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Poor Eliza!
Copyright 2003 by H. Paul Shuch, All Rights Reserved

In the original ending to Shaw's "Pygmalion," Eliza does indeed leave Higgins, and strikes out on her own. With generous assistance from the kindly Colonel, she finally establishes her flower shop, on a fashionable corner in Covent Garden. "Pickering's Posies" is an instant success, with customers coming from Hartford, Hereford and Hampshire to select from amongst the freshest and most tastefully arranged bouquets around. Eliza, the fairest flower of them all, is courted by several gentlemen of means. Everything is loverly. Until...

On the sidewalk outside Eliza's flower shop, Freddie Einsford-Hill has taken up a daily vigil. There he stands from sunup to sundown, head hung and of mournful countenance, lamenting lost love. Eliza wisely pays him no heed.

But Henry, consumed by jealousy, plots revenge on Freddie, on Eliza, and even on his old friend Pickering. Exercising his political connections, he obtains a permit to install a kiosk on the very corner where Freddie has taken up residence. There he starts a souvenir shop, selling primarily Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison memorabilia. His collection of designer t-shirts is especially impressive. The most popular of the lot, it turns out, is the one depicting Buckingham Palace guards, muskets at the ready, bearing the inscription "Just You Wait!" But "Move Your Bloomin' Arse" runs a close second, and the popular anti-royalist slogan "The Pain In Spain Is Mainly From The Reign" earns a king's ransom. Lagging in popularity is a shirt showing the Tower of London, emblazoned "The Street Where You Live."

Within weeks, Freddie up and runs away with a social-climbing heiress from New York. Eliza discovers Colonel Pickering tapping the till to cover his losses at Ascot (one can still hear Eliza and Pickering bickering). And finally, the customers stop coming.

The flower shop, you see, is now hidden from view behind Henry's piles of merchandise. One cannot see the florist for the tees.

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this page last updated 14 June 2007
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