By The Wiz
Isn’t this a lovely palm tree? Wouldn’t you look at this palm tree and think, “Wow, wouldn’t it be truly magical if there were some cul-de-sac somewhere, and every single house in it had one of these beautiful babies up?”
Welcome to my crazy cul-de-sac. This might take a while to explain, so bear with me. I’m not even sure I can explain it. It all started at our neighborhood Christmas party. We do a progressive dinner, beginning with drinks and ending with dessert, and the drinks go from house to house, and by the end of the evening, some of my neighbors are fairly tipsy. But, seriously, if you can’t get tipsy at a party within walking distance of your own house, then when can you?
Anyway, a few of my neighbors in said condition thought it would be HILARIOUS if everyone had a palm tree in their yard. How they got to that point, I’m still not quite sure. I think it started because one of our mixed faith families (Jewish/Christian) had one in their yard as a non denominational decoration, and they started bugging someone else that he hadn’t put up any decorations at all, and he could at least get it together to get a palm tree up, right? In fact, everyone could get a palm tree! “High Five!” became “High Palm!” and hey! You could be the “Palm Queen” and we could rename our street “Palm Court” and oh, the hilarity!
Well, a couple of palm trees popped up after that, and I assumed all the hilarity would die down, and nobody would keep it up past New Year’s, right?
Well, shortly after New Year’s, a palm tree showed up at our front door, since we “hadn’t got around to getting one yet.” A few other neighbors had donations on their porch as well. A letter was given out how the Palm tree was a fun sign of interfaith unity. Go look at the picture. Doesn’t it just scream “Fun interfaith unity!” If you saw an entire street with palm trees in their yards, wouldn’t you say “Wow! What an interfaith-ally united street! How fun!”
We put up the palm tree, which was my first mistake, I guess. After all, somebody dropped at least 30 bucks for this sucker, and gave it to us. I really thought it would only be up for a week or so. Things like this fizzle, right?
Fast forward to February 13, and little Valentine hearts appeared on all the leaves of the tree. I lost it. I admit I was in a mood that day, but I decided I was tired of having my neighbors dictate how my yard was decorated, and these hearts were a little insane. I took my tree down.
There are now about 5 houses who have no palm trees. I was thrilled. Maybe now the madness would end, and we could be a normal street again. It was funny for the first few days, but in my opinion, it had dragged on waaaaayyyy too long. I never knew it before, but there is a fine line between “showing unity” and “forcing people to put up tacky decorations.”
Well, today I received a letter from the “Palm Queen” instructing me regarding the “rules of the Palm Tree.” It is to be up from Thanksgiving until the first day of Spring. It is to go up on several holidays, including Cinco de Mayo, Labor Day, Halloween, and Thanksgiving. (and those are not the only ones) On those holidays, you are to hang tiny Mexican hats, baby turkeys, and pumpkins on Halloween (or skulls would be ok, too. Never let it be said they didn’t give you choices!).
It brings joy to the Palm Queen to see her kingdom so lit up, and everybody outside the kingdom thinks it’s great, too. She’s already lined up the shamrocks to go up on St. Patrick’s Day, and hopes everyone kept their valentine hearts for next year. I swear I’m not making this up!
Also, if you sell your house, the palm tree has to stay with the property. I hope nobody wants to move, because no sane buyer will ever buy a house here, with a palm tree clause in the contract.
Well, Palm Queen, to quote Monty Python - “How’d you become queen, then? I didn’t vote for you.”
“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”
I do not recognize your authority in this matter, and my tree is staying down. Call me the Palm Grinch if you want, but I have my rights.
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