Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dead Flowers Look Good

Laura was at the shop the other day and took a phone call order for dead flowers. A gentleman claimed to have dated the famous Hollis Gillespie back in the 70's and wanted to send her dead flowers with a clever note as a prank. I happened to walk in to the shop at the tail end of the call. Laura was cheerful and seemed to be having a great time with the customer on the phone. When she hung up and told me about the order, I just about died. My first reaction was fear of putting my name on dead flowers, and especially to an Atlanta personality--who is a writer! The next panic was...we didn't have any dead flowers.

Apparently Laura had told the sender that we would have to pull flowers from the trash to fill the order, he told her to do that and then give them an extra mashing just to make sure they look terrible.

As I dug through the trash I found some pretty cool looking dead flowers. Laura has done a good job at cleaning up the shop and weeding out any expired inventory, and after sitting there in the piled trash all day they looked sad enough to use. Now this was kind of fun. I pulled out three dead red daisies, the stumpy parts of some berry branches, some four week old mokara orchids, and chopped up wilted bupleurum, put it into a vase, and tied a pretty ribbon on it.

When Jenny came to pick up the delivery I gave her very specific instructions. If she handed the flowers directly to Hollis, make sure she gets the joke and leave our business card on the arrangement. If she doesn't directly deliver them, then take our card off the flowers....we have a reputation to keep and I didn't know if Hollis would get the joke.

Jenny had to leave the bouquet. The sender called me that evening to see if she received the flowers. Hollis didn't get the joke. I told the sender I'd investigate the next morning. So I called Hollis the next day and she said the gesture bewildered her a bit, but she hadn't realised that the flowers were dead. I was shocked and asked her not to tell the sender that! He spent good money for those dead flowers! We giggled a bit on the phone and she promised to send him an email.

Now I realise that when I was putting together the arrangement, I was cutting the stems to get them to appropriate lengths, and then putting them back in water. Hollis wasn't home when we left them on her porch late that was cool out and they were under shelter (otherwise we wouldn't have left them - even if they are dead flowers!). In the time that it took her to receive them, they probably hydrated quit a bit and came back to life. While I think this whole thing is funny, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't think to keep the vase empty...or to not cut the stems...habit I guess. I hope he calls back to send her a fresh bouquet!

1 comment:

Jacqueline said...

This is a great post, makes me think of the Rolling Stones' song "Dead Flowers."
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Hope you'll check it out.