The store keeper is very much a Groucho character, especially when he's behind a counter dealing with customers; slightly rude, absurd and not very helpful. It's the kind of character you like to write when you need to blow off steam. And very much a character that can't exist out of these sketches. The closest I came to trying something bigger with it was to include a version of my Cheese Shoppe sketch as a scene in a screenplay I wrote. The customer was one of the leads in the script. She had a best friend and they entered a cheese shop. But more about that when the Cheese shop skit comes up.
Oh, and no surprise, PHC passed on this sketch as well.
Storeman's Pet Place
(GK, MS: Martin Storeman, WM: Wild Man, ANnouncer)
GK: ...this portion of the show brought to you by the good folks at Storeman's Pet Place, the place for pets. And the owner, Martin Storeman, is always willing to go that extra mile to perfectly match you up with the pet of your dreams...
MS: May I help you?
GK: Yes, please. I would like a pet for my four year old daughter.
MS: I terribly sorry, sir, we don't make exchanges for any children over three. Too much trouble to keep in storage.
GK: No, no, I don't want to trade my daughter here.
MS: Why not? You can get a great deal! Why, I can give you two piranha fish and a turtle for her.
GK: You don't understand. I want to buy a pet to give to my daughter.
MS: Oh, is that all? My offer still holds.
GK: I'm afraid not.
MS: All right then, I'll make it three piranha, two turtles and I'll throw in an ant colony. That's the best deal you'll get on pets row.
MS: Fine, fine...something for a four year old.
GK: Yes, you know, not too big, easy to care for.
MS: I have something right here.
(some hissing noises)
Just want you want, a pygmy crocodile.
GK: A what?
MS: Crocodile. Easy to care for. Will eat anything and anyone you give it. It hardly ever has to be walked.
GK: This is for a child!
MS: No problem. We sell it with an extra long leash.
GK: I was really thinking more in terms of a dog.
MS: Dog?? A dog? What's so great about a dog? They make a mess. They howl and chase the mailman. A crocodile would never chase the mailman. A crocodile simply waits in ambush for the mailman to get careless and wander too close to the moat.
GK: What moat?
MS: What moat? Every crocodile owner has a moat. Why owning a crocodile without a moat is like a day without sunshine.
GK: What else have you got?
MS: What exactly are we looking for?
GK: A simple ordinary house pet.
MS: Like a cat?
GK: Precisely, a cat!
MS: Is that all? I've got exactly what you want.
(snarling and roaring)
GK: That's a mountain lion.
MS: No, it's not.
GK: Then what is it?
MS: It's a puma.
GK: What's a puma?
MS: A type of mountain lion.
GK: I don't want a mountain lion---
GK: ---Puma. I must want an everyday house cat. You know, drinks milk from a saucer, chases mice---
MS: This'll chase mice. Along with rats, dogs, moose, small foreign cars and anything else it can get it's razor sharp claws into.
GK: I don't want it.
MS: Not even a little?
MS: Now you've hurt its feelings.
GK: Can't you do something?
(loud clubbing noises. Roaring stops)
There, all quiet. I have a way with animals.
GK: So I see. What else do you have?
MS: I've got something you'll love!
GK: And this is?
MS: A wild man of Borneo, what else?
WM: Yum, yum, eat 'em up!
GK: What would I do with a wild man?
MS: Lots of things. You can teach him tricks. He can sit up and fetch. You can teach him to bring you the slippers, the paper, the paperboy.
GK: I'm sorry, I don't see anything that suits me.
MS: Wait, please One more shot. I beg of you.
GK: Oh, all right.
MS: Let me get this straight. A house pet for a 4 year old, small, easy to care for.
GK: Yes, yes.
MS: No problem. Look at this.
GK: That's your finger.
MS: No, on my fingertip.
MS: Your daughter's pet.
GK: What is it?
MS: A paramecium.
GK: Beg pardon?
MS: A paramecium. A small, one cell animal.
GK: You expect me to give that as a pet?
MS: You said you wanted a small pet.
GK: Not microscopic. I can't even see that.
MS: Just as well. They're ugly little creatures.
GK: I don't care.
MS: It's a perfect pet. Their terrific guard animals. No one sees them coming. You can train it as a watch-paramecium to protect your child.
GK: How can a paramecium protect my child?
MS: Simple. When an enemy attacks, the paramecium invades the enemy's system and gives him the flu.
GK: That's stupid.
MS: He's very smart. He can do tricks.
GK: Ask it how much two and two is.
How much is two and two? No, one more...
GK: What are you doing?
MS: I'm watching it flap his cilia.
MS: The hundreds of little hairs it uses to move. You should see him tap dance.
GK: How do you know it's a him?
MS: 'Cause his name is Bill, smart guy.
GK: Thinking it over, I'll pass on the paramecium.
MS: How about an amoeba?
MS: You look like a man who appreciates some good bacteria.
GK: No, thank you.
MS: I got some virus. No problem to keep. They'll eat anything. Except moldy bread.
MS: I got some real fine fungus.
GK: No thanks. And good day.
MS: Don't worry about it, Bill. We'll get you a home yet. Bill? Bill are you there? Bill, here, Bill (whistles)
AN: Storeman's Pet Place, the place for pets. All kinds of pets. Pets you would probably never consider in a million years. So, Come on down!