Flirting With Death Among the Impatiens

Responding to Swimming and Dining in The Twilight Zone, Roland Walkenhorst reports on 

the trip my wife and I made to the local big-box home improvement store Friday to buy plants. The place was a mess of cardboard one-way directives and caution tape.

The door to the garden center that we normally would have gone in was marked Exit Only, so we had to turn around and zig-zag back past other confused customers. The next door we tried, which is normally enter-only, was locked. Turn around again, more side-to-side “pardon me” dances with folks who had followed us there. On the third try, we got into the building.

After locating the plants, we realized that the bag of potting soil we needed was too big to carry. Normally I would have walked 30 feet outside the checkout area to grab a cart, but because of the restrictions I would not have been allowed back in. So I dodged more shoppers, masked and unmasked, back through the store to the main entrance. The section marked Sanitized was empty, so I grabbed a Black Death cart…

Love it! N.B: our correspondent did not succumb to said Death but lived long enough to tell of his adventure.

…from the ones waiting to be processed and headed back through the crowd to the garden center. Hi, how ya doin’, good to see you again.

We probably had close encounters with five times as many people as we would have had without the screwball COVID rules, but the plants are now safely quarantined in pots (six feet apart!) on the deck. Would you happen to know how many days Dr. Fauci says the virus can survive on impatiens?

Alas, I don’t, but I’m certain that if you pull any old figure out of the air, it’ll be as accurate as his.


4:52 pm on May 3, 2020