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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Time to DIY.

On Sunday we went to The Home Depot. A suicide mission on a nice day, early in the year, combat shopping. Just getting into the parking lot was almost impossible. The entry sends you right past the front of the Garden Center, scene of some of the most vicious shopping of the season.

To make matters worse they take the opportunity provided by the increased automotive traffic to add big orange rolling racks filled with flowers to the front of the store. These run from the wall all the way to the driveway. To move from one to the other to look at the explosion of colorful plants you need to walk on the driveway. Of course, the driveway is filled with cars either trying to get in, or dying to escape.

It seems to be impossible to just walk up to a rack and think “I like the orange one with the big petals. I am buying that one.” No, it is a decision that takes hours and a lot of moving from rack to rack regardless of the potential for being run over. It requires a lot of hands on examination, a painful comparative process and minute inspection on a molecular level. People will look at two identical flowers for minutes, turning them, tilting them, every angle and view covered. It is the “plant whisperer.” What do they see? I am always impressed by the thoroughness, as long as I am not driving.

This year they went one better and added a row of blue rolling racks covered with potted vegetables to the entry way. Which turned the opening into a narrow funnel where impatient gardeners and home improvers rush to get in before someone can stop to look at the fennel plant.

We stopped to buy a cucumber plant. I like cucumbers, but even if I hated them, even if I were allergic to them, even if I was religiously opposed to cucumbers we would plant one, because they are so much fun. They are like predatory plants, they send out vines that wrap around things, you would swear they are on the attack.

We were on one side of this narrow pass, a little boy, maybe 10 years old stopped to look at something on the other side. It was on the bottom of the blue, rusty, rolling shelf.

Crossing the drive in front of the narrow, cramped entrance was a man, pushing a cart. He was
oblivious to traffic, and pushed his way across without even a glance left or right. It was a cart designed to hold lumber, and lots of it. Heavy duty, with six wheels, and three upright tubes that curved and crossed the platform to hold the piles of wood, keeping them separate and on the cart, it was a cart to be reckoned with. It did everything well, except maneuver.

I hate that door!!!
This cart only held one door, and a frame. The Man pushing it was mad. His face set in concrete lines of barely controlled fury. I don’t know if he bought the wrong door, or if it was defective, or it was too hard to install, but clearly the door was the object of his rage. And he was not slowing or stopping for anybody. He came barreling in through the narrow, tunnel like entrance, eyes straight ahead. I thought he was going to smash the little boy kneeling to look at the plants.

Fortunately the boy moved, just in time to avoid the angry man bearing down on him with the heavy cart, holding the innocent, white door.

Unfortunately, for the man, and the door, the line at the “customer service” was long, and he stood there fuming, tapping his foot, and glaring at the people in front of him. His hand wadded up a fistful of his dusty white t-shirt, right at the waist line, causing the University of Hard Rock CafĂ© logo to stretch and distort, and look slightly obscene.

I started to move down the display of tape measures, hammers and power drills, hoping to be able to last until the man with the offensive, infuriating door got to the front. Then I would have some answers. Why was he so angry about the door? Was it a Mother’s Day gift gone bad?

But, my wife didn’t want to know, and she grabbed a handful of my shirt, and drug me off to fight the crowds, and make our way to the back…

To be continued…