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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Trees Belong In The Woods

It seems that a California woman was bitten by a Christmas Bat. She ordered a real tree from some farm, and it arrived with a little something extra. At no charge. The tree farm uses bats for pest control, and her tree was delivered occupied. As she was decorating the thing she thought that some pine needle or something stuck her. The next day she noticed a bat hanging in the tree. She called the farm and they said that several bats were removed from the tree before it was cut. But not all the bats it seems.

First off, POOR BAT! Here is this bat, minding its own business, hanging out at home. Then some jackass with a chainsaw comes along, cuts down the bat house, and delivers it to some human house. As for the other bats "removed" from the tree? Well I say that the proper word to use is EVICTED. The tree was the bat's home. They were evicted. Without proper notice. If someone cut down MY HOUSE I would bite the crap out of them too. I am on the bat's side here.

Really people - trees do not belong in your house. For starters, they are a major FIRE HAZARD. Do not believe me? Try this little test. After everyone throws out their tree in a few weeks, pull one off the curb. Using a match or a lighter, set just the very tip of one branch on fire. In 60 seconds or less, there will be a raging fireball. You will be amazed. If you want a better simulation of what COULD happen in your house, put the dead tree in one of those metal tree stands and set the tip of a lower branch on fire. A 6 foot tree will make a fire at least 12 feet high. It will burn hot and it will burn fast. The whole event will be over in 1 1/2 - 2 minutes. The only thing left will be a smoking tree trunk. Once you see a real tree go up, you will seriously think twice before ever taking one into your home again.

Here is a video for your viewing pleasure. It was made by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and set to music by someone else. You really should see it.

Next reason to not have a tree in your house. Do you know where the idea of decorating evergreen trees in the winter comes from? Here is a link to Wikipedia, covering the general history without getting all long winded and full of every single detail. In short, ancient people thought that since all the trees EXCEPT pines lost all their leaves in the winter, some kind of powerful spirits must live in the pines. Some cultures made human and animal sacrifices to the tree spirits, some just decorated them and/or left food offerings for them. Whatever. When Christianity replaced the pagan religions, outright tree worship had to go, but in some places the evergreen tree just became associated with Christianity. For those who would refute this, find a single passage in the Bible about killing a tree, dragging it into your home, and decorating it.

And lastly - all those needles fall out and make a mess! And if you have pets - they are a pain in the ass. Cats like to attack the ornaments, and have been known to attempt climbing trees. And pets seem to LOVE to eat that tinsel stuff, making for some great festive holiday decorated poop.

But the decorated trees are deeply ingrained as Christmas symbols. They make your house feel all Christmas-ee and stuff. They are a good place to stash all those gifts under. They add a festive feeling. Kids really like them. These are all reasons to put up a tree. So, I can understand why so many people do have a Christmas tree.

But really - a fake one does the same thing a real one does. Only a fake tree is fire resistant. Cats do not try to climb them as much. The needles do not fall off. Critters are not made homeless. And there is a zero percent chance you will get attacked by an angry bat.


Blogger Econo-Girl said...

WOW! What a video!

But what if I like the idea of tree spirits in my living room?

Blogger Ed Abbey said...

Have you ever tried to burn a Christmas tree that has been well watered? Doesn't burn worth a crap. In fact it doesn't burn at all. By the time my Christmas tree is dry, it is out of the house in the backyard where a bit of spontaneous combustion would be welcomed.

With that said, I think this is the last year I will get a real one (we get red cedars which grow like weeds around here). Just too much hastle and now fake trees are so cheap. We plan to snag one in the after Christmas sales. And in rememberance of that lady, I think I will buy a fake bat to hang on it next year.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Well, the few times there was a real tree here I kept the thing watered. And it still went up like a match when I removed it from the house, loaded it into the truck, and hauled it off to the everglades levee. The day it was removed was the same day it was torched. It was only out of standing water for maybe an hour or so.

I think it was either a Douglas Fir or a Scotch Pine. But whatever it was, it was great for starting the wooden pallet bonfire.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Oh yea - forgot something. Fake trees are fine. I mean, it is the symbolism here that is important. I think.

And I think a bat ornament would be cool! You could put a Santa hat on it, and make it a holiday bat! Or, if you really want to be strange, you can replace the star or angel or whatever you use on the top of the tree with a Christmas Bat!

Just do not let it bite you.

Blogger Ed Abbey said...

I suppose it has a lot to do with how old the tree is. I usually have mine up for a couple of weeks just for the fire hazard reason. Much more than that and no amount of water can keep them fresh.

I have also found from experience that old beer soaked college furniture makes excellent fire starters!

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

What people do not think about is that the trees you buy at the tent thing are not exactly "fresh". They are cut down, loaded on a truck, and shipped. By the time they arrive at the tent they are already dead. On day one they have already gone at least a week with no water. Few tents bother to keep the trees in water.

The BEST thing is to chop down your own tree and get it in water within an hour.

Blogger Fuzz said...

Gotta have it though.

Blogger The Lazy Iguana said...

Yes. Gotta have it.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I live in the largest Pine Forest in the World and I own a fake tree, I also buy Pine Scented Air Freshners to help along the illusion.


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