During my brief and rather meteoric political career, and this would have been during its ascendancy as I haven't heard much from that quarter lately, I received an email from City Hall (or "The Palace" as some people are wont to say), informing me that I was to be the lucky recipient of a beautiful California Oak sapling, courtesy of some government program or other. The impetus behind this being that a city tree person had noticed that a similar small tree in my yard had died, and due to the rules of this government funded program it must be replaced. Because, after all, we are the "Tree City." Which means we need to have trees.
Now I did protest that I really wasn't worthy of this honor. No trees in my yard had died. As a matter of fact, there are a few scrubby little wretches that I've been trying to kill off for years, and they just won't succumb. There was one tree however, some kind of delicate ornamental flowering thing sitting in the front of my yard, that did seem to be on its last roots a while back. But on the wise advice of a green thumbed neighbor, I cut it back. And for whatever reason, it has now revived and is covered with sub-psychedelic purplish leaves and little red flower buds. The hearts sings to see such a rebirth.
"No matter," said The Palace. "We're going to give you a tree anyway." I was flattered by this I must admit. No City government - and we're talking my entire life here - had ever given me anything in the past except traffic tickets and dirty looks. So the tree was planted and the kids began their tender first efforts in horticultural care.
The damned thing died anyway, and now sits there in my front yard forlorn and slowly falling apart. A metaphor for something profound, I'll bet. Dead things often are. I kept thinking that the City tree checker might be coming by to "scope" (to use planning talk) its demise and remove it. Or even replace it as we are the Tree City and all kaput trees need to be replaced or we'll lose status. Or even some funding, we must never forget that.
But nobody of that ilk has noticed this tragedy. Or if they have, perhaps they've lost interest. Or they're off on more important missions. I don't know. But if you are the person in charge of such things, please come and take it away. I'm not sure if I might be violating some City or state codes if I did it myself. Trees, even dead ones, having rights in California.
(The Tattler will be observing Memorial Day by not typing. We do have some rather shocking information to share, and we will be posting that Tuesday, June 1st. Enjoy the long weekend!)