I cringe at the sight of dead plants. In the first place, I hate the fact that people are supporting Wal-Mart instead of a proper nursery, one that might actually help them keep the poor things alive. Then, I dread the inevitable collection of dirt, dead leaves and sometimes bugs that will soon be scattered across my counter. Or the hunt for a UPC if they don't have a receipt.
This woman Sunday took the cake. Not only did she return nine - count 'em, NINE - plants, she returned everything she used to
It boggles the mind.
I'm returning four pairs of shoes for a woman (all the wrong size) when I look up and see a buggy of dead plants. Inwardly, I groan. Outwardly, I probably groaned too, because the Carrie Bradshaw-wannabe I was helping turned around, looked and then turned back and around and went "Oh, wow. They're dead." to her totally-not-Samantha-but-still-a-ho friend.
Dead doesn't even begin to describe these plants. Think last week's salad - with a dash of the Sahara thrown in for good measure. The woman was the basic Midwestern retiree type that flocks to Florida. Yellow shorts, blue T-shirt, sun visor. Spotless white shoes. Right there, that was a clue. How many gardeners have you ever seen with even one pair of white shoes? Much less clean ones.
Not-Carrie and Samantha-bot leave. Black Thumb pulls up to the counter and begins unloading her cargo of slain chlorophyll. I grab a metaphorical pair of hedge clippers and wade in.
She's got five, six, seven, eight, NINE clods of very dry dirt - roughly the size of a pot - attached to a stem and some leaves (Dieffenbachia, for those interested). These, she starts clunking down on the counter. "THESE" *clunk* dirt flies, "DIDN'T GROW" *clunk* more dirt "FOR ME." *clunk, clunk, clunk*
After the first three, when I realize she's intent on *clunking* out the entire litany of her failed botany experiment, I grab some Wal-mart bags and get her to put the science fair rejects in there instead. Hey, I care about the planet. I recycle!
Then, when I didn't think it was possible, it gets worse. UNDER the plants in her buggy, she's got the tools of the torturer. A half a bag of fertilizer, a hand-held spade, a hand-held trowel, a garden hose and a bottle of MiracleGro. ALL USED!
"You want to return all that?"
Of course you do.
The date on the receipt? September 29, 2007. Yes folks. Deader than Britney's career after the VMA's in just over three weeks. Impressive isn't it?
Want to play gardener? Come right on in to the House of Wal. We don't have any trained gardeners or people who know anything about plants. But we'll let you return your toys when you break them.