Both of these are significant places in Zombieville, in Burlington’s South End, right next door. Rumpy Pumpy is at 402 Pine Street, while the Body Shop is in the same building at 404.
Rumpy Pumpy is, of course, Peter Paxton’s store. It’s a resale and consignment shop for vintage and funky shoes, bags and accessories. Because he lives off a trust fund that his rich parents provided him, he runs the store as a hobby. It never seems to do lots of business, but it has a reputation as the coolest outpost of fashion in Vermont. It supports local artists by displaying their work on its walls. It also participates in the yearly South End Art Hop and First Friday Art Walks.
The Body Shop is owned by Pearlene Eustis [see P. Bo hacking posts], a PWS and militant Z Pride activist. There’s another owner too, as yet undefined. The Body Shop is a cafe and community center. While Rumpy Pumpy welcomes PWS and works hard to support the city’s arts community in general, the Body Shop explicitly welcomes and supports PWS. The owner hires PWS and offers menu items that contain fresh human brains. The walls showcase art by PWS, while a small stage in the back hosts bands, speeches and rallies by/for the PWS community.
The Body Shop welcomes Toxic Waste denizens hanging out, using the toilet and/or wireless connection, charging their phones, receiving mail c/o the Body Shop, pretty much everything except for taking baths in the bathroom. In return, the Body Shop asks for some contribution from the Toxic Waste denizens. There are a few designated places where PWS can make contributions: washing dishes, maintaining Web site, bookkeeping, transporting day-old food to the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, arranging art exhibits, arranging bands, speakers and other events. Toxic Waste denizens regularly volunteer at the Body Shop, then end up working there part-time.
The Body Shop has a back corner, kind of behind the stage, for the Brain Trust. They hold their weekly meetings in this semi-private location, as well as any ad hoc subcommittee meetings. Anyone can sit there, but, if the Brain Trust shows up, people in their spot have to move.