Here’s a chuckle for your first week in December. I didn’t make up one word. I swear. I didn’t have to. Humor writing is a rich well in the South, let me tell you.
Today is pick-up day for holiday greenery at the Botanical Gardens in the city where I live. When I arrived, the usual hustle and bustle was in full swing. In no time, my arms were too full to see over my foliage, so I placed my selections in a pile and began scoping out the rest of the aisle.
Imagine how shocked I was when a fellow shopper whisked my pile of bodacious greenery into her arms and headed for the checkout counter at a gallop, leaving me standing in her wake with my mouth hanging open.
“I’m so sorry,” I called out to her (because I’m a Southern woman, and we often begin our sentences that way whether we’re taking responsibility for monsoon rains a continent away or starving children in North Korea) “I think you’ve mistakenly nabbed my greenery!” I smiled warmly at her in a we-are-the-world-peace-love-and-joy way.
“Oh, I know, honey,” she responded with a teeth-whitened-to-blinding-smile thrown over her shoulder, “you’ve picked out some really good stuff here, but I am in a big hurry. You can get some more!”
As often happens when confronted with bad manners, I was temporarily immobilized. I blinked in confusion in an effort to process the hard-to-believe display of bad manners unfolding before my very eyes.
I began a number of responses, none of which actually made it out of my mouth:
“Of all the nerve. . . ”
“Did that woman just steal my greenery?”
“Where was that woman raised?”
“Who does that?”
I was at a loss for words. That almost never happens. Luckily, I was surrounded by a group of women, none of whom I knew, who were riled in my stead in a rather touching demonstration of sisterhood, I think. Yes, indeed, there were witnesses who found plenty of words to describe the Christmas greenery thief. It’s quite possible that the woman next to me got a good photo of the naughty one with her cell phone camera.
It took about two seconds for me to break down into one giggling hot mess. There was something about the sheer nerve of her move that cracked me up. I had to sit down and gather myself among the Poinsettias for a few minutes before beginning my second session of hunting and gathering.