A Mildly Miffed Letter To A Garden Centre
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Dear Sir or Madam
My sons and I were enticed to your garden centre by the promise of a fun Disney-themed treasure hunt that you had advertised on your website. We were looking forward to rooting out Donald Duck from the composted bark mulch or unearthing Olaf from Frozen in the screened topsoil. Or knowing what I know now about your operation, Mickey Mouse sat behind a desk in the management offices.
I checked on your website to confirm that you were open on Bank Holiday Monday. Your website was very helpful. It had your web address displayed on it. The one I just clicked on to get there. It conveniently linked to the same page, presumably in case visitors have a psychotic episode and forget where they are or what they are doing. It seems you specialise in sending your customers on pointless journeys.
It took 40 minutes to get there. When we arrived at the entrance the signals were mixed. Two large signs saying ‘OPEN’ were fixed to the gates, flanking a large industrial padlock which kept the gates firmly closed. Together with the barbed wire spiralled at the top of the gates, and the metal bollards which guarded the front I figured on balance that the garden centre was indeed closed. It did occur then that you had gone out of business, which would make a lot of sense in retrospect.
I now had to break the news to the boys. Their reaction was instantaneous and catastrophic. A kind of awful harmony of screaming, the little one holding a top-line treble scream while the older one belted out a lower bass scream. I didn’t know how to make it better. In the end I appeased my younger son with an apple, which he stuck in his mouth in a workable impression of a roasted pig from Tudor times. They couldn’t comprehend why the Disney fun had suddenly been taken away from them; in fairness neither could I.
I felt it was best at this point to take them somewhere, anywhere away from the garden centre and do what I always do when my children are unhappy. Buy them shit. Immediately. That meant heading to Woking. You can imagine the scale of my problem that the only presentable solution was Woking.
In truth we sort of drifted towards Woking because my sat-nav had packed in. We were sucked into its one-way system. This appears to have been designed by a drug addict with a Curly-Wurly fixation. The giddying sequence of chicanes and hairpins was too much for my younger son, who promptly served up a fresh helping of apple puree.
I can’t blame you for Woking. But I can blame you for us being there. Please make sure that the information on your website is correct. The waste of petrol has an impact on the environment and more importantly my wallet. It’s also a waste of tears. It’s a waste of an apple. And it’s taking the Mickey. And Pluto and Goofy and Minnie for that matter.
I look forward to hearing from you
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