In today’s economy this topic generates a lot of interest, Gentle Readers, so – in this atheistic, agnostic. faithless world – let us look at how we can ‘spruce up’ (ahem) our lives by sticking shiny things on dead trees. As you see in the photo provided by ABC News, some people like to get trees for free!
About ‘the holidays’…here in the great North West, anybody driving in store parking lots over the past week can attest to how the holidays bring out the worst in people. As part of our calendar training this time of year represents our time…our chance to celebrate, our chance to consume, our chance to eat and drink too much, our time to satisfy as many cravings, gain as much weight, and kill as many brain cells as possible.
Banks used to have ‘Christmas Clubs,’ savings accounts where people squirreled away cash all year long to blow during the holidays. We wonder if the clubs still exist. Banks don’t stick around long anymore. A year is time enough to get scammed. Remember when we trusted banks? No, not when we trusted them before the Great Depression; we mean remember when we trusted banks up to a few years ago, after we forgot the depression.
The bottom line, as regards stealing a tree, here is: too many people are at the shopping areas. We act crazy enough, abusing our way through the tortuous weeks, but many must have their special holiday food and are in a hurry to get home and stuff themselves. Many can’t wait to see what they are going to pay for on credit for the next year and a half. Most want to park close to the door because they must carry the all of the precious bounty. Impatience reigns.
Cars get keyed. Frenzied parkers hit and run, scraping or denting anything parked on either side of their space.
Accomplish stealing your tree away from such behavior.
Several choices present themselves. Each person has their own way but since the holidays haunt us, we pose a few guilt-free solutions. First and most obvious, we present the old-fashioned way of driving to the woods, then parking along the road. Find whatever conifer grows in your path as you walk into the forest, you cut it down and bundle it on home.
The same method produces equal success when picking your prize from the lawn of a local mall or landscaped office park; your old high school principal’s house makes for a perfect spot to shop, maybe the school itself. Sticking with the guilt-free theme, bear in mind that nurseries have the nicest trees. These trees stand proud and straight in rows until sold….sold. It should be a crime to make money on holidays which celebrate spiritual beliefs. That is the same kind of shit Jesus threw the moneylenders out of the temple for. What harm can we do to an evil merchant?
When stealing from a business…make it a large business. Leave the Mom & Pop tree nurseries and find a chain store.
Most importantly, never ever steal anything from a friend!
Equipment is paramount to success. Chainsaws (we prefer Stihl) wake people so are best used only for deep woods scenarios, or very bold daylight ‘removals’ from front yards of vacationing enemies. Hand-saws present tricky problems, particularly if you use such tools infrequently. Green wood not only causes blisters, it shows the tenacity of a whole Druid nation if your blade is dull.
Those magic knives that cut through a can of beans, then cut down a pine tree and then cuts tomatoes into the thinnest wedges possible? Forget the part about the pine tree. Ha. We tried that years ago in a nursery one rainy night with a QVC gift knife which worked wonderfully on TV. With the rise of security cameras far off in the future, the new moon provided enough cover to allow us an hour to hack through the muddy trunk. Blisters formed in the first five minutes. Our legs froze from squatting down low enough to cut an even line across the sappy, cold wood.
Naturally, dragging the muddy tree into the house filled us with a sense of pride. Sopping wet, cold, blistered and bedraggled, we saved fifteen dollars to abuse ourselves with….enough for a case of beer at that time.
We presume that most Kind Readers are adults.
If you have children, then you probably need a tree. If not, think it over. For you parents in the house, we suggest the good old American Way – trickery! Tell your kids that Santa brings the tree when he drops down the chimney of the apartment you live in. Slip the kids a little eggnog (with a Mickey, natch) and take a midnight drive late on the 24th. Pack your pliers, a couple wire clothes hangers, and a machete or similar large knife. Avoid using QVC knives.
Drive toward your local shopping center (better yet, the best one in your town) and there you’ll find a beautiful assortment of misfit trees. Awww…just like on the Rudolph TV special, sorta.
Most trees have a good side – the one that is showing, or the side which is face up if it is on the ground. Turn them around and there’ll be branches barren and broken. Sad in a way, if you are an Arborist, however finding two half-trees to wire together with hangers solves so many problems. Besides providing for our families we utilize trees which would have otherwise died in vain. We see a certain urban heroism in this. Next, simply use the machete/knife to even out the bad sides of two tree of the same approximate height by chopping off the deformed branches on the ‘sick’ sides. Fit them together until they appear to be one tree. Children do not notice the double trunk if you steal enough presents to hide it behind. Bind top and bottom together with hangers, set it up in the living room and just watch those tender little eyes light up next morning! Be careful and try to find to trees of the same variety. A half-pine, half-spruce tree might cause a curious child to wonder; if this is your only option, concoct a good story and have it ready in the morning.
These few helpful hints carried us through many a holiday season.
We hope you find them to be useful, too! Just remember the security cameras!
Now, go get a tree – if you must.