Unbeknownst to Johnny, the loss of the Robinson account was only a small part of a larger discord growing between his new friend Kona and their bosses Stewart and James. Kona was a free spirit, and never minced words whenever something bothered her. She didn't take things too seriously, especially when it came to the strange "flower emergencies" that clients would have fits over. This didn't bode well for her in the long run.
Hydrangeas are the unofficial flower of the Hamptons. During the blooming season in late July/early August, hydrangeas would line the fronts of seemingly every Hampton garden. Hamptonites not only love their hydrangea outside, but many just have to have them inside, as well, adorning their foyers, living rooms, dining rooms, kitchens and bedrooms. Rather than cut from their own gardens, however, they quite often would pay upwards of fifteen to twenty dollars per stem of the puffy flower to be included with their weekly orders from the shop. For Stewart, hydrangeas were a must each week at the flower market, and they were very profitable!
One particular week, the demand for hydrangea was unusually high. The shop was running low on them and Stewart desperately needed some for a dinner party that was upcoming. On the way to the Robinson's that Thursday, Kona was telling Johnny about the shop's own "flower emergency." Along the way, Johnny couldn't help but notice some of the beautiful specimens lining the entrances to some of the gates on Captain's Neck Rd.
"We should just come back tonight and cut some of these," Johnny suggested jokingly.
A light bulb went off in Kona's head. "That's it! After work, you and I are gonna come back and clip some. We'll wait til after dark and take some from here and some from there. No one will ever know."
"I was just joking Kona. We can't do that. We'll get caught!"
It took the rest of the day for Kona to convince Johnny to go with her on this scheme. In the end, it all went off without a hitch, and Stewart unknowingly made a little extra in profits that week. All in all, it was fun for Johnny. He wasn't used to breaking rules and got some sort of a thrill from doing something underhanded. It was the kind of thing he liked about Kona, non-conformist that she was. Eventually she confessed to the scheme and Stewart, with only a slight disapproval, let it go, but in the end it would turn out to be another nail in Kona's coffin.