The topic of this tongue twister came up tonight so I thought I’d over-analyze it the way I like to do.
There’s two sides to this business: the consumer and the provider.
Consumer: If I’m walking along the beach, which traditionally has shells strewn about in random fashion, why would I be inclined to buy them from someone nearby? I could simply bend down and pick them up, unless the female entrepreneur that is the protagonist in our tonguetwister has pre-combed the beach of all the choice shells and is purveying only the best ones.
Provider: How does one decide to go down to the beach one day, pick up shells, and proceed to sell them. What’s the markup? Can you register this as a business, incorporate it and expense various things like office space (fold-out poker table), parking at the beach, gas, insurance etc.? How do you take this idea to the bank and get a small business loan?
All this leads me to believe that since the sea shore that is the chosen business location for the purveyance of sea shells DOES NOT have shells naturally deposited there, it’s an importation business! Or, the target demographic are people that don’t like to get wet, sandy, wear bathing suits, are hydrophobic, silicaphobic but still desire the former accommodations of gooey sea creatures.
The proprieter, or employees thereof must really be combing other beaches for good shells, transporting them to a central quality control center, and the qualifying shells packaged and distributed to franchises where the target markets do not reside near seashell laden beaches.
Which leads me to wonder, when I walk along a beach and stoop to pick up a shell, what am I missing out on?
Turns out the Canary Islands are a perfect example: shell harvesters pick the beaches clean and resell these shells by the sea shore. Thus my conclusion is finally reached: the tongue twister was originally sung by a little yellow bird in a cage!