If you live in a big city you will likely have seen a $ 2 shop somewhere in town. They can be found in little shopping malls or larger city streets. They can pop up where other businesses have failed or where a badly shaped gap has been designed into retail real estate.
They are not to be sneezed at – for a certain type of person, they are a treasure trove of value. I know – I am just that sort of shopper. For me, the local $ 2 shop is one of the best resources I know.
My local is in a mall, and is comprised of one little rectangular bay in the main drag. It is three aisles jam-packed with all sorts of cheap goods in small packages. The shelves and racks stand ceiling-high, and if you spot something up the top that you need, the shop assistant will hook it down for you with a mechanical grabber. Nothing is ever over $ 10 and most things are the proverbial $ 2.
The shop is run by an Indian family and I have seen a number of the members in there serving behind the counter at various times. I think the kids are bored witless when it is their turn to serve, but staff is staff and if they are family they can be scolded!
I just love the variety of stuff they sell there. I wander each of the three aisles and exercise my imagination over every weird tool or craft material or cheap toy. The mental inventory I take is as valuable as a catalogue because the next time I need a supply of batman masks or plastic ping-pong balls for frog’s eyes, I know exactly where to get it. Since I am a scale modeller as well as a studio photographer there are no end of strange little bits I need and the $ 2 shop is where I find them.
I used to call it the Crap Shop, but I think that is needlessly pessimistic. I’ve never crapped out when I needed something – This week’s purchase of $ 2.50 of wooden coffee stirrers is currently being made into a picket fence for one of my dioramas and I am a pretty good fencer, if I do say so myself. Touché…
Thank you, $ 2 shop. Long may your door stay open.