Ain’t Got Much Of

FF RogerBultot

Photo prompt: Roger Bultot


“She keeps the shelves half-empty.”

I turned at the voice. A gnarled hand leaned heavily on a carved stick. The man’s chest was almost parallel to the stained cement floor.

I crouched so I could make eye-contact yet spare him the strain of lifting his head. He smiled. For such an ossified body, his expression was remarkably lively.

“My wife,” he raised an eyebrow at the display. “I’d space the boxes, but she says that what people think we ain’t got much of, reminds them of the empty spaces in their own pantries and how there’s always room for more.”



For Rochelle’s Friday Fictioneers





54 thoughts on “Ain’t Got Much Of

    • I don’t know, but perhaps it is more of a ‘making do’ with having not a lot to sell than an actual philosophy … I’m not sure she’d be averse to having stacked shelves… but given that there’s not that much, she makes the choice to not spread what she does have over all the space available, but to make one section appear fuller while also, perhaps, sending psychological messages to her customers … πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Iain! And … it might even be a shortage in some local shops … but the attitude of how to ‘spread’ what one has about – whether to try and disguise it by scattering things over a wider expanse of shelves or boldly displaying it with some shelves bare … is a something even more worth reporting about … πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, ploy … or … making do and making the decision that displaying what one has without trying for it to seem more, may come across more truthfully (and perhaps resonate better with others) than trying to comb-over the relative scarcity … Doesn’t look like that shop is rolling in dough … so it may well be they are making do, too …

      Liked by 1 person

    • In a way, eh, James? And, we are seeing some of it in action in the Corona panics, where things from toilet paper to aloe gel to hand sanitizer to face masks are cleaned out (sorry, had to pun) and prices inflated for the few that are available – taking advantage of panic even when soap and warm water will suffice in most situations …

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      • Or the flu, which actually KILLED tens of thousands this year alone already.
        Or suicide.
        Or the millions of kids who are maltreated every year, often with lifelong consequences.
        So, yeah, I know. It’s inexcusable to see the exploitation of people’s fears and misuse of information to deliberately confuse (e.g. not allowing access to test kits in order to “keep numbers low”)

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Keith! πŸ™‚ I’ve seen ‘bodegas’ and corner markets in some less fortunate neighborhood that looked like this … a few ‘produce’ staples next to mostly long-shelf-life packaged stuff, graffiti on the walls, half-empty shelves in the back. …

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Na’ama Y’karah,

    Oy, I’m so late getting around FF this week. At any rate, I love the vivid description of the old man. His wife’s philosophy is interesting. No stress to keep her shelves full. Too bad my bakery managers didn’t feel that way. πŸ˜‰ Well done as always.



    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Rochelle! I do like the couple … Remind me of some oldsters I know and whose bent bodies belay their grit. It seems a ‘quaint’ little shop on the ‘wrong side’ of the tracks … and yet that they make do with what they have, and even make a strategy of it …

      Liked by 1 person

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