Chronicles of the Treewisemen I – XIX


Chronicles of the Treewisemen

I.

Treewisemen were sitting in a Sauna: Gordy, Doug, Jacques.

Suddenly there was this weird beeping noise. Gordy pressed his wrist and the beeping stopped. Gordy said: “That was my pager – I have a microchip in my wrist.”

Suddenly they hear a ringing noise. Doug pressed his ear and the ringing stopped. Doug said: “That was my phone – I have a microchip in my ear.”

Jacques left the Sauna. When he returned he had toilet paper hanging from his rear. Jacques turned around and said: “Sacre Bleu! Look at that I am getting a fax.”

 

II.

The Treewisemen happened to notice a man standing at the crest of a high hill and wondered what he was doing there.

Doug said, “He must have lost his favourite animal.” Jacques said, “No, he must be looking for his friend.” Gordy said, “He is just enjoying the cool air up there.”

The Treewisemen continued discussing and arguing until they reached the man on the hill.

Doug greeted the man and said, “O friend, have you lost your pet animal?” “No sir,” answered the man, “I’ve not lost any.” Jacques then asked if the man was looking for his friend, and again the man said no. Gordy asked if the man was enjoying the breeze.

Again he said no.

Finally the Treewisemen said, “What, then, are you standing here for?”

“I just stand,” said the man.

 

III

One cold, snow Thursday evening, after the Treewisemen had had finished unloading the truck after serving dinner at the park on Gladys Avenue, and having had a hot shower to warm up, Doug was sitting staring into space and feeling spiritually drained by the number of those going hungry in a city of such plenty as Abbotsford.

When the doorbell pealed Doug just sat there anchored in his chair by inertia – until the insistent sound of the doorbell became so irritating Doug strode to the door intending to let who ever was there know just what he thought of them interrupting his funk.

As he flung open the door Doug’s mouth opened … but all that emerged was a strangled squeak. Hardly surprising since Doug found a blue eyed Dire Wolf sitting on his doorstep.

“From the expression on your face it is probably lucky you just finished in the bathroom” stated the Wolf. Laughing, the Wolf continued “Don’t worry I am not going to eat you; you human beings contain far too many to may chemicals and contaminants for any sane being to consume.”

“oooaaahhhaaaooooaaahhh???” spoke Doug.

Rumbling a deep chuckle the Wolf informed Doug “since I was headed in the general area of this point in space/time I was asked by an acquaintance to stop by and soothe you heart, your spirit. So is there something in particular I can do to reenergize you?”

“Ummmahhhahummmm…”

“Not having a seizure are you?”

“HEY!” protested Doug, “it has been a bit of a hellish evening.”

‘No it hasn’t” stated the Wolf.

“Hasn’t what?” questioned Doug.

“Been hellish” answered the Wolf.

Doug: “What makes you say that?”

“I have seen Hell” stated the Wolf.

Doug: “Oh, what is it like? Can I see Hell?”

Wolf: “Which one?”

Doug: “Which one What??????”

Wolf: “Which aspect of Hell did you want to see?”

Doug: “What????”

“Perhaps I had better choose or we will be here all night.” Turning the Wolf started down the forest path. After a few strides the Wolf looked over his shoulder at Doug who was staring at the path than now ran across the snow covered lawn, inquiring “You did want to see Hell didn’t you?”

Doug bolted onto the path, drawing a deep breath of the warm spring scented air. Catching up to the Wolf, Doug asked “Where did the path come from?” “What path?” asked the Wolf as he glanced at Doug with raised eyebrow.

Looking up Doug found they were in a white corridor that stretched away endlessly in front and behind. When Doug looked back toward the Wolf he found the Wolf sitting beside a door. Stepping forward Doug turned the knob and looked in. In the middle of the room was a large round table. In the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the doug’s mouth  water.

The people sitting around the table were thin and sickly. They appeared to be famished. They were holding spoons with very long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful. But because the handle was longer than their arms, they could not get the spoons back into their mouths.

Doug shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.

The Wolf said, ‘You have seen one aspect of Hell.’

