Monday, December 12, 2005

What's in a name? That which we call a (….) Tree by any other name would look as green.

As the whole world knows by now, a controversy arose when the annual Christmas tree was sent from Nova Scotia to Boston.
Not only did the grower object to the Bostonians renaming the arbor "Holiday Tree", but also the conservative media such as FOX jumped on the issue and announced that the “dechristmasfication” of the USA reared its ugly head.
Funny enough, they seem to overlook the fact that the tradition of the Christmas Tree is pagan – Jesus for sure never saw a Christmas Tree during his lifetime (date trees, olive trees, palm trees, yes, but no Scotch pine or fir - trust me).

Since I want to be as PC as the rest of the world, I decided to make a Helpful Suggestion.
I decided to consult Shakespeare first, since religion was not going to give me any answers….
The Bard made some poignant observations in his time, so who am I not to learn from it?
To paraphrase him: “What's in a name? That which we call a (….) Tree by any other name would look as green”.
After absorbing these pearls of wisdom, I came up with my first suggestion: “the big green thingy.”
Not one of my brighter ideas, as I found out the hard way.
I received the following letter (stuck to my door with superglue) when I came home:

Dear Ms. Daumier,

On behalf of all green superheroes, we strongly object to being referred to as a “big green thingy.”
If you don’t retract or change to above, we will be forced to take Superhero Action, which might result in some temporary and/or permanent physical and/or mental discomfort. You will be properly notified by signs on the walls and/or in the sky.

The League of Green Superheroes


The Hulk
Chairman of the

The Green Giant

“green is a nice skin color too”

Needless to say, I had no ambition at all to mess around with Superheroes. Just look at poor Lois Lane.
So I rephrased it to “Green Entity M/F”. Has a nice ring to it, and is also very PC.

Returning home, I found the following note on my door.
I had some trouble removing it, since it was embedded with a lethal looking arrow.
I read the following:

Stupid Person,

Stop referring to us as “green entities” – we are magic folk, not thingies!

You should call a fairy a fairy and the troll a troll, if you get our drift.
(If not, you are even denser than a dragon and that says a lot!).
If you don’t rephrase your suggestion before the next rainbow, we will turn you into dead leaves, and bury you in a lead kettle at the foot of before-mentioned rainbow.

The International Federation of Leprechauns

“if you don’t want a mess, don’t mess with us”

Needless to say, I rephrased again – and came up with: “green foliage.”
That would neatly exclude anything mammal, so I would be out of the woods (or ground).
At least, that’s what I thought…until a courier knocked on my door, handing me two envelopes.

The first one was stacked with leaves containing the following text:


You use the term “green foliage” to refer to a Tree.

This is absolutely incorrect.
The term not only refers to all evergreens, but also to shrubs and bushes.
You are obviously not a botanist.

Get your facts straight and get a life (or a university degree in Agriculture).

Insincerely yours,

The National Union of Evergreens
The Hibernia Counsel for Improvement of Shamrocks

“plants communicate – HRH Prince Charles”

The second envelope boasted one on those official looking seals and read:

We know who you are, where you live and what you had for breakfast.
Please note that the President saw your suggestion and thought that he had to change his name to Prez. Foliage.

You see, he used the thesaurus tool on his computer, thinking it was some kind of Super-Dinosaurus, since he read it as The Saurus. He then typed in your foliage and bush came up. Hence the misunderstanding that he had to change his family name.
It took us quite some time to convince him that there was no need to walk around the Pentagon in army camouflage gear.
He still keeps the helmet with leaves in the Oval Office though.
See what you inconsiderate suggestion triggered?

Repent or your creative days are numbered.

The Federal Bureau of Keeping the Bush

“Never talk to a Burning Bush”

That did it! For my own piece of mind, I decided to stop helping Humanity by making more suggestions …let Bono or Sting suffer with it – I had it!
I removed all things green and leafy from my apartment.
No (….) Tree for me!
I will stick to lighting candles…and before anyone gets excited again, I am NOT going to tell you for which holiday!

Happy Whatever Everyone

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