10 December, 2007

Domestic Happenings, Episode 2: Christmas Tree Debacle

[At rise: Al and Damian at Wilkinson, a local home goods shop, to purchase this year's Christmas tree.]

A: What?! 3 feet or 6 feet. Those are the only options?
D: Looks like it.
A: 3 feet is dinky and stupid. 6 feet is ridiculous.
D: Yes.
A: What do we do?
D: I don't know.
A: Let's get a real one!
D: I've never had a real tree before!
A: That settles it then.
A & D: Excellent!

[They march out of the store with newfound Christmas Purpose]


[A street market on Wood Green High Road. Make no mistake, Wood Green is dodgy. Questionable in too many ways to articulate. But it's Christmas and this corner is selling pine trees. They smell beautiful. Like Michigan.]

Dodgy Wood Green Tree Seller: Right. You 'ave the 3 foot ones in the pots for £14, or the 6 foot ones 'ere for £18. The needles won't fall off either [pronounced "ee-vuh"].

[??!! Fantastic.]

A: Right. That's helpful. [Square One. My favourite place.]
D: Well... I mean, at least it will be real. And we can replant it afterwards.
A: [to Tree Seller] Can we LOOK at the small trees without the net?
TS: No.
A: Really?
TS: 'fraid not.
A: Uh huh...
D: Real trees love the earth...?
A: ... and we're supporting our local community by buying from this woman on the street...?
D: and we can replant it in January...?
A: ...but we can't LOOK at it.
D: Right.
A: Right.
D: Let's just get this one. [indicated to dinky potted tree.]
A: Okay.

[Money exchanged. Awkward journey home with ethical potted mystery tree.]

* * *

[At home. The Spot selected. Arrangements made. Mystery Tree is placed on a small side table, the one it will majestically stand on for the next few weeks. String net is removed, branches flattened. A pause.]

A & D: [Silence]

[They stand there side by side. Arms crossed. Examining the tree. It looks like a mangled stray dog. It looks worse than a Charlie Brown tree. It looks like they bought it from a dodgy street market. It looks awful. But can they say it? What is the other thinking? Do we love it anyway or tell the truth? If we tell the truth will we crush the others' hopes?!]

A: Wow.
D: Mmmm.
A: It will be great.
D: Mmmm.

* * *

[Lying in bed later that night. The darkness brings out the truth...]

A: Damian...?
D: Yes Al.
A: Damian, I-- I--
D: --hate the tree?

* * *

Today we bought the socially unethical, environmentally unfriendly, highly dependable, fake tree.

The real one it outside, waiting to be planted. Our mitzvah.


  1. I am totally killing to see a picture of the little decrepit tree!


  2. It's 3.06am and I was utterly lost in that story. Like, if it had been 3 pages longer, I wouldn't have been upset. I want a tree. And a boyfriend! x

  3. *stands and applauds... once again utterly impressed by the lives of her dear friends and their ability to blog it* xx

  4. You make me laugh so much hunny! Fantastic blog as usual. I think you should start writing a sketch show. With some completely un-xenophobic name like "Yank and Oz in the UK". Love Love you both Xxxx

  5. That was great. And you mentioned Michigan! Warmed my heart.

  6. i love michigan.
    but its cold.



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