Moving to the next room Doug opened the door. It was exactly the same as the first one. There was the large round table with the large pot of stew which made Doug’s mouth water. The people were equipped with the same long-handled spoons, but here the people were well nourished and plump, laughing and talking. Doug said, ‘I don’t understand.’

“It is simple,” said the Wolf, “‘it requires but one skill. You see they have learned to feed each other, while the greedy think only of themselves.”

 

IV

In a small southern town there was a “Nativity Scene” that showed great skill and talent had gone into creating it. One small feature bothered a tourist.

The treewisemen were wearing firemen’s helmets.

Totally unable to come up with a reason or explanation, Ithe tourist left. At a “Quik Stop” on the edge of town, the tourist asked the lady behind the counter about the helmets. She exploded into a rage, yelling at the tourist, “You stupid Yankees never do read the Bible!” The tourist assured her that they did, but simply couldn’t recall anything about firemen in the Bible.

She jerked her Bible from behind the counter and ruffled through some pages, and finally jabbed her finger at a passage. Sticking it into the tourists face she said “See, it says right here, the treewiseman came from afar.”

 

V

Doug and the Treewisechic were on a nine hour non-stop flight to Africa and found themselves sitting beside a mathematician.

Sometime after taking off, the pilot announces that one engine had to be shut down due to mechanical failure: “Don’t worry – we’re safe. The only noticeable effect this will have is that our total flying time will be ten hours instead of nine.”

A few hours into the flight the pilot informs the passengers that another engine had to be turned off due to mechanical failure: But don’t worry – we’re still safe. It is just that our flying time will go up to twelve hours.”

Sometime later a third engine fails and has to be turned off, but the pilot reassures the passengers: “Don’t worry – even with one engine we’re still perfectly safe. It just means that it will sixteen hours total for this plane to arrive in Africa.”

The mathematician leans over and remarks to Doug and the Treewisechic “I hope the last engine doesn’t break down, I really don’t want to have to spend twenty-four hours in the air instead of the scheduled nine.”

 

VI

With Doug lolling around Africa and the need for someone to work to pay for said lolling Gordy came to find himself in charge of a Treewisemen crew consisting of himself, Brian, Brandon and Harris.

On this particular day they were preparing the soil for a new landscaping design. As part of this process they had turned over and tilled an area that had contained a well worn path obviously well used as a shortcut. The entire area that contained the path had been tilled and now had the consistency of……well…… tiled soil.

As Brian was cleaning up the soil that had spilled over onto the paving stones a rather skanky women of obvious questionable repute walked up to him and demanded to know who was in charge, which Brian replied to by pointing at Gordy.

She promptly stormed over to Gordy and enquired “Why did you do that to the F***ing path?” and “How the F*** am I suppose to get over that mess in these”, pointing to her footwear – a pair of incredibly high heels. At which point she proceeded to berate Gordy and call his ancestry into question. As she was working up a real head of steam Gordy turned his back, squatted down and said “Hop on.” Gordy then proceeded to carry his passenger over the fresh turned earth and deposited here at the point the path had ended.

Turning to Brian, Brandon and Harris he enquired “Don’t you have something you should be doing or do I need to find you something?” at which point Brian, Brandon and Harris hastily resumed their labours.

As they journeyed home Brian, Brandon and Harris proceeded to rag on Gordy for carrying the woman over the tilled soil.

“How could you?” “Hope you didn’t catch anything.”  “Man, she was sooo skanky, how could you touch her much less carry her across there?”

After a while, as the three of them continued on in that vein, Gordy shook his head and said “I put the woman down hours ago. Why do you three continue to carry her?”

VII

 

 Doug, Gordy and Jacques walk into a Bar.

 

VIII

The Treewisemen Brian, Brandon, and Harris were out for a walk on Christmas morning. The wind was quite brisk so when they arrived beside a stable they decided to duck inside and warm up. As the first of the Treewisemen ducked through the door, he found a young couple inside with a child lying in the manger and stopped dead in his tracks; which caused the third of the Treewisemen to bump his head on the low doorway as he entered the stable. “Jesus Christ!” he shouted.

The young father Joseph said, “Write that down, Mary; it’s better than Clyde!”

