Green mulch.

I was working outside in the garden department when I saw a spaceship land in the parking lot. A small green man stepped out and walked up to me, his hand held up in greeting.

“Greetings,” he said. “I am Aaga from the planet Qylxzy. Do you have any green mulch here?”

“I’m sorry?” I asked. “Did you say, green mulch?”

“Correct.”

“Sorry, we do not carry green mulch. We do carry mulch in red, brown and black, and we do have cypress mulch, but we do not carry any green mulch.”

“You make this difficult,” Aaga snarled as he pulled out a tiny phaser gun. “Prepare to be annihilated.”

“With that tiny thing?” I laughed.

Aaga fired his phaser at a shelf of merchandise along the wall, which promptly disappeared. “Something funny?” he asked as he pointed the phaser at my chest.

Now I knew Aaga meant business. After some quick brainstorming, I came up with an idea. “I’ll be right back,” I said.

I grabbed a bag of cypress mulch and took it inside to the paint department where I took a can of green spray paint. Then I went outside behind the store and spread the mulch out on the pavement before painting it green. After a few minutes, I put the mulch back in its original bag and carried it back to the garden department where Aaga was waiting.

“Here you are,” I grinned as I handed over the green mulch.

“Oh, this is great!” Aaga beamed as he examined the bag. “I’d like 99 more, please.”

I gulped in shock. Recovering my composure, I said, “I’m sorry, but this is all we have.”

Aaga once again aimed his phaser at my chest and repeated, “I said, I’d like 99 more, PLEASE.”

Now I really had to think fast. Grabbing a floor jack, I towed a pallet of cypress mulch outside behind the store before heading back to the paint department to grab cans and cans of green paint. Then I went to the rental department and borrowed their portable cement mixer. Once back outside, I poured the paint inside the mixer before adding the mulch. Slowly I filled the bags with green mulch and several long hours later, finally finished the task. Sweating and panting, I pulled the pallet of green mulch back to the garden department where Aaga was still waiting. When he saw the green mulch, he beamed and said, “Excellent! I’ll take it.”

After paying for the green mulch and loading it in his spaceship, Aaga took off, waving at me as he disappeared into the sky. I stood silently, sweating and panting with spots of green paint all over my clothes, but I felt good for going above and beyond to provide the excellent customer service even aliens from other planets deserve.

A few hours later, five small spaceships landed in the parking lot. Aaga had returned, accompanied by four small green men. He led them up to me, where they all stood before me while smiling.

“These are my neighbors,” Aaga explained, “They like my green mulch so much that they want some too!”

I fainted.

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