight (not a good thing) and fabric covered, and as a consequence infuriatingly difficult to pull on and remove clothes from. It was like playing some ramped-up, life size game of fuzzy felt; with a moving target.

Static Sally and her sisters all stood on wooden tripod legs. Unfortunately, Sally must have been at the cake every night after the shop shut (rather her than me), because her legs gave out, and I came in to find her splayed out like some paralytic twentysomething small-town millennial after one too many happy hours in All Bar One.

I did try to fix her legs. I glued them. I nailed them. I did a ropes and pulley system (well, nails and string) to pull them back together again. It was all horribly unsightly and none of it made any difference at all. So Static Sally was forced into retirement.

She is still around though: sort of. Bits of her are currently spread around the kitchen and the bathroom getting in my way every day. Bless her; Static Sally: sticking to me to the end.

Razor Rita is still going strong, but don’t be complacent: she’ll have your eye out or slash your legs if you don’t keep a watch on her. It’s because she’s made of wire; all rough intersections and jagged, sticky-out ends, which is unfortunate as TBE (aka The Boss Erratic) has chosen her as the best way to display the Out Of Favour (OOF) shop’s stock of delicate, easily damaged scarves. I honestly don’t know how every scarf we sell isn’t ripped to shreds.

Photo: oord85, Pixabay

Rodwena was that rare thing in the Out Of Favour shop; a mannequin in perfect working order. She had a free standing base plate, she had balance; she had style. But then, one day it all went tits up (quite literally). I came in to find her lovely, stabilizing base had disappeared, and her entire weight was resting on the long metal rod protruding from her foot like some nasty, shiny overgrown shin bone (this rod normally slots into the base and is usually hidden from view). In a half-arsed attempt to stop her tipping over, some bright spark had wrapped her up in brown string and strung her up from the nearest wall-mounted clothes rail. Plus, to make her presentable, they’d optimistically dressed her in a tunic/dress thing.

Unfortunately the dress couldn’t sit any lower than her shoulder blades at the back because nothing could get past the hundredweight of tightly wound parcel string looped around her body. As a result she looked like she was indecently exposing herself. Still, we’ve managed to shove her against the wall ever since, so I don’t think anyone notices.

The final mention should go to Lydia, who, for some unfathomable reason can only stand up if she has the lid off a jar of coffee under her right foot. Don’t ask me why, that’s just the way it is.

Lydia…… Think about it………. Oh come on! Can you come up with better names then?!


  1. Shop Girl, thankyou for this further insight into your crazy world. At least the mannequins can be seen in the shop unlike TBE staying out of sight for weeks on end in denial of any need to be there.
    And they don't nick the fridge.
    Or did they? :-) xx


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