 

IX

And lo, it came to pass that as the Treewisemen and their posse were setting up to prepare, cook and serve their isochronal repast one raw, misting Thursday evening, a sedate grey sedan pulled up and a distinguished looking bearded gentleman in a grey pin-striped three piece suit emerged from the motor car.

With a mischievous grin on his face he stepped up to the  pulchritudinous, brown-eyed young lady and intoned “Take me to your leader”.

Having witnessed the gentleman’s arrival Doug stepped forward and asked what he could help the gentleman with. Acknowledging Doug, the gentleman led the way to the rear of the sedan and opened the trunk to expose several boxes full of wrapped pieces of cheese.

The gentleman explained that he dealt in dairy products and was in BC on a business trip in search of interesting new cheeses to import to Israel. It had been a very successful trip and he had found a wide variety of tasty new cheeses to import.

He went on to say that he was leaving to return to Israel on the morrow, that the success of his hunt had left him with numerous samples that he could not take back home with him and that, as he was a connoisseur of cheese,  he did not want to waste good cheese.

Having chanced to hear of the meal served in Boulevard Park to the hungry every Thursday evening he had come down to share these excellent cheeses as a treat. The hungry who, having listened in on the conversation had gathered around the trunk of the sedan, eagerly stated their willingness to see that the cheese samples did not go to waste.

So it was that as the BBQ was set up and fired up, cheese samples were handed out and eagerly consumed (and occasionally savoured).

When the last sample was handed out and the trunk closed Doug commented on the large amount of cheese that had been in the trunk.

The gentleman explained that he was the largest supplier of dairy products in Israel and that he felt the reason he maintained his customers  and his number one position was that he constantly was bringing in new cheeses from around the world.

Doug, and many of the hungry, thanked the gentleman for not simply taking the easy way out and throwing the cheeses out – but for making the effort to find a good ‘home’ for the cheese. The gentleman laughed gently and said it was the Treewisemen and their posse who should be thanked for the way they practiced Charity and care of their fellow man and that if they should ever find themselves in Israel to look him up and he would provide a meal for them.

As the gentleman opened the door of the sedan and started to get inside Doug asked how, should any of them ever find themselves in Israel they would find him. The gentleman replied that as the biggest supplier of cheese in Israel he was well know and they would have no problem finding him.

As he continued to slide into the sedan Doug called out to ask the gentleman his name.

The engine came to life, the passenger side window buzzed quietly down and the gentleman chuckled and was heard to exclaim as he drove out of sight “they call me Cheeses of Nazareth”.

X

One Thursday evening the Treewisechic had planned to leave the meal early to meet with a favourite professor of hers from Trinity Western.

When Doug commented on the scheduled meeting, about how nervous the Treewisechic had been all day worrying about being late or worse (gasp!) missing the meeting and that she had had to leave early to go to the meeting – the Wordsmith pointed out that her vehicle was still there.

Worried about why she had not left in a timely manner Doug and the Wordsmith went in search of the Treewisechic to see what had delayed her departure.

They found the Treewisechic looking back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth, back-and-forth between the watch on her right wrist and the watch on her left wrist.

“What are you doing?” inquired Doug.

“Trying to figure out what time it is” replied Treewisechic.

A circumstance that testified to the authenticity of the fact that a person with two timepieces never really knows what time it is. Indeed, the more timepieces a person has the less certain they are of what time it is.

 

XI

One day as the Treewisemen were on the job several inebriated young persons stopped and began to jeer, making fun of the pansies planting the posies. Since this was rather annoying the Treewisemen were soon standing there glaring at these pests – with the exception of Gordy.

When Brian noticed this absence he glanced around to see where Gordy was and found him looking into a mirror. Brian nudged the other Treewisemen and brought their attention to Gordy looking into the mirror.

After a few more moments had passed Gordy closed the mirror and put it into his pocket and returned to the task at hand.

With the Treewisemen’s attention on Gordy and not them the pests lost interest and moved on in search of prey that would pay attention to them as there was no fun to be found in trying to annoy those who ignore them.

Over the course of the next few weeks the Treewisemen observed Gordy pull out the mirror, look into it then put it away.

Of course the Treewisemen found themselves unable to leave this behavior alone and began to beleaguer Gordy with (supposed) witticisms about Gordy’s makeup being fine, he didn’t need to worry – his face was still there and so on ad nauseum.

