Standing in the Rain

Market HallThere was once an indoor city market, full of different traders. Some of the stalls were wildly successful, others less so. The market was run by a committee: each stall got one vote, however much they earned.

It was decided that the market could be more than just a place for buying and selling, it could be a genuine community. Nearly everyone agreed that this was a good thing. So the committee started making rules to govern the community and soon there were no end of meetings arguing about which stall benefited most from these changes. The big stalls claimed the small stalls always came off best, and the small stalls countered that if that was the case, why were they still small stalls? The owners of the big stalls looked down their noses as if to say, 'We know why your stall isn't succeeding, but we're too polite to say.' They didn't seem too keen to share their wisdom, or their success, so the committee found ways to make things a bit more equal through rent and rule changes.

One day, one of the bigger-than-average stalls made a surprising decision. 'This just isn't working for me any more,' said the stallholder. 'I only ever wanted a simple market, and you forced me to go along with all these rules. You lot have ruined it. I just about tolerated it when you said I had to employ the children of other stallholders - turns out they were rather talented. But now you want to let the local homeless people sleep in here, I don't understand what that's got to do with shopping!'

So the stallholder left the market. There he is, on the other side of the road, standing in the rain, while everyone walks straight past him on their way to the market. His little cassette player has 'Freedom' by George Michael on repeat, but it doesn't seem to be drumming up much trade.

Indoors Market

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