It was a beautiful day in inner city Melbourne when I’d organised to have the arborists come to get rid of our troublesome tree in the front yard. Its branches were interfering with the power lines and the roots were tearing up the foundations of the house. It just had to go. Anyway, this tree was actually right on the nature strip, so several paced from the house, just to give you some idea of how massive it truly was. Anyway, the guy pulls out his chain saw, ready to cut the darn thing down, when my neighbour rushes out yelling Stop at the top of his lungs.
Now I never thought that tree felling in Melbourne could have amounted to a stouch, but that’s exactly what happened. He came out yelling, “How dare you cut down my tree!” I go, “This isn’t your tree, tis’ my tree.” But this irate neighbour pointed to the tree stump and said that it was actually on his side of the nature strip. That’s when I realised that it was close to the border of our two properties, but nevertheless it was clearly my tree because I’m the one who had had to invest all of the time and money into pruning it and taking care of it all these years. I asked him, “If it’s your tree, then where have you been this whole time?” He just grumbled and started rambling about the tree being his again. Not the most coherent argument I’ve heard…
Anyway, the neighbour and I got into a fracas right there in front of the arborists. Close to Melbourne there isn’t a lot of fighting so I guess they were in for a real show. The poor blokes were probably just sticking around to see who would pay them the call out fee.
The tree had been an eyesore since the day we moved in. That was twenty years ago. I wanted to get rid of it but there’s always been something in the way. At the beginning, it was my first wife who really loved it. I had called tree removal in Melbourne and the guys rolled up with their trucks and equipment. They were about to lop the darn thing down when she ran out screaming and crying, tears streaming down her face. She begged them to stop. They looked at me and smiled, knowing that I still had to pay the bill.
I couldn’t cut it down so long as we were married. In fact, I think it might have had something to do with the break up of our marriage. Not the tree obviously but just her uncompromising nature. There was no way I could talk her out of it, or anything really.
The next time I tried to call in the arborist, Melbourne based tree doctors are all over the place. The tree loppers came by, ready to cut down the hideous tree which was getting in the way of the power lines and even starting to dig its roots into the foundation of the house. This time it was my second wife’s mother in law who stopped the whole thing. She ran out declaring that the tree was an apricot tree and why would we cut it down when we get so many free delicious apricots. I looked at the floor where all the squashed apricots were stained into the paving, and I shook my head. Yet another tree felling mission delayed. Needless to say, that marriage didn’t last either. Can’t be stuck with a woman with a domineering mother in law.
The third and last time I tried to get rid of the tree, my new girlfriend tried to stop me. She said that she really liked the tree and could we please keep it? I told her, “Of course, anything for you, darling.”