Monday, October 3, 2022

Little Shop of Horrors

This is Craig, reporting from the bakery.

For unclear reasons Local Grocery recently had a day where the store (for that matter the entire strip mall) was overrun with flies. We have no idea why. It was kind of like The Amityville Horror, but with a produce section and canned soup aisle.

Since this isn't exactly the kind of thing that attracts people to grocery stores, the management pulled out all the stops to get rid of them, with exterminators, zappers, No-Pest strips... everything short of calling Rent-a-Frog.


Hi, Ho. You rang?


Anyway, this particular night my shift-mate happened to be a girl named Marie (I kind-of know her, which can be kind-of embarrassing).

As the shift died down and closing time inched up, we began running out of things to clean, donuts to box-up, and cake orders to enter. So Marie decided to turn her attention to dealing with the flies.

She wandered off to get a fly-swatter, but came back with something entirely different.

Apparently, Local Grocery's floral & plant department had recently gotten in a shipment of Venus Flytraps for Halloween.




Oops, I meant Dionaea muscipula:



So Marie noticed them, piled them into a shopping cart, pushed it back to the bakery, and set them all over the counter, cake display, cookie island, and pretty much everywhere people looking for baked goods would be thrilled to encounter a carnivorous plant.

Marie, apparently having seen the Rick Moranis musical WAY too many times, was under the impression that the plants were aggressive stalk-and-ambush predators, capable of annihilating the store's swarm of flies in a matter of minutes (why they hadn't done so in the floral department didn't occur to her for some reason, and I learned long ago that arguing with her was pointless).

"I'm a mean green mother from... uh, the bakery department."


She got out her phone to film it, apparently thinking we were about to witness the Grumpyville Flytrap Massacre and it would really boost her YouTube channel. She was still waiting when the shift ended.

As anyone who's actually owned Venus Flytraps can tell you (like my Dad, who she apparently doesn't listen to), if they catch 1-2 flies a year it's impressive, the ones they do catch are the stupidest, slowest, ones of the swarm (it's called evolution, folks), and it takes at least a week to eat each one.

The store closed at 11. I got woken up at 3:00 a.m. by the morning shift donut & bagel baker, calling to find out why there were Venus Flytraps all over the bakery. I told him to call Marie and went back to sleep.

I heard her phone ringing in the next room as I dozed off.


jimbo26 said...

Every little helps . :)

Bill W. said...

Marie -- you "kind of know her", huh?
Nice one, Craig.

Ms. Donna said...

Hey, give your sister credit for imagination.
No, it would never work, and the Venus Flytraps were not going to work in the dark (flies “sleep.”) And she really should have brought the plants back to Floral.
But you were woken twice. Once when they called you. Why, I wonder? And then when sis got called.

Packer said...

This was a guffaw story, absolutely the best. Craig

It was a nice fall day . Where the doors could be opened . It had been 90 forever, then it rained a few day and temperatures moderated . The doors opened. The flies swarmed. My wife demanded explanation. I offered that the desiccated dog poop the neighbors hadn’t picked up all summer had been rehydrated and voilĂ . I blame it on the extreme heat of summer, yup climate change.

A. Marie said...

This Marie gives your Marie full credit for a vivid imagination, even if there has to be a slight markdown on practicality.

And I had to be escorted out of our local grocery store 50 years ago after the produce manager took exception to my bringing a flyswatter in and collecting flies for my pet lizard. My reasoning: You want flies? Go where the flies are.

gloriap said...

Loved your story, Craig. Don't ever show Marie a spider plant because there's no telling what she'll do if she gets her hands on one.

Reds Kevin said...

So this is the reason why managers don't deploy siblings or relatives on the same shift together.

Moose said...

Venus Flytrap explaining the atom in 2 minutes is one of the best things ever on television.

Powers said...

Here I thought Marie was the smart one. I was literally reading through and thinking "It can't possibly be Craig's sister."

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