Noxious Evils · Writers Write

Tree Rant or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

It’s big trash week. Twice a year the city has curbside brush pickup. Tree limbs, assorted non-toxic junk, scrap metal. It’s time to place it out by the curb so sanitation engineers can scoop it up and haul it off. Good. Right?

It is also the week where men with chainsaws in old Ford F-150s come out. They float the cul-de-sacs in my neighborhood, stalking trees to massacre. Let me explain. Twice a day for the past five days I’ve had this conversation:

Strange man rings my doorbell and bangs on my door.

Dog barks like she’s a lean, hungry doberman instead of a sleepy, chubby schnauzer.

I breathe deeply. Count to ten. Open the door.

Strange man extends his hand, “Hello Ma’am.”

“I don’t want my trees trimmed.”

Strange man’s hand is still extended. “How are you doing today, Ma’am?”

Dog growls, mouth foaming.

I don’t shake. “I don’t want my trees trimmed.”

Strange man remains frozen, hand extended.

I shut the door.

Strange man treks back to his F-150. Drives to annoy the next unsuspecting live oak owner.

If I sound cold and unfriendly, it’s by design. Any encouragement means the heavy sell begins. I do not owe these gypsy tree trimmers an explanation. My trees are beautiful. They don’t need trimming. If they did, I wouldn’t hire a hack with a Black and Decker he bought off eBay. The trees are huge. He’d need a harness and a cherry picker to tackle the job.

Just because I have trees doesn’t mean I have to be nice.

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