Warning: if you pull around to the very-remote-completely-deserted-middle-of-nowhere back of a garden center, and no one waiting there to load your mulch, or your top soil, or whatever you just blew a couple hundred bucks on ($211.80 to be precise) it's probably not a good idea to park your car behind the mile-high pile of 2.0 cubic feet bags and then start wandering around, looking for someone...at dusk.
I thought that first building back there might lead to the main store, so I wandered inside, noting with distaste the plant corpses strewn about. The building led into an adjoining building, kind of a half-greenhouse, half-barn, all musty and gross with more dead/dying plants, piles of junk everywhere--and NOBODY AROUND. Not a person, not a sound--
Till something CRASHED ten feet away from me, and a giant RAT (or more likely a possum) leaped into the air and then scrabbled out of sight, knocking stuff out its way. Not particularly bothered by massive rodents, I continued, less enthusiastically, into the next building, not much more than a large shed with empty shelves and the pervasive stench of rotting plants. Oh--and manure.
No main store in this direction, obviously. Well, hell. Where was I?
I heard a distant buzz. Possibly a...chainsaw?
Then it occurred to me that my car was parked waaay our of sight from the road, and that for all I know some homicidal lunatic could've followed me here, and who would hear my screams? No one but the possum and I doubt he'd been trained to run and bark for help. Now I pictured my face plastered all over Nancy Grace (yeah, middle-class, professional white woman--a shoo-in, right?) and my husband bleating miserably into the camera: "B-but she just drove off to pick up the rest of the mulch. She had to make two trips because she was too cheap--" (notice how he's already speaking of me in the past tense?) "--to pay the twenty-five bucks for delivery. I haven't seen her since!"
And Nancy's arch-browed smirk, which of course you know means: yeah, right, buddy! Tell it to the judge.
I whirled around and raced--well, stumbled; I was wearing flip-flops--back the way I came and made the five-minute trek all the way around to the road, to the main entrance of the garden center, and grabbed the nearest clerk who then tracked down the kid who was supposed to be waiting for me.
"Oh," he said blankly. "I didn't see you pull in."
I tipped him anyway.