Oh Xmas Tree…

December 22, 2014 at 11:10 am (On the road again...)

Last night I showed the drunken Hawthorne Lumberjacks how it’s done.

Oregon has a long history in the timber and logging industry, and it played a big part of my childhood. I spent pre-grade school years in a lumber mill, and many relatives drove logging trucks. The smell of coffee and cigarettes, pine needles not associated with gin, and the rumble of a jake-brake all take me back to the days of Koch’s Mill in Sandy, Oregon.

So, you can see how the new fashion of looking like the Brawny Towel man might irk me some?

Now, I could get on a rant about that, but there are so many other worthy fashion targets out there, and I kinda hope that whole ‘crucify you over your outfit’ attitude died with Joan Rivers. If I want catty, I’ll pet my cats.

Or Meg’s. Which leads me to the Xmas tree…

“Isn’t it cute?”

The tree stood about four feet tall, wide at the bottom, with a spear shooting up about a foot. It was cute. I asked why, considering her complaints about space, that Meg would want a tree?

“I went halfsies with Judith to give it to Lori, but Lori was an insufferable bitch about it, so I have a goddamn Christmas tree. You want it?”

“No,” I replied automatically. I refuse anything I’m going to have to pay to throw away in a week.

“Your niece would love it…” So would Meg, and it would be easier for me to get rid of it. Hell, I could throw it in the backyard with the blackberry bushes. I doubt anyone would notice.

Then came the week of procrastination. “Can you take it today?”

“NO, I work until midnight. Wait until a day off?”

On my day off, “It’s Friday rush hour, I’ll get it later?”

Saturday: “I’ll be down in a little while, after my nap.” Sorry, Meg, nap ran long.

Sunday: “Okay, let’s do it.”

I took lunch about 9 PM, which meant I went back from lunch and closed the store. Quirky scheduling, but I like it. Last part of the day flies by. I went to Meg’s, pulled out the industrial-strength black plastic garbage bag, and put my traveling companion inside. I carried it, and my umbrella, in one hand as I walked the 18 blocks back to work.

Upon arrival, I showed my co-worker, and set the tree, in the bag, in the corner, in full on-camera position. When It came time to leave, I carried it to the door, stopped, pulled the bag down like I was pantsing Santa, and showed the security cameras what I was hauling out. Because nothing raises red flags with an employer like seeing an employee walk out of work with a trash bag full of goodies. “See my tree!” I proclaimed to no one.

My next worry was TriMet. They wouldn’t let me on with a shovel once, afraid I’d hit someone with it. (“Can you dig it?” Sorry.) I imagine there’s something in the bylaws that states no trees on the bus, burning or otherwise. I kept the bag closed until departing at the last stop.

If the driver had given me a hard time, I’d just tell him there’s a Spotted owl inside.

In all, an easy trip home. I’m telling the bro-in-law I got him a new car freshener, but he needs a bigger vehicle. My niece is still asleep; will she notice the Xmas elf in the corner, waiting for dress-up? My sister, who now lives for Xmas, was called into work, or she’d have it decorated by noon. Instead, she’ll have something to do while she unwinds with a tall cold one.

And I’ve now done more for Christmas than I’ve done in years. Money is tight, sorry friends. I’m treating you like the Arts Tax. I know I should, but I’d rather eat than look proper.

And speaking of looking proper, I didn’t have to dress like a fucking Hollywood lumberjack to haul a tree home on the bus.

My timber-working family in heaven is beaming down with a sprinkle of silver pine needles in approval.


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