[A mostly true seasonal story]
This past Saturday I was driving along, enjoying the neighborhood displays of Christmas decorations ……noting the giant inflatable snowmen, the reindeer on roofs, the wreaths and ribbons bedecking doors….. when out of nowhere I was appalled by a gruesome display of psychological torture that will haunt me til my dying day.
The day was bright and sunny with a crisp tang of snow in the air. Up ahead on my right I saw something white billowing like a low floating cloud.
But in this case it was more like the fog cinematographers use to set the scene in a monster movie.
A scary scene.
A scene where you want to yell at the actors: "Don't go down the stairs!"
As I got closer I saw that what was billowing was wood smoke. Wood smoke from a pot bellied stove set up in the middle of the parking lot of a storefront selling outdoor garden ornaments.
This time of year they also sell Christmas trees.
[You might want to shoo the children out of the room at this point]
As I drew level I saw two men with bulging money belts standing near the pot bellied stove gleefully rubbing their hands together to warm them. Just to the right of the stove…… completely enveloped in wood smoke…… stood twenty or thirty Christmas trees trussed up in rope, shivering, dropping their dying needles all over the ground, huddled together for comfort.
The poor trees!
Not only had someone snuck into their forest, mercilessly chopped them down, bound their glorious limbs together with rope and spirited them off to beelzebub's parking lot…….. while they awaited whatever fresh hell was in store…….. they were being forced to stand in the essence of one of their own species while it provided heat for their captors!
My mind reeled with the unfairness of it all.
But the great thing?
Just as I pulled into the convenience store next door an army of walking trees straight out of Tolkien's imagination crossed the street …..picked up the guys warming themselves....knocked their heads together[gently] and tossed them onto the roof of the nearest house. Then the walking tree army freed all the captive Christmas trees and they all marched off together into the woods.
At least that's what I told the cops when they showed up.
And just fyi?
Afterwards I found out two very interesting things……Vaseline easily removes pine tar from a cape and if you prepare the soil really well first, it's just amazing how quickly rooting hormone works on fir trees…….