Friday, January 3, 2014

Think of Me as the Voice of Joyce Kilmer

The last mail of 2013 brought me a large envelope containing, it said, the "2014 Connecticut Tree Survey." I don't know a lot about surveys and even less about trees than most dogs but I'm thinking a printed survey of legal paper tells me someone is not heeding their own message on the importance of the preservation of trees.

The headquarters of the folks conducting the survey, the Arbor Day Foundation, is in Nebraska City, Nebraska (my brother Adam has a marvelous joke about what the "N" on their university's football tram helmets is for), which is (perhaps) their homage to New York City, New York, but I wouldn't bet a chainsaw and a hockey mask on that if I were you, Jason.

The survey's statement of intent is endearing: "We'd like to ask you about trees. Whether you climbed them as a child, cultivate them now, or if you've lost interest, we want to know." I'm going out on a limb (pun intended) and think 'if you've lost interest', you've already chucked the survey, hopefully in the recycling container as opposed to the trash bin.

And that's too bad because as an incentive to fill out the survey, they offer you ten (yep, 10) 'flowering trees' which  I assume vary from locale to locale. Here in the Norwich, Connecticut area, I'd get three, each, Redbuds and Dogwoods (I thought at first it said Red Bulls) as well as two  apiece of Flowering Crabapples and Washington Hawthorns. I type that sentence like I know what any of them are.

And by being among the first of 50 respondents, I can win twelve, ten-ounce bags of "delicious, shade-grown, rain-forest saving Arbor Day Specialty Coffee." I think I know where I'd like to enjoy a cup, and the view, at the same time. That the tree house is constructed of wood I feel should be worth double points, but we're not playing scrabble.

After perusing the survey twice, I am starting to get a yen for a season's pass to Walden Pond, a box of Walt Whitman chocolates or at the very least asking one of the plaster casters how they're coming on that retooling of Pinnochio. Madam Defarge is already working on the sweater.
-bill kenny

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