Spruce almightySo this Boy Scout, couldn't have been older than eleven, is holding up this kinda chubby looking Scotch Pine. It was.... ehhhh... okay. "I kinda like it," I offered. It wasn't as tall as I was yearning for in my heart of hearts, but it was well rounded and had good needles and wasn't all dried out yet. At around 6' tall, it would have fit nicely into our living room and posed no challenge to angel topping. It did not exactly make the strings of my heart go zing!, but...
It would do.
"It's a cool tree," the eleven year old Boy Scout said, tasting a sale, eyes as bright as a school of piranha flashing through the sunlit shallows towards a blissfully unmindful back-floating koala.
"I like it," Nate opined. Bear in mind, Nate was raised as a Jehovah's Witness, and his entire experience with Christmas trees had begun seven minutes prior to that statement when he stepped onto this Boy Scout Christmas tree fundraising lot for the first time. "It's a good tree."
"Yeah, yeah," I allowed. "Okay, I guess we'll... GREAT JUMPING JUPITER! LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY!!!"
'That beauty' being a glorious nine foot blue spruce of such transcendent power and awe inspiring glory that I was helpless before its puissant visage. The blistering aura of its savage piney beauty grabbed me in an illegal full nelson, hurled me to the ground like a bag of old rags, knocked the wind out of me, and sat on my chest beaming in triumph.
I was stunned and speechless. The neckerchief clad gamin, sensing a sale, gulped gamely and grabbed for its mighty trunk. He struggled valiantly to get it away from the fence it was leaning on and standing upright so I could take a good long gander at it, but he clearly was not equal to such a Herculean task. Another plucky urchin hurled himself into the fray and between the two of them, they wrestled the forest giant upright for me to inspect.
This was no mere scrub pine, no piddling little Xmas tree. This was a tremendous tree, a tree titan, an Ur-Tree, a veritable Ent of the Modern Saturnalia. If Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Norse legend, were a blue spruce, it could hardly outstrip this tree. This was a tree of legend, an Atlas of trees, a Brobdignagian tree, a veritable woodlands colossus.
"How much?" I inquired reverently, yet doubtfully, expecting an answer somewhere north of $60. Mind you, for such a tree I would have been prepared to pay nearly any price, but Superwife had instructed me firmly that I could not spend $60 on a Christmas tree. Of course, I could have advised her that it was not, in fact, a Christmas tree, but was in actuality a fully functional ballistic missile shield, and I would hardly have been lying... give that tree a kitchen knife and send it to Iraq and I have no doubt it would win the war by New Years single-handedly... or branchedly, as the case may be. Still, one does not defy SuperWife in matters of the pocketbook; so I braced myself for the answer that would turn me regretfully away from the Monarch of All Christmas Trees, and prepared to move on.
"$42," said the jocular adult who had sidled up whilst I was admiring That Beauty.
"Sold," I gasped.
So they gave it a fresh cut and roped it to the roof of Nate's car and off we went home with it, where we dragged it inside and attempted to stand it up.
For two hours.
Only to discover that the wonderfully sturdy and amazingly strong all-metal Christmas tree stand we had employed with excellent results for the past three Christmases had by some arcane alchemy been transmuted into cellophane and chewing gum wrappers. We would lower in the tree and screw in the screws and tentatively relax our grips on the trunk and the tree would sway to the left, or to the right, deforming the metal of the Christmas tree stand, bending and twisting it all out of true, as if it were no more than cheap aluminum foil, or perhaps, some sort of medieval sealing wax.
"We need... ANOTHER Christmas tree stand," I opined, grimly. "A better one. Better... faster... stronger."
So off Nate and I went to Lowes, humming the theme song from THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN (She's breaking up... I can't hold her! seemed especially appropos to our situation). There, we inquired after Christmas tree stands, and a fellow advised us, in badly broken English, that there was "unny wun Kreesmas tree stan leff, ova deah, on de sheff." So we went ova deah, and on de sheff, dere was indeed wun Kreesmas tree stan leff, which I purchased with alacrity, before speeding victoriously home.
Upon entering, I brandished said Christmas tree stand at SuperWife and said, in my best SCARFACE tones, "Say hello to my leetle fren'".
SuperWife's eyes bugged out of her head as she beheld a Galaxy Class Christmas tree stand, a Christmas tree stand that might have been designed by Tony Stark to send blasting at high velocity straight through the helmeted head of the Titanium Man, a Christmas tree stand that looked much as if our old Christmas tree stand had shouted "Shazam!" and been magically transformed into Treestand Marvel. This was a Christmas tree stand of supreme power, a Christmas tree stand such as God might have handed down to Moses on the mountaintop, constructed from the indestructible mithril bones of a fallen archangel, flash-welded in the heart of a nuclear holocaust, clobbered by gamma rays and bitten by a radioactive spider. This was the Last Christmas Tree Stand From Doomed Krypton. Such a Christmas tree stand as this, when first spotted by Han Solo or Princess Lea, might well have surprised a squeaked "That's no moon!" from their stunned, awestruck lips.
"Okay," SuperWife said, "that looks like it will work."
And it did.
So, our Christmas tree is up.
UPDATE: And now, it's decorated! Photos as digital photography apparatus presents itself. But I did find a graphic of the Norse God of Christmas Tree Stands, see above.