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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shopping (03/01/07)

TITLE: Mrs. Piddle McBags


Mrs. Piddle McBags was a small plumb silver haired lady. She had a beautiful smile and twinkling eye framed by wire spectacles. It was easy to laugh and share a pleasant afternoon with Mrs. McBags as long as it didn’t include shopping.

This little woman took the phrase “shop till you drop” to the extreme! She seldom bought more than an item or two on any given shopping trip, but oh how much thought and energy that woman could put into each purchase.

Nothing missed her expert examination. Each item underwent the deepest scrutiny.
A hat brim couldn’t be too big or hint of being too small. A scarf had to be judged for length, width, color, texture, maker, price, etc. The latest book or oldest antique received equal attention.

If small enough to hold, each item was handled and turned over twice followed by a third time for good measure. Larger items she walked around and eyed from every possible angle.

Taking her to a shoe store took hours. She had to handle each individual style of shoe and hold it to the light. And the poor shoe clerk must have grown tired of smiling and running to and from the stock room. “Does this come in a smaller size, a narrower width, a different color?” The questions would go on and on. Now on her behalf let me explain she had very small feet so some of this must be excused. It really was quite hard for her to find the right size of shoe.

One busy afternoon I made the mistake of taking her to the grocery for milk and bread. We came out two hours later with only an item or two more, but my feet were tired and my family late with supper.

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This article has been read 697 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/08/07
A charming little character study. I'd have enjoyed reading more--and you had some more words to play with--maybe an explanation of the relationship between the narrator and Mrs. McBags, or some dialog to further develop her character. This was delightful.
Connie Pilston Shoemaker03/08/07
Short but sweet I agree with JAN it did end abruptly. When did you take my grandma to the store AND why did you change her name? :)
Joanne Sher 03/10/07
Love the character's name - and personality! I would love more detail - you left me wanting to know this woman even more!
Jacquelyn Horne03/10/07
Sounds like a fun trip that calls for patience. But, I felt a bit of love for the lady in the narrators voice. Good story, but short.
julie wood03/12/07
This character study delighted me! I enjoyed the description of the main character--I could just see her--and could also relate to the narrator's frustration, since there are a couple of "Piddle McBags" folks in my own family.

Delightful name, by the way--and title! It grabbed me right away.

I too would like to see this character developed more through dialogue, and to know her relationship to the narrator.

Great job!
Myrna Noyes03/13/07
Interesting, well-drawn character! I enjoyed reading your piece very much!
dub W03/13/07
This is very well written. I am trying to identify the style, another published author uses the same pacing - quite enjoyable to read, almost like a poem. I hope to see more of your offerings in the future.
Sara Harricharan 03/13/07
Short, but sweet. What a delightful little lady! Though shopping with her must indeed be very interesting! I know a few who take the 'shop til you drop' to the extreme, you did a good job with the descriptions in this piece. ^_^