When Life Gives You Lemon Trees…

, , , | Right | February 18, 2020

(I’m crazy about plants, so I work at a garden center. Today, I’ve been getting weirder and weirder questions. I have to say that some are bordering dumb but I do understand that gardening can be daunting when first started. By the end of the day, my mood is just silly from repeating myself. Then, this couple walks in:)

Woman: “Oh, my! It smells so good over here! This is bliss.”

Man: “Are we here for plants or a birdbath? C’mon. Let’s go.”

Woman: “But everything is so fun. Let’s look around.”

(They wander a bit and I go over to see if they need help.)

Me: “Hi there, welcome. Can I help you find anything or answer any questions?”

Woman: “Yes! It smells so good over there.”

(Not a question, but I respond.)

Me: “It sure does. Those are the citrus trees. They do smell great. I just rinsed a few off and that seems to make them smell even better.”

Woman: “Oh! What did you rinse them with?”

Me: “Water. I just hosed them down since they were gathering dust. We kick up quite a bit of dirt, as you can imagine for a garden store. I hosed them off so they’d look better and actually grow better. We haven’t had any rain in over a week.”

Woman: “But why do they smell so good?”

Me: “Citrus trees have a nice fragrance in general, but as you can see, many of the lemon trees are pretty heavy with fruit right now.”

Woman: “That’s it! They smell like lemons!”

Me: *smiling broadly* “Yup! They sure do.”

Woman: “Why do they smell like lemons?”

(The silly factor has kicked in and I may giggle a bit.)

Me: “Because they are lemons. See the fruit hanging? Those are lemons. Most are still pretty green, but they will get larger and yellow up a bit. They won’t get as bright as the ones in the stores but those are, indeed, lemons on the lemon trees.”

Women: “But why do they smell like lemons?”

Me: *flat-out laughs* “Because that’s what lemons smell like. Lemons.”

Man: *quite angry* “Are you laughing at my wife?! She just asked a question.”

Me: *still smiling* “No, sir. I’m laughing because I can’t think of a better way to describe it. These are the real deal. I know not everyone has seen a lemon growing on a tree. This is it. And this is where the smell comes from.”

Man: “Get me your manager! Now!”

Me: *still smiling* “Sure.”

(I call the manager over and tell him these folks want to talk to him. He is a little confused but listens intently.)

Man: “She mocked my wife. She was rude.” *gives his side of the story, somewhat embellished*

Manager: “Um…”

Man: “Aren’t you going to do something? Are you going to talk to her? Fire her?”

Manager: “Um, no, I can’t really do that.”

Man: “Why the h*** not?!”

Manager: “She’s my boss! She’s the owner!”

Me: “I will give you a discount on a lemon tree, though. You could have fresh lemons all summer.”

Man: “F***!”

(The woman left, still looking confused.)

Manager: “Why did you do that to me?”

Me: “He asked for the manager. What else was I supposed to do?”

(I really wasn’t trying to be dismissive or rude. It just struck me as silly and I couldn’t think of any other way to explain why a lemon smelled like a lemon.)

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