IT’S ALL SEASONAL
Corn season, at 9:05 am: “Do you have any fresher ones?”
“These were picked at 7 this morning.”
“Do you have anything fresher?”
“Do you have strawberries?”
“No, I’m afraid we ran out.”
“BUT I DROVE ALL THE WAY HERE.”
Oh, well in that case… we’re still out.
THIS IS ALL I’VE GOT
At the isolated, tiny stall by the highway: “Do you grow these in the back?”
“Do you have any in the back?”
Yes. We were hiding them. We left the display stay empty because we hate you.
“Can I get a tarp for the back of the car?”
“Can I get a rope to tie this tree down?”
“Can I get some potting soil to put in this?”
“Can I get a box?”
“Can I get a smaller box than that?”
“Can I just get a bag?”
“Can I just get a small bag?”
“Can I get a small, paper bag?”
The white woman wearing a shalwar kameez and a bindi who chided me for not having paper bags because we “seemed so natural, otherwise.”
“What are you going to do when they ban plastic bags?”
I just sell stuff, sir. The question is, what are you going to do?
FISHING FOR FREEBIES
Customers who get two of something and are like, “Can I get a discount because I’m buying in bulk?”
“How much is this?”
“Twenty five dollars.”
“How about if I gave you twenty?”
How about no?
“This one is [bruised/chipped/old/just plain shit]… can I get a discount?”
No, sir. I’m taking it away and setting fire to it immediately.
A LITTLE LEARNING IS AN ANNOYING THING
The customer who asked me, “Doesn’t it kill the plants to water them when it’s hot out?” as I was watering.
“Are these Heirloom tomatoes?”
“Well, this variety is called Carolina Gold. I’m not sure how old that particular type is, but I can assure you, they’re very good. Lots of flavor, and quite sweet.”
“But are they Heirlooms? The recipe says I need Heirlooms. Heirlooms are more delicious. Which variety is called ‘Heirloom’?”
Informative Sign: “Did you know? Peaches come from ancient China.”
Customer: “Where’s “Ancient China”? Is that the orchard where you get your peaches?”
“You guys are organic, right?”
“You guys grow this yourselves, right?”
“This is perennial, right?”
“You’ll deliver this today, right?”
THAT’S NOT HOW HORTICULTURE WORKS…
“Did you pick these from the wild?”
“Is everything you sell here native?”
Customer: “Do you order these plants from a company?”
Me: “No, I believe the boss propagates these himself.”
Aghast customer: “I hope he didn’t dig these up in the woods! That’s illegal!”
CLEAR AS COAL
“Do you know about the plants?”
“Can you tell me about a plant? The one out there.”
“Can you tell me about the basil? What is it?”
“How much is that plant?” when we are both inside the store with no plants in sight.
“How much is that bush?” while pointing toward the entire shrub section.
“It was definitely a bush. A really big one. Or maybe a tree.” (It was a peony.)
READ THE SIGNS
“Hi. Do you work here?”
No, I’m just watering for fun.
“Hi. Do you work here?”
No, I’m just hauling shrubs out of the back of a trailer while wearing a t-shirt with the company logo.
“Is this organic?” while standing next to a sign that says “ORGANIC.”
“How much is this?” while standing next to a sign that says how much this is.
“When will these be ready to eat?”
“How often should I water this?”
“How fast will this grow?”
“When will the sour cherries be in?”
“Will this grow where I live?”
“Do you have something that will flower all season, in blue and red, that can grow in a cave but also full sun in summer, and I want to plant it in the middle of my pond, and I want it to be scented, but it shouldn’t attract bees because I’m allergic, and I won’t ever have to fertilize it, and it will come back next year, and will grow in the shape of an elephant?”
“As a matter of fact, I do-”
“Do you have anything cheaper?”
The customers who drive past the closed sign, into the deserted lot, walk through the empty aisles up to the shut door and looked into the darkened barn: “Oh… are you closing?”
The customer who did that and then started shopping.