A life in the shift of...Thule Howard, 25, manageress, The Joke Shop, Margate

"Mum and Dad bought the shop 26 years ago. Mum ran away from art college to join a fair, met Dad and they settled down in Margate. They bought this shop and the shell shop next door. They divorced: Dad got the shells, Mum got the jokes. Jim, the other assistant, and I have worked here since we left school at 16. I work seven days a week.

In the morning I put stock away and generally tidy up the mayhem from the day before. Every month we get a new delivery of jokes. We've just had new plastic dog turd. It is brilliant. It feels rubbery and you can throw it and it sticks to people.

I love it when you feel you've really helped someone. One lady, who thought her son was nicking money from her handbag, bought a small detonator. He opened the bag and it exploded in his face. She was very pleased with that.

Lads like anything that smells revolting and makes a loud bang. Girls are more into joke cigarettes and soap which turns your face black. We get small kids who've been told off by their parents and who want to make mischief and get revenge and I think, 'yeah, go for it'.

There's nothing I really hate about my job. Sometimes, if I have a coach- load of old ladies in the back looking at all the sexy stuff and they're screaming with laughter, I think this is one of the best jobs in the world."

Sally Williams

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