Gordy just looked into the mirror, closed it and ignored this pestilent performance.

One Thursday evening found the Wordsmith standing by the BBQ conversing with Gordy when Doug came along and commented that it seemed there were now two treewisechics which required a quick explanation.

Glancing at Gordy the Wordsmith commented about the wisdom of keeping in mind the old adage about ass-u-me and seek the true reason behind this behavior.

Doug laughed, saying he needed to go find treewisechic number one so she could give Gordy some pointers.

Watching Doug walk away and the antics of the other Treewisemen present the Wordsmith offered Gordy his condolences.

The following Thursday the BBQ was enlivened by the arrival of Dennis G. in his usual sobriety challenged and belligerent state. Dennis proceeded to walk around threatening people and challenging them to fight, finally arriving at the BBQ and Gordy.

Gordy stood there calmly, turning the contents of the BBQ and ignoring Dennis. Until Dennis called Gordy a ‘Goof’ – whereupon Gordy’s eyes blazed and his hand flashed…….into his pocket and emerged with the infamous mirror.

After gazing into the mirror for several minutes while Dennis stood there making disparaging remarks about carrying a mirror to check out his looks Gordy started to put the mirror back into his pocket but stopped with his hand partway to his pocket.

Gazing at Dennis for a moment Gordy handed the mirror to Dennis saying “Here, you need this more than I do.”

Dennis said unlike Gordy he wasn’t preoccupied with the way he looks that he has to carry that mirror all the time.

Gordy said that checking out his looks wasn’t what the mirror was for.

When Dennis asked what the mirror was for if it wasn’t to see what he (Gordy) looked like, then what was it for?

Gordy quietly replied: “I use it in times of trouble.  I look into it and it shows me the source of my problems as well as the solution to my problems.”

XII

Some months after the Treewisemen had returned from their sojourn to Africa some of the people the Treewisemen had met during their time in Africa were considering a trip to Canada to visit their Canadian friends.

The travellers decided that they needed to come in August in order to be sure to avoid cold weather and in hopes of sunny days.

Some of those who were considering a visit to Canada were concerned about their dietary needs and spoke to their chief about both their desire to join those visiting Canada and the Treewisemen and their concern about their dietary needs.

Shortly before the trip to Canada left the chief came to those worried about diet and gave them an address and a recognition phrase, telling them that they would find what they needed at that location. All they needed to do was work the recognition phrase into the conversation when they went there.

With their dietary needs addressed, it was off to Canada.

They had been in BC for awhile, very much enjoying their time in Canada, when they felt the need for a special repast.

They made their way to the address the chief had given them and after uttering the recognition phrase were shown into a concealed Boucherie.

Behind the glass of the counter were pickled feet, ribs, liver, breasts, thigh, fingers, fore and upper arms, intestines, heart and other cuts.

Behind the glass of a smaller, separate counter was displays of brains which the proprietor assured them were fresh.

“Here we have some fine engineer brains only $35 a pound, here some professor brains for $32 a pound, some very fine accountant brains for $20 a pound, some writer brains for $21 a pound and some accountant/wordsmith brains for $13 a pound” stated the proprietor.

One of the visitors pointed to a small container of brains and asked as to what they were. “Landscaper brains” replied the proprietor.

“Landscaper?”

“A person who practices the rade of designing or rearranging large gardens, estates, etc.” stated the proprietor.

“Ahhhh, like the Treewisemen” said one of the African visitors sagely.

A short discussion ensued where it was established that the visitors from Africa were visiting the Treewisemen who were landscapers who had journeyed to Africa on a mission to do some landscaping.

The discussion turned back to the brains and the cost.

“$87.50 a pound” stated the proprietor.

“87.50 a pound?!” screamed the visitors.

“Do you have any idea of how many Treewisemen you have to capture to get a pound of brains?” asked the proprietor.

Xlll

The treewisemen were gathered around trying to measure the height of a flag pole.

All they have is measuring tape and are quite frustrated trying to keep the tape along the pole: the tape fals down all the time.

The Wordsmith happens by and stops to ask what they are doing. They explain it to him.

“That’s easy….”

The wordsmith pulls the pole out of the ground , lays it down and measures it easily.

