Monday, December 01, 2008

We Chop Down Trees Better Than You Chop Down Trees

With holidays now upon us, it’s time for that most cherished of jolly seasonal traditions –anxiety induced overeating.


Additionally this is also a unique opportunity to get in the festive spirit and decorate your home! The Garrigans are good at three things: Irish jigs, selecting the perfect Christmas tree, and the planning and execution of military coups. Fortunately for the world, winter is an awful time to stage a military upheaval so we opted to go find a nifty tree!


As children, rather than going around enjoying the sights and sounds of the holidays, my sister Lise and I would use our spare time to peek in widows and judge others holiday displays. “You call that tinsel? Fucking amateurs,” Lise and I would snicker and then high five.


A lot of you are probably wondering, “why are you guys such assholes?” Frankly, I really don’t know. Our parents are really nice people. While our judgey quotient might be slightly higher than yours (and who the hell are you to judge me, I know your other Firefox tab has porn on it), what this really does is create opportunities to excel in stupid shit that no one else sees as a competition. Like cutting down the perfect Christmas tree. This Saturday we engaged in that competition that ages back to the first Olympiad –CRUSHING YOU IN CHRISTMAS TREE SELECTION.


As the sun rose on the Garrigan Compound, and I finished my favorite nude sun salutation pose, the Farting Gopher, I exhaled from my Burnt Cyan Shock rah, and thought to myself, “this is going to be the day that I select the best Christmas tree. The best Christmas tree ever. This is also the day I should do some serious manscaping, yowsa!”


After consuming a bowl of generic brand Raisin Bran Crunch, I gathered my team of parents and sibling for a pep talk:


As we enter Christmastime, I want to impart a little bit of advice. In this season of giving the best gift that you can give to others is being the best you, you can be. So much so that the best you that you are is better than the you that others are and they will be all, “thank you for giving me the gift of your superiority, can I get your dry cleaning for you?” You will then pat them on the head and say, “you’re welcome, and yes you may get my dry cleaning, but not too much starch this time it makes me itchy, okay?” Because that’s what Christmas is about, chemically laundered clothing, and gifts of Greatness. Now as we go out there on the lots today there will be lots of “families” and “youngsters trying to enjoy the magic of Christmas.” Scrape ‘em off. You have one goal and one goal alone; get the best tree on the lot. Now, the terms of my parole will not allow me to openly advocate violence, but all of you will all have unforgivingly sharp tree saws in your death-paws and accidents happen out there on the rolling hills of Holly’s Happy Home Farms, accidents happen all the time…. That’s all I’m sayin’. Does anyone have a valium to counter the ‘roid rage I’m feeling right now? No? No one? Okay. Don’t forget to wear a muff and let’s go out there and kick some Christmas ass! Hoo-rah!


With that we loaded up our intimidating Honda Fit and aptly named Truck-That-Could-Use-Some-Serious-Maintainence-Because-It-Sounds-Like-The-Entire-Exhaust-System-Could-Fall-Off-At-Anytime-Mobile or TTCUSSMBISLTEESCFOAAM for short, and headed off to Holly’s Happy Home Farms.


When we arrived at Holly’s Happy Home Farms, I realized quickly that in fact, no one was happy. No one at all. No, these people with their babies, dogs and merry hats with ear flaps had one thing on their mind, stealing my tree. “NOT TODAY ASSHOLES!” I shouted as I threw the paper cup that formerly held just the most delicious spiced apple cider you ever did taste to the ground and stormed out of the wreath barn.


The great Chinese General Sun Tzu once said, “he who wants to chop down a tree should go to a tree farm.” Having followed this first axiom to a t, I knew the perfect tree was not far away. But wouldn’t you know it, no sooner did we hit the lots, my entire team suddenly fell to skitter. Well, here, look for yourself.



The most crushing blow to morale was when my mother informed us that she wanted to have a giant Christmas. Knee-jerk reaction: Awesome! Costa Rican villa here I come. Imagine my disappointment when instead it just meant that she wanted a tiny tree so she could wake up on Christmas morning, lumber down the stairs and go, “fee fye fo fum, I smell presents –give me some!!!” and then shake the presents out from under the tree. When I told her that was an awful idea she told me –and I quote- “shut up, pinhead.” And then she ate another family’s baby.



If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the green movement. A bunch of people telling me I can’t use my Styrofoam cups to choke river otters. I am an American, I do what I wanna do. Well, imagine my chagrin when I discovered that I had a tree hugger on my team! No really, he wouldn’t stop hugging the damn trees. Stinking hippies.



Listen, given my love of musical theatre I can understand the desire to break into dances impromptu, but when Lise performed the entire dream ballet from Oklahoma on the stump of a previously felled tree, well it was just too much. When she finished she ran over to me pleading, “I’m sorry I let the team down Patrick, it’s just that I was moved by the spirit of the dance. The hills were alive with the sounds of music!” To which I icily spit back, “the sounds of music don’t put the perfect Christmas tree in our den do they, Lisa? DO THEY?” She started crying and I took a hit of Skoal.


Disappointed by my team members, I knew it would be on me to find the perfect tree. Unfortunately, I quickly realized I didn’t know how to pick a tree. In my blind pursuit of getting a tree that was better than everyone else’s I didn’t know what made a good tree, what made a good Christmas.


Suddenly, across the glen I saw a family more attractive than mine pointing at what I guess was a good tree. Re-invigorated, I hopped on my tree sled and flew under the radar, shuttling myself directly beneath this perfect (?) tree. By the time the attractive family made their way to the tree I was able to get a good (3) hacks into the tree’s trunk. “Great minds must think a like,” I smirked and as the WASPy family walked away I gave them the finger. Just because.


So now I have the perfect (?) tree and I have trimmed it with the perfect (?) ornaments, so I will now have a perfect (?) Christmas. This concludes yet another story of how I beat you at that competition you didn’t know you were in. Seasons Greetings!


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Hello Friends, it’s that time of year again where I get drunk nearly every night and hit on you at that party because that sequin top really brings out your eyes.


It’s also time for the 20th Annual New York Cares Coat Drive. As in past years, I’m collecting coats for New York’s needy. So if you live in the (5) boroughs of NYC and have a new or gently used winter coat that you would like to contribute, please drop me a line @ greatness.with.gumption@gmail.com and I will be happy to make arrangements to swing by and pick those up from you! Best part? FREE HUGS!


Thanks in advance for your help supporting this worthy cause and I look forward to hearing from you!


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