Sorry to those of you expecting Bitchsport, Part 2, but I'm trying to block the tragic memory as much as possible and re-writing it this soon after it occurred could give me a breakdown. Perhaps in a short while I will conclude the saga, but for now, I would like to write about my Saturday. My blog, deal with it.
So Saturday rolls around, I have two things I have to do for work in the morning, but then I have the afternoon to myself. As I mentioned, I developed my landscaping greatness last weekend, constructing a retaining wall planter and making my front yard look presentable, as opposed to a mound of dirt. Well, I've gotten several compliments from the neighbors, so apparently I know what I'm doing. Amy helped too, but she's not writing this so I'll indulge myself.
Anyway, the garden is not quite complete as there are several areas that don't have any mulch and apparently when you put grass seed down you should cover it with something to prevent birds from eating the seeds. It's like Stephen King outside some days. So, I have two missions to complete this Saturday afternoon, seems easy enough.
Now, I couldn't go to Home Depot because I'm deathly afraid of the parking lot (see my top 10 lists), so I went to this garden place that's hidden behind a Toys R Us just about a mile from my house. I went there before to get the stones for the retaining walls, and some other stuff and despite their shitty service there, I opted to go back for these simple tasks.
Let me explain why I have dubbed their service "shitty." When Amy and I went there last weekend, we walked around the place for like 1/2 hour looking for someone to help us. All we found was a fat, greasy Italian guy who seemed bent on us buying a Magnolia tree. After we convinced him that we actually wanted a Maple, and that we wanted some stones, he called a Mexican over to load the stones for us, then he disappeared.
So here I am standing with a Mexican guy who speaks only broken English and a pallet of stones that weighs a ton. Luckily he has a small construction vehicle (funny stuff) to move the pallet onto the work truck I am using for this task. Unfortunately, I only wanted a 1/2 pallet and he just put a whole pallet on the truck. So what does he expect me to do...help him remove the top half of the stones and place them on a different pallet. Are you kidding me? Needless to say, I stopped short of the halfway mark and considered the overage my labor charge for 15 minutes of hard labor and went on my way. Should've seen that as a sign and never gone back.
But sure enough, one week later, there I stand, looking for someone to help me get some mulch and hay. As I wait, I notice rolls of sod sitting on a pallet as well. Hmmmm. Sod means grass with no waiting!? I'm pretty impatient (there is a guitar in my spare room that I know how to play three notes on), so this is an intriguing prospect...but I've been sent here to get hay and I've already spent money on fertilizer and grass seed that has feed the bird of my neighborhood nicely. Mulch and hay. Simple.
So finally, this girl tells me I can go pay inside, so I go into the hottest place on earth and tell the Mexican (different one) that I want three bags of mulch and a cube (I don't know what they're called) of hay. He points to a chart that shows like seven different names of mulch, and I'm like, "Normal Mulch." I believe he understands as he rings me up for something, then he moves onto the hay. Utterly confused by what I am saying, he walks me outside and I point at the hay and say, "Hay to go over grass." Apparently, he only understood one word.
"No, hay" (I'm pointing right at it)
"You want grass."
"NO, HAY." (still pointing)
"No want grass" (now he's pointing at the sod)
Is he some sort of Mexican gypsy mindreader? Maybe I did want the grass, subconsciously, and he's helping me make that decision.
"Ok, I'll take the grass. Give me five rolls."
I have no idea if this will cover the area I need, but I'm feeling good about the purchase, as I'm sure he is since it's probably like $20 more than what I really wanted. Mexican Jedi Mind Trick perhaps. Dickin'
So of course, I have to get all this stuff myself. He's seems to speak fine English when he explains that I can grab the sod and get the mulch around back where someone will help me.
I load up the sod, and drive over to the mulch where a man in a Mercedes is waiting as well. I ask him how long he's been there....I'm a veteran at this place. He says 10 minutes at which time I say,
"Well, fuck it. I'm not waiting here any longer" and decide I'll just grab my own mulch.
He concurs and begins grabbing his own shit, and I now realize that the long list of mulch is there for a reason. There are tons of different bags of mulch sitting in piles and I have no idea what I'm supposed to get. I'll be damned if I'm gonna wait, so I just pick one and grab four bags. Did I say four? Labor charge, my friends, labor charge.
I'm feeling pretty solid about the whole exchange, and head on home. I lay down the sod first, which covers all of 1/3 of the area I needed it to. Crap.
Then I move on to the mulch. I tear open a bag and start laying it in the areas where there is no mulch or the existing mulch is thin. Well, after a few pours, I notice something very odd. This mulch looks very red?! Now, I'm color blind so it's tough for me to make this judgment call. It definitely looks different from the rest of the mulch that's down, but maybe it's just because it's fresh. So I pour a bit more, about 3/4 of the bag. OK, it is definitely red. Immediately I call Amy in a panic. She tells me to stop what I'm doing and wait for her to get home. Good, I needed to watch the South Park episode I missed on Tivo.
She gets home about an hour later and confirms that the mulch is indeed red. Great. How do I return something I obviously didn't ask for and that I stole an extra bag of to boot. Fuck it...Red garden. But here's the catch. Since I now have red mulch, that doesn't match the existing mulch, I need to go back and get like 6 more bags of it so everything is the same color.
Definitely something going on with that garden place. Sons of bitches.
Well, now the red garden is complete. You'd think it'd be an eyesore, but already one other neighbor has followed suit and another one came by to say that she's probably going to go get some red mulch as well.
"It's very striking."