Lifetime school friends, Louise and Veronica, both celebrated their birthday on the same day. They usually did something together on that day and this year for their sixty-fifth they were going to visit the botanical garden’s Tropical Plant Conservatory.
“I do hope there will be no triffids in the greenhouse,” joked Veronica.
The Tropical Plant Conservatory was a large glass building. It would take Louise and Veronica an hour or so to quietly move among the foliage and espy this and that. Afterwards, they’d have a light lunch at the Conservatory’s café, and that would complete their birthday celebration.
At the door they were stopped by an attendant. “You realize, ladies, that if you bring a handbag into the Conservatory it has to be checked thoroughly on the way out for possible seeds and cuttings.”
“That’s no trouble,” said Louise and Veronica. “We shall leave our handbags here at the entrance with you.”
“That’s just as well,” joked the attendant, “because there is a handbag-devouring plant down the track. It’s related to the Venus Fly Trap.” It was an old joke; one he clearly cracked several times each day.
Louise and Veronica set out. An hour and a half later they returned to claim their handbags. The “attendant” had left. He’d gone to book his annual skiing trip to Switzerland.