Thursday, Dec. 13, 42 A.B.

The Christmas Tree: Festive Decoration Or Highly Addictive Weed?

Many years of casual observation has inexorably led me to the conclusion that there are basically two types of creatures living in my household: Those who need regular doses of external reality to keep them happy, and those content to shut their eyes and rock gently back and forth until happiness bubbles up from within.

This being December, those who need regular doses of external reality to keep them happy are once again frantically turning to items associated with the holiday season to artificially  boost their joy level while the rest of us sit back and smile the iridescent smile which comes from simply getting through another year with our bubbling happiness having left behind a minimum number of stains on the carpet.

One of these two types of creatures rushed out and purchased a Christmas tree last night while the other aided and abetted that creature merely to avoid having his iridescent smile slapped clean off his face.

Which raises two questions:

  • Is Christmas tree addiction the secret force lurking behind the crime rate?
  • How might you help your loved ones commit those crimes and satisfy that addiction as rapidly as possible so you can get back to your gentle rocking before you need expensive remedial instruction?

Skipping the first question entirely for now in an attempt to demonstrate once and for all my absolute power over this journal as its author, here's my answer to the second:

Fortify your iridescent smile with non-addictive common sense.  Leave all identifying physical characteristics at home.  Make a note reminding yourself that although all Christmas trees are evergreens, not all evergreens can legally be dragged home and forced to don bulbs, lights, and garland while standing in a bucket of water.  Some belong to people who insist on absolute evergreen nudity.  Some belong to people who like to tease other addicts by dressing their evergreens up as Christmas trees and displaying them in their windows even though they have NO intention of selling them.  When in doubt, ring the doorbell and ASK.  Many Christmas tree users are quite sympathetic to the plight of their fellow addicts this time of year and will happily pass their tree around an entire neighborhood when politely asked or vaguely threatened with physical violence.  Many others will gladly loan out at least their lower boughs in exchange for a few choice poinsettia leaves or an inflatable reindeer.  Virtually all will gladly give you their tree if you throw a quick tantrum and are then willing to wait quietly in the bushes until January.  A single ring of the doorbell can avoid many hours of embarrassment brought on by the unnecessary smashing of a picture window, while all but the longest interrogations of those who answer are easier on the body than the effort it takes to abscond with a tree into the night.

If you're like me, however, the prospect of asking potentially well-armed people high off mistletoe intimate questions about their most erect holiday decoration leaves you fearing for your life.  Fortunately, there IS an alternative: The street corner tree pusher.  Nearly every city has several this time of year, but some may attempt to throw undercover killjoys off their scent by setting up shop in empty lots in the middle of a block.  Do not be fooled, however - within the heart of every empty lot pusher is a greedy, street corner exploiter of young, innocent greenery  you can trust. Some will even let you cut your own product while they stand back and politely refrain from giving any advice on the best way to stanch the flow of blood from chainsaw injuries until asked.

Remember: If all else fails, just slip the tree addict in your family a can of turpentine with an angel taped on top and hope they won't notice the difference once they've had a few eggnogs.

As for whether or not the insane craving for Christmas trees is driving people to a life of crime....

I've been reading the police reports my newspaper publishes every week and I've got to tell you, SOMETHING weird is driving people to do what they do, and if it ain't the fumes of Ye Olde Michigan Weed, what might it be?


----- "Between 12:40 and 12:45 a.m. Dec. 3, in the 3900 block of Kedelston Drive, a resident reported a neighbor kicked on his door and, when he opened the door, the neighbor pushed him into the door.  Police, who were present during the exchange, classified the event as a burglary."  If the people and police involved in this weren't high from sniffing an especially potent mixture of Douglas Fir and Scotch Pine fumes, exactly what WERE they high off of?

----- "A jewelry store reported a $799 diamond necklace and $899 diamond ring were missing.  They disappeared sometime between 10 a.m. Nov. 30 and 3 p.m. Dec. 4 in the 1400 block of Polaris Parkway.  The store reported the items were checked into inventory and not seen again.  They said the jewelry might have been thrown away."  Diamonds - thrown away??  This is exactly the sort of behavior one might expect to see in people whose Christmas tree snorting activities have led to their brains being replaced entirely by pine cone pollen!

----- "Between 7:30 p.m. and 7:40 p.m., Nov. 27, a gum ball machine was stolen from Sam's Restaurant."  Can it really be a coincidence that Nov. 27 just happens to be about the time that the tree pushers returned to town for the start of the holiday season?  Ha!  Two much more likely possibilities immediately present themselves: Either a Christmas tree junkie took the machine in an attempt to finance his habit OR the machine was taken accidentally by a tree junkie who mistook it for his coat.  That may sound incredible to you but I can assure you on the basis of personal experience that it's common for people high off the scent of a fresh crop of trees to mistake many common objects for other common objects.  Although this usually means mistaking some tawdry Chia pet on sale at Wal-Mart for the cruise tickets Aunt Golda's been dreaming of, it's not unheard of for a man hepped up on pure balsam to think that a gumball machine does a better job keeping him warm than his old coat ever did once he's managed to get one arm up the gumball chute and the other wedged in the coin slot.

----- "New high school to be named Central."  My town already has two high schools.  One is named North and the other is named South.  The new high school they've just decided to name Central is actually going to be north of North.  Ok, so this isn't quite a crime, but it SHOULD be - and it's just one more sign of the kind of disorderly behavior we can expect from school boards attempting to operate in a society awash in intoxicating, second-hand pine scent from November to January.

At least the addict in my home had someone who cared enough to make sure SHE didn't get a chance to name the new high school (or retrieve my coat for me last time we ate at Sam's, for that matter).

Admittedly, that isn't much of a silver lining to what's obviously a very huge, very dark cloud, but I'm afraid it's the best we can expect until Congress fully funds the free artificial Christmas tree clinics people like her so desperately need to kick their nasty, forest-destroying habit.

Until then, dear friend, remember:  No matter how many red suits or fake antlers you put on the monkey on your back, it remains a monkey on your back.

And monkeys never brush their teeth.



Last            Home            Next

(©Now by DJ Birtcher even though he'd rather be
mainlining pure Canadian maple syrup)

NOTE: It has come to my attention that at least one reader thought the last entry about my inflamed, pus-filled, blood-spewing cyst was the grossest thing they've ever read.  It has also come to my attention that at least one other reader knows of at least one way to avoid stomach upset while reading such entries.  Seems all you need to do is gently flex and unflex your toes during the worst passages.  This somehow distracts the mind enough to quell the gag reflex.  Added Bonus: It also builds strong toes - and you KNOW how handy those can be in the face of a determined tree pusher!