Shopping O-Z

I wrote about traveling salesmen in Oz last week, but I forgot about one. That was none other than Ruggedo, the former Nome King, who was a peddler of sunglasses at the beginning of Pirates in Oz. Now, I might as well cover the stationary ones, who have their own shops. We know from Wizard that the Emerald City has many shops, and that people use shopping carts to carry their purchases.

We aren’t given many details, though, aside from that one of them was selling green lemonade that people paid for with green pennies. The first that I can recall really being described is the tailor shop Pastoria opens at the end of Lost King. It’s said to have been “set up next to the palace,” although Lin Carter’s Tired Tailor reports that, from the shop, Pastoria and Snip “set off down Banana Boulevard and up Strawberry Street to the palace gates,” and they later get there by way of Applesauce Avenue. Pastoria, Snip, and Humpy all work there, and Pajuka presumably does as well.

John R. Neill’s books, which provide a lot more detail about the city (and, indeed, introduce both Strawberry Street and Banana Boulevard), describe some of the shops as well. One of the main ones is Jenny Jump‘s Style Shop, located at the corner of Strawberry Street and Banana Boulevard.

When she finds a magical Turn-Style in a ruined building in the Munchkin Country, she decides to use it to set up her own business, and does so in a friendly vacant house in the city. There’s no indication that she charges for her services, except for the time during the ozlection when she asks for customers’ shoes as payment, only to receive the wrong ones due to confusing wording. Jenny employs Number Nine as an office boy, but since he works for the Wizard of Oz starting prior to Scalawagons, his Sister Six seems to have taken over as her assistant. When we see the shop again in Marcus Mebes’ Bashful Baker, she has several other employees.

While Neill never mentions Pastoria’s tailor shop, many readers have noticed that the two shops might well be rivals. If so, it has to be somewhat hurtful to the former king when his own daughter patronizes Jenny’s shop. There might be even more competition in Madam Chic Chic’s Fashion Plate Mesa, which I believe Margaret Berg introduced because Jenny was (and is) still under copyright. Located in the green territory outside the Emerald City, the hill is home to a Clothes Tree lined with mirrors, which can magically change clothing. The service was apparently started by Merlin, and temporarily shut down by the Wicked Witches.

Neill also mentions a bakery across the street from the Style Shop, and Number Nine visits an Oz Cream shop on Pumpkin Place in Lucky Bucky. Run by a young girl, this shop has two bottomless Oz cream containers. It’s also the favorite shop of Evangeline, the two-headed Dragonette, for whom the Wizard magically provides two more containers. The author tells us, “In Oz everything is so abundant that no one ever runs short, and never any charge for a single thing.” Wonder City also mentions that the busiest shopping day of the week is Choose Day. Dick Martin, in his Cut and Assemble the Emerald City of Oz, includes among the buildings in the city a grocery store, a blacksmith and hardware shop, a sweet shop serving Oz cream and Emerald Ice, a toy store, a barber shop, a bakery, and the Emerald City Emporium that includes a bootery and toggery.

And speaking of barber shops, the MGM movie has the Wash and Brush-Up Company.

A few books also mention shops outside the Emerald City territory. In Royal Book, there’s a road shop in Fix City, where a man cuts roads like fabric. They go wherever they want, unrolling all the way.

Jack Pumpkinhead has the Goody Shop in the Quadling Country, where you can purchase anything starting with “good,” but it rarely works out in your favor. Peter Brown asks for a good breakfast and gets birdseed, and Jack asks for good advice and is told to keep his mouth shut (which he can’t do). The brief episode is very similar to the shop in Dictionopolis in The Phantom Tollbooth that sells the word “good.” I’ve heard that Norton Juster liked the Oz books, but whether he ever read Jack Pumpkinhead, I couldn’t say. Handy Mandy steals some turnip turnovers from a bakery in Turn Town. Down Town has a lot of different shops, although that’s not in Oz. For the most part, shops just don’t feature much in the stories, but they do seem to be there in the background.

This entry was posted in Characters, Dick Martin, John R. Neill, L. Frank Baum, Marcus Mebes, Oz, Oz Authors, Ruth Plumly Thompson and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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