Monday, July 14, 2008

When a tree falls in Irvington............

So, here I was in the living room today, trying to go about my day, when suddenly I heard a crash, and the entire house shook.

At first, I stupidly thought that perhaps Thomas had fallen out of his chair upstairs, or passed out or something. The last time there was any crash even remotely close to this on the Reichter scale, I thought the same thing, because Thomas had been very, very sick for a couple of days, and was on room arrest, till he got feeling better. I went flying up the stairs, ran into his room, where he looked at me sheepishly, laughed, and said "oh, did you hear that? I tackled Bandit."

That poor cat never looked at him the same. Probably saw his life flash before his eyes for a few minutes, but this very dumb beast finally had some synapses fire right, and stayed away from Thomas the rest of the summer.

But today, I knew Thomas was fine, because I could hear him talking to his brother. I suddenly remembered that we had two cars parked on the street, threw open the front door, and realized that half of the neighbor's tree was now in the street. Like totally blocking the street, with cars trying to maneuver around it, cause it is one HUGE tree. Huge like death, had you been under it, or like totalled, if the boys hadn't gone to the movies and moved the Town Car a couple of hours before, because it was parked right where the tree landed.

Yowza. I knocked on the neighbor's door and when she answered, we revelled in the fact that no one had gotten hurt, but now what in the world were we gonna do? Got the kids out there, and moved what we could, called the city to see if they could send someone, and started moving stuff around, waiting for the hubbies to get home.

I'm always amazed at how much of a neighborhood we still live in, because within an hour, we had several neighbors all over, dragging stuff around, chopping it up, and moving the limbs into piles, which quickly overtook the freshly mown lawn. Dan got his saw out and started chopping the smaller branches with aggression that was just a little scary, quite frankly, but I just kept my distance.

The other amazing thing was the stupid questions that people asked as they went by. Things like:

  • "What are you gonna do with that wood?" Make pencils, dude. How many do you want?
  • "Did anyone get hurt?" Buddy, that's what the chain saw is for, so you better get outta the way before YOU get hurt for asking that. Man, if you don't see the jaws of life, or us moving just a little bit quicker, everyone is fine.
  • "Do you need some help?" After which the interrogator promptly disappears.
  • Gotta love the rednecks who stopped by with a full pickup of branches, and offered to haul the whole thing away for $350. "Do you have a chainsaw?" How in the world they were gonna do it without a chainsaw was beyond me, but buddy, if I'm providing the equipment, I'm damn well not paying you $350.
  • "Did it fall?"

    The only possible response to that one? "What the hell do you think, buddy?" Honestly. I can't tell you how many people asked us just that. What a bunch of goobs.

    So, we spent the twilight hours cleaning up the branches, with the help of the Parks Department, and the chainsaw their guy brought -- we can now get into the driveway, and people can drive down the street without asking getting stupid answers to stupid questions. And if you ask, when a tree falls in Irvington, does anyone hear it, you now know -- yeah, a lot of people do. And if you want something to commemorate the moment, grab this vintage Malia novelty tree print dress, from Gatco, on the bay. No chainsaw needed.
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