Wednesday, December 30, 2009

the gift that just kept on giving

I'm not sure if I wrote about our spite tree or not. The day we went to get a Christmas tree, Nipper and I were having what I'll call here a "disagreement", because there are ladies in the audience. As Jack and I left the house, he said something about getting a smallish or at least regular sized tree. When I got to the lot, I breezed past the small, regular and even large trees and went straight for the JUMBO sized trees in the back. I'll show him to tell me what to do. I'm the boss of me! Clean your own damn dishes! (In fairness, Nipper does 95% of the dishes, I don't recall what we were arguing about)

SO I bring Rockefeller center tree back on top of the car, and Nipper tries not to murder me on the spot. He has to cut the bottom to get it in the tree stand, and then we have to cut the top to get it in the house. Our living room is not small, but this thing took up most of it. It was like having a forest in our house. I loved it. Nipper hated it. He told me so, almost every day in December. He also apologized to everyone who came into the house, as if the sheer size of our tree was a personal affront to all who's eyes had the misfortune to gaze upon it. "Do you think our tree is big enough?" dirty look, snide comment mumbled under his breath, eye roll...

The tree died about 3 weeks ago. I mean, I know it was dead already, but it stopped drinking water, and got sad and dry looking weeks before Christmas. By the time the day rolled around, the tree looked like it was carrying a heavy burden just standing up. The ornaments were mostly buried in it's sagging branches, or barely holding on to their tips.

When I went to take the ornaments off yesterday the tree was actually crumbling into dust. Little chalky poufs of petrified pine needles were exploding into the air with each tug. I told Nipper that we'd better take the lights off outside. This was made more fun, by the fact that the tree stand was FILLED with dirty tree water. The tree was ten feet tall, which meant, we couldn't just pull it out of the stand. There was no way to get the tree out without spilling it all over the floor. Which was fine by me, this is what mops are for right? Nipper was ready to rid of the tree, but didn't really want to participate in the messy undressing process.

We dragged it outside, leaving a billion needles mixed with what looked like bong water all over the floor. Not that I'd know what bong water looks like. Jack and I vacuumed and mopped while Nipper took the lights off. I could hear him out there swearing and cursing the day I was born.

We usually take our tree to the recycling center to get a free tree, but this year they aren't giving a tree away, because apparently they are broke too. So we just put it out with the recycling for the truck to pick up. Nipper and Jack were down in the yard when the truck pulled up. I happened to be standing by the front door. I looked out, saw the truck, and picked up the phone to call Nip to tell him to bring Jack up to see the side loader truck pick up our tree, but as the phone rang, disaster struck. The tree, having been hauled all the way up to the top of the truck, was at the wrong angle, or simply too large to fit in smasher. The driver tried to lower it down to reset it, but it was stuck on something. The mechanism was making this loud whirring sound, rrmmm, rmmmm, rrrrrrrmmmmm. The driver must have thought it was just stuck under the low hanging tree at our neighbors across the street, because he pulled the truck forward. There was a loud TWANG sound, and the tree, still on top of the truck, shook, and then it's desiccated needles exploded onto the street covering everything. The tree had gotten tangled in phone line and now the phone line was broken and laying across the street.

The driver got out, shook his head, and went to get his rake. I ducked behind the door. Did he see me? Was he going to come up on the porch and shout "YOUR TREE IS TOO DAMN BIG YOU OLD GOAT!" But no, he just set to raking some of the needles off the street. He coiled up the wire and put it on the sidewalk, and drove away. I'd probably have done the same thing. Clean up the evidence and flee.

As I ducked behind the door Nipper answered. "Yes, what. What's going on up there?" I told him to hide. I told him the garbage man might be mad at us. He came inside, and confirmed that the phone was down, which meant the internet was down. He then cursed the tree, christmas and me, all in one breath. "Next year, I'M picking out our tree!" he bellowed. (Not really, Nipper doesn't bellow, unless he's really mad. Which only happens once a year, because he just stuffs it all down, until he explodes, and even then the only thing he says is "GOD DAMN IT MARIJA!!!")

You'd think that was it. But no. Last night around midnight, as we're getting ready for bed, we hear fire trucks outside. We live on a hill, and have very narrow curvy hill streets. Not a lot of fire truck action on our street unless they need to be right here. Sure enough, we look out the window and this giant ladder truck is trying to navigate around the curve, without hitting my car or taking down the tree across the street. Then they stop. Ladder truck, and a hose truck. They stop. Right in front of our house. Uhm. We look around. You on fire? Nope. The neighbors on fire? Nope. Oh shit. It's the tree!

Someone must have called and said there was a down wire in the street, even though it was just a phone line. So out comes the fire department. I went out and took some pictures from the driveway. There certainly were a lot of them. "Hi fireman Bob, don't mind me hiding in my driveway in my pajamas, giggling and taking pictures of you. Nothing to see here. WE'RE NOT INVOLVED!" When I came back in, Nipper was shaking his head saying "There you have it, our wasted tax dollars for your giant tree".

Ok Deputy Dawg, ok...


  1. This is fodder for a very good Christmas children's book, dontcha think? I mean a big tree, a fire truck, true Christmas spirit...
    After spending an arm and leg on our "real" tree I heard about it EVERY time we saw a relatively small tree or a tree on a table because of course, this is what Brian suggested we get in the first place. It's only once a year, right?!

  2. Men just don't understand Christmas. Maybe it was Frankenmuth that killed Nipper like it killed Bernie.

  3. Having witnessed your glorious tree in person, I say it was all worth it.

    (Don't tell Nipper I said that. I want to stay on his good side.)