I’ve developed an irrational hatred for a tree. I can see it through my kitchen window, and there’s just something… wrong… about it. It’s also got tall enough that it could take out my power lines, and possibly my kitchen, if it gets knocked down in a storm. Something must be done.
This morning, I was overcome by a desire to destroy it so powerful, I didn’t even make coffee first. I put on my grubby gardening clothes, fetched my trusty shears and (non-electric) handsaw, and headed out.
In order to even get near the offending tree, I had to clear a trail through what was previously a stunning yard (thanks, former owners!) and is now a Maginot Line of overgrown shrubs and small trees between my poorly-maintained lawn and the ever encroaching New England rainforest (sorry, former owners!). I pulled up weeds, sawed off branches, felled several juvenile trees, all the while hoping I wasn’t catching teh Lyme disease from the ubiquitous ticks.
During the bushwhacking process, I noticed a few specimens of another plant for which I have an irrational hatred. It seems to pop up all over my yard, and I always feel the need to pluck it out, even though it’s not particularly unattractive. Actually, it kind of looks like it might bloom if I didn’t nip it in the bud (ha! see what I did there?). I came across two of these mystery I-hate-you plants during my onslaught towards the Tree of Wrongness, and was horrified to discover that they had PODS on them. Pods the size of zucchini! No wonder I have such a (previously irrational, now fully justified) hatred of them: they’re BODYSNATCHERS! Come to think of it, these two with the pods were on the side of my house closest to my bedroom. I had already observed that I slept like a rock last night. I woke up at one point, really needing to pee, but closed my eyes again and was startled to not wake up again for hours. When I did finally get up, I didn’t even need to pee. Now, as everyone who has seen “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” knows, the pods DEHYDRATE you while the developing aliens within are taking on your physical appearance. I narrowly escaped a hideous death last night! Space invader weeds were dispatched with extreme prejudice. My only regret is that I don’t own a flamethrower.
Finally I made it to the Tree of Wrongness. My worst fears were confirmed. It was growing up right through the middle of a lovely ornamental blue fir tree. It clearly didn’t belong. It was an affront to both color and symmetry. My work began.
Now, I did not go into this unprepared. I watched a video about tree felling on YouTube first. Most of it, anyway. The video was shockingly complicated. Lumberjacks must be a lot more intelligent than I previously have been giving them credit for. In fact, there was an awful lot of what sounded like PHYSICS in the video. There was discussion of degrees, and percentages, and lean, and bisecting the arc of whathaveyou. To be honest, my eyes kind of glazed over after the first two minutes.
Interesting aside: Due to a series of unfortunate events, I never had physics in school. Like, at all. This might possibly explain why the shelves keep falling off my bookshelves and I have no idea a) why or b) how to stop it from happening. Every now and then, there will be a sudden horrendous crashing sound somewhere in the house. The cat and I will look at each other, startled. Then we’ll go back to our respective tasks of sleeping/licking our nethers/making clickety sounds on the glowing metal thingie on the desk, writing it off as Evil Spirits That Occasionally Make Loud Noises But Hey, What Are WE Gonna Do About It It’s Not Like We Know Physics or Something.
In any case, back to the tree. Meh, screw physics, let’s just start sawing on the trunk of a 30+’ tree adjacent to my home’s power lines and see what happens, shall we? Live Free or Die!!
TO BE CONTINUED…
Lessons Learned So Far
1) Trust your instincts.
2) Bodysnatchers are real.
3) Lumberjacks are smart.
4) me, not so much