After the Wordsmith has left, one of the treewisemen says: “Smartass Idiot! What we needed is the height – and he gives us the length!”

 

XIV

The tale is told that when the treewisechic was first hooking up with the treewisemen she and Mr. D were out on a date one night. It is said that eventually they ended parked at ‘lovers point’ where they started making out.

After things started to progress Mr. D thought he might get lucky and after a few minutes of canoodling he asked the treewisechic “Do you want to get into the backseat?”

“NO!” was the reply.

Thinking that she may simply not have been ready, Mr. D let things develop until the windows were steamed and things were getting really hot. At which point he asks once again “Do you want to get into the back seat?”

‘NO!” the treewisechic answers again.

Things proceed until her bra is off, they are both very sweaty and she has his pants unzipped. Thinking that she has to want it now he asks again “Do you want to get into the back seat?”.

“NO!” she answers yet again.

Frustrated Mr. D demands: “Well why not?”

“Because I want to stay up here with you!” wailed the treewisechic.

 

XV

“Who would of thought Gordy could move that fast?”

“Certainly seems to be highly motivated to motor in high gear.”

Laughter.

“Oh, oh – he seems to be slowing down quite a bit.”

“Probably wishing he had quit smoking before this.”

“She has run him to ground…..laughter….but she doesn’t seem to know what to do now that she has caught him.” laughter

************************************************************

Minutes earlier………….

“Come on Gordy you need to move out of the dark ages and embrace the computer age, get rid of that antique you call a phone and get into text and tweeting. You could become a social phenomenon, a social force. Would you not agree Mr. L?”

“Indubitably. It could lead to his own reality Show.”

“tsk, tsk, tsk….Gordy…..how can you bear to disappoint the millions of fans out there just waiting for you to move into the modern age of text and tweet so you can burst upon their firmament like a nova leading them to enlightenment?” SIGH

“So sad.” sadly shaking head; “it is indeed’ nodding his head sagely in agreement.

“It is really not that hard Gordy” said the treewisechic as she walked up to the discussion “texting and tweeting are no big deal.”

Gordy turned to face the treewisechic commenting “This from the person who had all that trouble, needed all that time to learn to send an e-mail.”

“Oh?”

“Yes, she was stuck for the longest time because she couldn’t figure out where to put the stamp.”

SCREECHHHHH!  and the air comes alive with the sound of pounding feet………………

XVI

It came to pass that on the first day of the May long weekend, that the Treewisemen could be found out under the cloudy, cool, showery skies on South Fraser Way. Clustered, along with several large pieces of equipment, around a fresh planting of posies adjacent to the Way.

An ostensible answer to the oft posed question “if you are doing all this landscaping, why is it that nobody ever witnesses you doing any landscaping?”

Of course the conspiracy theorists among us will undoubtedly have a different interpretation of the scene.

– there was no really evidence as to who actually was responsible for the landscaping.

– the ‘workers’ were all just standing around; nobody was actually planting anything.

– in case anyone they knew failed to spot the Treewisemen, Doug was there waving wildly and calling out loudly to ensure the Treewisemen would not be missed or overlooked.

– the trailer was full of earth all neatly mounded; there was no hole in the earth as one would expect if any earth had been used to do actual landscaping.

In assessing the ‘flaws” in the scene conspiracy theorists no doubt concluded the what one saw on South Fraser way was staged – a fata morgana [a mirage consisting of multiple images] as it were.

As anyone who has managed the staging of a play would tell you it is not about the size of the props, but about the props ability to subtly suggest to the audience what you want them to see. You don’t want your props, your staging, to suggest to or remind the audience that they are observing a play.

– rather than big equipment, the presence of 2 almost empty flats of plantings (which must match the plant matter in the ground) says to the audience they are seeing a planting (landscaping) in progress.

– a hole dug into the earth in a trailer or pickup box suggests that the missing earth was used preparing and landscaping the planting area.

– a simple ‘Men Working’ sign.

– it is important to match the number of people to the size of the area landscaped and avoid suggests that the number of people standing around should have finished and departed the area long ago.

– it is imperative to have at least one person actually planting something, even if the same plant is ‘planted’ over and over.

