Another day was done, and the autumn sun dropped lazily out of the sky, filling the heavens with amazing shades of orange and red. It was chilly and the wind decided that it was time to flex some muscles. There was no pressure, as the sun was behind the mountain and the spectacular screen saver of leaves falling was hidden under the cover of darkness. So wind was gunning for it. Blowing yellow and brown leaves in contorted patterns, pushing through branches, straining against trees.
Snuggled in front of the TV with hot chocolate, we snickered at the wind, just like the third little piggy might have done. Secured in our very own house made of bricks. Wind was huffing and puffing annoyingly and cried around the corners. Fortunately our remote control has a volume button, we didn’t even flinch. Wind was not happy, maybe even pissed off at our audacity for not acknowledging his efforts. He upped his antics by a notch or two. Then we heard it. A thunderous CRACK, with the dog going ballistic.
I pressed the mute button and the wife and I looked bewildered at one other. The kids were in bed. We listened. Nothing. Only the sound of the wind laughing. The movie was good and the hot chocolate better, so after a few seconds we resumed our lazy evening. Then the phone rang, our neighbour. He was jittery and anxious, trying his best to tell me that the wind uprooted the tree in front of our sidewalk. At least we now knew where the “CRACK” came from. I thanked him for the call and decided to have a look. We enter and exit our house through the garage door which is connected to my study, yes we have a front door as well.
Unfortunately my neighbour does not have the required skill to tell a good story, nor is he a big fan of exaggeration. (These sentences are nice ways of saying that he cannot appreciate a serious situation if it slapped him in the face.) When I opened the garage door, I was greeted, not by a fallen tree, but a frigging rainforest sprouting in my driveway. It was like someone threw magic beans around and the beanstalk was growing sideways. And calling it a tree would be like calling the Sahara dessert a patch of sand.
My neighbour was yelling from the street, at least I think he was, as my view was slightly obstructed. He might have still been on the phone, which was no hanging useless by my side. To say I was surprised would have been the understatement of the 20th century.
I got my katana sword from my man cave, tied the red ribbon around my forehead and with glistening muscles in the moonlight I started foresting through the foliage, like a modern day Amazon explorer. (At least that’s how I wanted it to look, reality being an unfit, 40 year old, white collar employee trying his best to govern himself safely across the top of a tree, now climbing sideways.) I greeted various bird species on the way, most of them still trying to recollect what just happened to their houses, as they descended twenty metres in 3 seconds. I suppose that some of the hatchlings would require therapy; for we all know falling is not flying.
Finally arriving at the other end, I could see the magnitude of the mess. To put it bluntly, a real, full-blown, royal fuck-up. I was travelling the next day and as is evident in the pictures, the cars wouldn’t be able to move, i.e. there was a tree in the way. The only solution I had was similar to the desperate people on “Who wants to be a millionaire”, I phoned a friend. Actually two.
It might seem odd that I have friends with chainsaws, but it takes all sorts. As far as I know they don’t have masks made of human skin, but one can never be 100% sure of the habits of other people.
They arrived swiftly with the most bizarre expression of excitement I have ever seen. It was full of vengeance and glee, ready to destroy this fallen giant. What followed was a slasher movie fit for National Geographic. The gracious tree was chopped into firewood and debris within an hour. Greenies would have cried and sobbed. I was left with moving the smaller pieces out of the way, as they didn’t trust me with the chainsaws.
The whole street came out, ready to start complaining about stupid people cutting down trees in the middle of the night. No-one said anything after they gasped in surprise.
With the work finally completed, well sort of, we celebrated our gallant efforts, sitting in the moonlight with glistening foreheads and aching muscles, soothing the pain away with awesome friends and a nice stiff scotch whisky.