Re-tales

Local Market:  Went with my market buddy, Studly McRocklegs, for brunch and adventure.  Wandered the stalls, looking for fresh veggies, oogling luscious lemon cake made by “Mom”, and settled in for a shared savory crepe.  Practiced bad French across the counter with Mme. Grand, who manages the creperie.  We watched people as we bashed a delicious fresh crepe loaded with bleu cheese, black forest ham and spinach. 

We made our way to The Cheese Lady.  She is the purveyor of artisan cheese, and i was hankering for her soft and sharp aged cheese to toss onto my fresh asparagus.  There was a line, which is not unusual on a Saturday morning.  i got my cheese* and we headed to the car – today, skipping The Pasta Lesbians and Chef Ron’s Bakery.  Onward to the next stop…

The Warehouse Club:  My dog weighs 100 pounds.  The cat has grown to be about a quarter that size.  i buy chow in bulk.  Never mind kitty litter and 40 pound bags of salt for the water softener. i dread going on Saturday morning, as they have the Food Product Sample People** causing traffic jams.  There are people who eat an entire meal by wandering slowly from one sample stand to the next…  blocking aisles with their giant asses and carts. 

Today?  It wasn’t bad.  i still got aggravated, and jumpy, and my dinosaur brain reminded me that i hate shopping because it kinda makes me a little stabby, so we finished up and headed out quickly.  Dropped Studley at his place… and went home to unload the metric ton of crap weighing down my Honda.  From there…

The Mega-Mondo-Garden Center:  Well, technically, i can’t count this as a retail experience.  i drove by it.  Today is the first non-monsoon Saturday of the season – the place was a madhouse.  i decided to try my luck buying annuals at the K-Mart down the street.  They’re just plants that are going to die in a few months.  i don’t think quality matters all that much….

K-Mart:  Petunias, mums and marigolds.  Some cheap potting soil.  A few other punky looking spiked foliage thingies for the containers on my front porch…  The outside garden area was pleasant.  Prices were good.  The hanging baskets looked pretty mangy, though, so i decided to pick one up at the Mondo-Mega-Garden center on the way back.   Inside to the registers to check out…

Zoicks!  There were large lines of large people at the two open registers.  So i waited.  And forgot that i needed to buy a new garden hose.  Waited some more.  And forgot that i needed to buy some long planters for my basil.  And i waited.  Patiently.  The clerks seemed to be moving in slow motion.  Eventually, i escaped the checkout and drove toward home, to see if the Mega-Mondo-Garden Center was less packed…

Mega-Mondo-Garden Center:  Nope.  A zoo.  i’m sure the hanging baskets are lovely.  i’ll probably never see them myself.  i decided to continue on to the teeny little garden center down the street from me, where the prices are generally high, and i have no idea how they stay in business…

The Garden Lady:  There were no other cars in the lot as i pulled in.  The hanging baskets were spectacular, and the owner was wandering around with a hose, wetting them down.  “i am looking for a basket that likes sun, and has red and yellow flowers.  i have these ugly rose bushes amongst my landscaping that force me to stick with the reds…”  She takes me to exactly what i am looking for.  It’s perfect.

We get to yakking about other varieties that might work.  She has suggestions for my containers, too.  We wander inside, talking about my beloved hibiscus, which i have not yet killed.  An older gent walks in as she’s ringing me up, and she asks what he’s looking for.  “Something to kill tent worms”.  She replies “Are you organic?”  He looked a bit confused – so i said “You just wanna kill ’em, don’t you?”  He laughed and nodded his head.  They both laughed when i suggested a flame thrower.

As we were having that conversation, a leather-encrusted biker dude arrived.  He waited for a break in the conversation, then asked “Excuse me, but can you help me find an address?”  We learned that his brother-in-law is getting married, and is really awful at giving directions, and even though he used to live up this way, he moved south about fifteen years ago… and that it all looks different now. 

Between Garden Lady, Older Gent and i, we got him pointed in the right direction.

Heading back to my car, i was surprised to see about a half-dozen cars now in the lot, along with a nice Harley, and a few people wandering around amongst the plants.  As i loaded my plants into the back seat, the Biker brought over his handwritten directions, and i was able to give him specific landmarks so he could navigate to the wedding without trouble.

It’s not that i don’t like shopping.  i’m pretty sure i just don’t like crowds of stupid people.  Pick the little guy whenever you can…  and be sure to fart around while you’re out there. 

both photos found here

* not a euphemism.

** i don’t know what to call the people who hand out free samples of hot food or cold stuff in the little paper cups in the grocery store.  other than annoying…

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