Consumer Boom


If you are short of a principle

Or two or three or more

Principles for Men will fit you out

They won’t be demanding

You won’t have to shout

Or break the law


If you’re inclined to change your mind

If the conclusions it has come to

Aren’t for you

Go to the MIND shop, it’s no bind,

Address the crew

And say “I want to change my mind.”


If your account is in the red

The creditors in ambush wait

To Body Shop repair

Say “Out of stock – or am I wrong?”

In the van over there

I’ve got six bodies for a song!”

If something seems a little flat

A little empty

Don’t worry. Tesco’s is at hand

Seek out computer games and shoes

Join the happy band

There used to be just booze.


Some of the names here may puzzle the non-Brits. I don’t know how international they are. “Principles for Men” is a clothes shop chain, I think just so named because the original “Principles” was for women. MIND is a big mental health charity which has a large number of charity shops all with the sign MIND SHOP. Body Shop is a chain selling environmentally-friendly lifestyle items (roughly). Tesco’s is our biggest supermarket chain, famous for using its economic muscle ruthlessly to get planning permission for new stores.


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  1. Ah, I’ll have to read it again then- although I knew Tesco’s from my time in Bristol.

    • I suppose the genesis of this poem was that I couldn’t pass “Principles for Men” without thinking, “They’re selling PRINCIPLES? ‘This one suits you, sir – not too demanding.’.” What were you doing in Bristol – studying, working? I was there for a year.


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