Peter Wyton: The Ladies Of The Charity Shop

The ladies of the charity shop were given a brand new till.
They never got the hang of it and now they never will.
They only approached it in groups of three,
With expressions of loathing and pain, one to push buttons,
One to have kittens and one to try it again.

The ladies of the charity shop were a most harmonious clique.
They all popped in on a rota system at least three mornings a week,
To drink gallons and gallons and gallons of tea
And have a good chinwag about cardigans, ornaments,
Wrestling tournaments, gall-bladders, goitres and gout.

The ladies of the charity shop maintained, with no hint of apology,
That they never expected to find themselves at the forefront
Of till technology. The old model suited them down to the ground.
When they wanted to put in some cash and the drawer got jammed
They said “ Bother” and “ Damn” and gave it a good old bash.

The ladies of the charity shop have been in darkest mourning
Since a quarter to ten last Wednesday when,
Without the slightest warning, as they opened the new till
To put in a pound, the contraption showed its teeth,
Gave a frightful roar like a carnivore and swallowed Jemima Moncrieff.

The ladies of the charity shop phoned divisional headquarters.
No repair man came, but a TV crew and a posse of press reporters.
One asked the ladies a question with a tabloid glint in his eye.
“Was the victim nude?” They said,
“Don’t be rude. This isn’t the W.I.”

The ladies of the charity shop have sold off all their stock
To a nice young man with a Transit van
And a stall on Camden Lock. At their manager’s suggestion
They all went on the spree, got merry on sherry
On the Brittany ferry and buried the till at sea.