I know that judging by the title of this blog, you expected it to be about the time the chimp and I took on those seven foot tall twins in Tokyo but that’s really more of an Easter story. We were trying to find Mothra’s crazy colored chocolate eggs after all. No this tale is a story of a hard fought battle, of man against nature, of . . . a lapse in judgment.
A little history before we begin, every year my wife and I along with another couple go and cut down a live tree to put in our houses and decorate it. Simple enough, right? Our friends had recently moved into a new house with a magnificent (i.e. insanely tall) ceiling. To accommodate this space while touring the tree farm, our friends on the advice of a third party (I’ll get to him later) chose a 14 foot beast of a tree. My truck sagged under the heavy load of this tree. Once back at their house, we discovered a whole new set of problems. How do we get the tree into the house? We couldn’t fit it down the stairs if we went in through the front door and it was too big to make the turn and fit into the basement. So there we were two reasonably intelligent men and Luke (our previously unnamed third party).
There are only two words to describe Luke: big and Luke (anyone who has met Luke can attest to my description as accurate). So there we stood when Luke came up with an idea. Let’s try and use ropes to deadlift the ten ton tree onto the deck 18 off the ground. There we were two intelligent men, listening to Luke. Thus began the lapse of judgment, because we agreed to try Luke’s plan. This is where things started going terribly awry. So we carry this monstrous evergreen to the side of the house, where we leave it. Then it is into the house and up the stairs to secure the ropes to the railing of the deck and then we wait, while the friend who purchased this gigantic tree headed back down to tie off the rope around his prize.
Safe in the knowledge that the ropes were tied tightly to the tree, he proceeded to join us on the deck. Three guys, young and . . . well we’ll leave it at young, took hold of those ropes with our gloved hands and we gritted our teeth together. It was time to pull. Several moments passed our muscles straining. We needed a break before we dropped the tree and lost all the progress we had gained. We tied off our ropes and looked over the rail. THE TREE WAS STILL ON THE GROUND. It goes without saying that our morale at this point had dropped fairly low. Fortunately, our stupidity was running very high.
Did we decide to try and get it to fit into the basement? No. Did we think to try and use one of another myriad of entrances? No. What did we do? We listened to Luke again. We brought the women along for our sleigh ride of frustration and labor, why? Because that was Luke’s idea and Christmas is about sharing.
So out came the three lovely young ladies, who have been laughing at us this entire time. With their added strength we were able to finally start making progress. The tree was almost halfway up when something grabbed the end of the tree. The massive evergreen suspended above the ground, as some unseen force pulled at the base of the tree. Was it gravity? I’ve heard that can cause problems when things are lifted off of the ground, or was it merely the hand of fate adding to the mishaps surrounding this tree? Neither, while we were hoisting the tree’s base had gotten lodged underneath one of the support columns of the porch.
So with shaking limbs and dwindling spirits, we sent Luke to free the base of the tree. Apparently it was an arduous journey because I know marathon runners that have finished in better time than Luke did for making the 150 foot walk. As his laughter filled the air when he saw the predicament, visions of murder danced in our heads as we maintained our hold on the tree.
Finally, after Luke completed his task and returned to us on the deck it was time to finish bringing this monstrosity into the house. It took five or six good massive heaves and we had the tree on the deck. It lay there for a moment as the deck gave several long, low ominous moans, but the deck held. Surprising given how many troubles had been associated with the tree. So it was that we beat the beast and wrangled it into the house. Of course now we had to set it upon the tree stand, but that is a tale for another day, tomorrow or maybe Wednesday. Check back to find out which.