I usually try to make little jokes with my customers - especially the ones who bring back returns in bags from other stores - especially Target. I'll usually say something like "I'm sorry, we don't accept returns in Target bags," or "that's 20% off because it's in a Target bag." Same thing goes for Publix, GAP, etc.
Some old battle-axes you just know you should never try this with. Just like Sunday's bundle of fun.
She's tipping the scales at a whopping 105 pounds. The outfit is what I can only describe as Tropical Gardening Granny. Light seafoam green pants, with a blue and green striped pullover. And a straw hat tucked into a straw bag. At least it wasn't chintz! So help me Osiris I was looking for gloves and a spade. Don't forget the scowl.
And she's lugging a pair of GIGANTIC Saks Fifth Avenue bags with two dead rose-bushes jammed in each one. *oh this is going to be so much fun*
Before I can stop her, she give a heave that would have done Hercules proud and clunks one of the bags up on the counter. Dirt, dead leaves and the occasional thorn go flying. "Ma'am, it's OK. Please leave the other one on the floor!"
ME: "Can I help you ma'am?"
ROSE LADY: "These died." Well, obviously.
ME: "OK. Do you have a receipt?" Because you know she does. Gardening Grannies save everything. My own grandmother saves the bags that bread comes in. And the twist ties.
ROSE LADY: "Right here."
THE RECEIPT IS FROM DECEMBER OF 2006. DECEMBER 16, 2006.
ME: "You bought these roses last December?"
ROSE LADY: "That's right."
ME: "So what happened to them."
ROSE LADY: "I planted them and they were fine and then they died."
ROSE LADY: "Well. I want to return them."
That's right. You want to return them 296 days after Wal-Mart sold them into a life of slavery in a hot greenhouse where Gardening Grannies such as yourself dole out water and fertilizer in controlled measured doses at appointed times. Can't you hear them screaming for sustenance? You also denied those poor roses the warmth of the sun, the gentle caress of the rain, the soft, silvery feel of the moonlight air - all the while force-propagating them to yield larger, ever-larger blossoms. Then, once they've offered up their delicate blooms in a bid to please their slavish masters - you perform wholesale amputations, thus separating mother from child. Or else you ripped out the delicate petals in a form of torture worse than any known to man and gobbled them up in a delicious Quail with Rose Petal Sauce.
ME: "You've had them since December and now you want to return them?"
ROSE LADY: "What's the problem? I have a receipt."
ME: "It's not a problem. We return live - or dead - plants for a year. I was just wondering what happened to them."
ROSE LADY: "They didn't grow."
Part of me is wondering if those were some unrelated rose bushes that had never been purchased at Wal-Mart.
Whatever. Buttons mashed. Credit issued. Papers signed. Gardening granny gone.
I am seriously starting to wonder if I am cut out to deal with this mess.