– to avoid the appearance that one desperately wants to be noticed, don’t have people waving and shouting to attract attention from those one wants to notice you. Rather take advantage of the presence of the Treewisechic and have her dress in a manner sure to ensure you are noticed by all.

By paying attention to detail in setting your stage and by giving careful consideration to the message your staging is sending to the audience one can see to it that the entire target audience, including the conspiracy nuts, see and get the message you want them to get.

As they say, the devil is in the details. And so is getting the audience to buy into and believe the ‘story’ you want to sell them.

Now I am sure the conspiracy theorists are quite incorrect (wink, wink nudge, nudge) as to the nature of the Treewisemen’s presence on South Fraser Way.

I certainly would not want in any way to suggest that the Treewisemen need to ‘try again’ or that they would have ‘better luck next time’ keeping in mind these observations.

I am sure that if was merely happenstance that had the scene on South Fraser looking so artificial and staged.

Say, you might be interested in some great coastal property I have in Florida………

XVII

Please Note: This Chronicle is part of the series Introduction to Deductive Reasoning

As September drew near, with its return to University, the Treewisechic began to worry about the need to get her brain out of neutral and into think mode.

After worrying at it and obsessing a little she settled on the idea of asking some fellow students, from several disciplines, down for a Bar-B-Que.

The Treewisechic was fervently hopeful that conversation with other University students on a variety of subjects would excite her old neurons into firing up. During her last term some disparaging comments had been made about the homeless  – dumb, dirty, druggies, deranged – so she decided she would  invite a few of the Thursday night BBQ regulars as well, for educational purposes.

The day rolled around and the BBQ was coaxing a few of the Treewisechic’s brain cells out of hibernation and based on the number of times she had heard “you could not be or have been homeless, you’re to           .” her educational initiative was enjoying some success.

At one point during the BBQ several attendees slipped away unobserved by the Treewisechic who had also been unaware of their conversation about the joy of shooting rats at a dump. Several of the University students expressed scepticism (or disgust) with the idea that shooting rats at a dump was a fun and entertaining pastime. So it was decided to test the hypothesis that shooting rats provided amusement by slipping away and finding some rats to shoot.

Several of those from the Thursday night BBQ joined the expedition as, no stereotyping intended, they knew the best isolated places to find a supply of targets AKA rats.

The experiment had proceeded routinely with sufficient ” ewwwwws” and “grosses” to satisfy all, until they were down to the final three students. These three had arrived together and had pretty much hung together throughout the BBQ.

The first one shoots, missing the rat by 13.5 centimetres on the left. The second shoots, missing the rat by 13.5 centimetres on the right. The third on shouts: “We’ve hit it!”

Which leaves Doug and Gordy standing there looking at each other with totally bewildered looks on their faces. They turn to the Wordsmith who shrugs and says: “Obviously they are studying to become statisticians.”

XVIII

And it came to pass at a Thursday evening BBQ that Doug was observed to be Quiet, even melancholy.

Disquieted by this uncharacteristic behaviour several of those among the hungry forsook the line for food, in order that they might seek out the treewisechic and discover what had Doug so disconsolate; thus assuring themselves that nothing serious was wrong.

“Oh, it is just that he got a small,  low powered telescope and has really been enjoying using it” stated the treewiswchic.

OK so………

“It is low power, only 10x (ten times) magnification” she added.

AND?

“Well, he has already used it 9 times.”

XIX

It came to pass that late in the summer of 2011 Doug took time to get away.

As he sped off Doug was heard chortling something about someone named Garry or Mary or Faery or Larry (some kind of ‘airy’) facing long walks in the fresh air and the need to jump(?) because Doug had fed his (her, its) addiction to electricity and was leaving him (her, it) without recourse to a way to get all charged up.

Upon his return Doug got quite a chuckle out of the results that arose from going ‘cold turkey’ one electricity.

Doug also began to expound  upon how hard he had to work to catch up with work and how it was hardly worthwhile taking time off because you had to work so hard to catch up and how he was having to work to midnight.

After more than a week of this litany, when Doug next spoke of working to midnight someone asked him what time he started.

“10:30″

“AM or PM?”

“Well, PM.”

Loud Chorus of Groans and Disgust .