The Color of a Tree

I plopped my tree on the return counter. The clerk looked at it and summed up in two words why I was at Wal-Mart in something of a tiff, returning a Christmas tree I had purchased only two hours earlier.

“It’s black.”

That’s precisely what I thought! Not thirty minutes earlier, Kyle had opened the box, and I looked at my prized tree.

“It’s black.”

It kind of made all of my excitement in regards to my new tree fall flat.

“No,” Kyle reasoned, “that’s the bottom of the needles. It’ll look greener when we put it upright.” So he put the tree upright.

“It’s black. I’m returning it right now.”

At the return counter, the clerk told me that I was the second person returning a Christmas tree that for all intents and purposes looked green in the picture. The label mentioned nothing about the color of the tree. In fact, as I was in the back of Wal-Mart for the second time that day, I noted that with the exception of the cleverly disguised black Christmas tree, every other oddly colored tree was noted on the label. “Indiana Spruce White Tree.” “Indiana Spruce Pink Tree.” “Indiana Spruce Purple tree.” It’s like they’re trying to sneak black Christmas trees into people’s homes hoping nobody will notice.

But seriously, who buys a black Christmas tree? Well, ok, who buys a black Christmas tree on purpose? (Seeing as I am clearly the type of person who buys a black Christmas tree on accident.) The appallingly poor labeling isn’t going to take them very far, considering Wal-Mart’s incredibly lenient return policy. Before I left the return desk, I made sure to sympathize with the clerk in regards to how many indignant people returning black Christmas trees he is likely to see this season. I’m sure I won’t be the last.

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