Friday, November 24, 2006


There was a time when I knew a group of young men who thrived on a chemical diet. Their guru was named Ricky, and I heard this story from him. One Thanksgiving the troop decided to embibe some substances and head over to the National Arboretum to take in the trees, particularly the conifer division which they nicknamed "Pepperland" after the Beatles animated film Yellow Submarine.

...Raise the Song of Harvest Home

From listening to Rick's tale, I learned that the defined outlines of the trees could turn into a 1930's Looney Tunes cartoon where the plants would march across the skyline and do all sorts of interesting things; that and it's isolation guaranteed that the crew would remain undisturbed while taking in the visuals. They had their day of haze and hiliarity, the sun had set and they made haste to depart, only to realize the gates had been locked and they were in for the night. The way Ricky told me the story, one of the guys nicknamed Animal was clutching the bars of the gate, crying and saying, "I've got to get home and eat turkey." For some reason that story has stuck with me: Animal, drugs, tears and turkey...oh yeah, and singing trees.

Rick had a lot of good stories. One time he had taken a lot of acid ( the lysergic type) or some other mind altering combo, and his father went to him in the middle of the night, asking that he move his car in the driveway, so that Dad could leave for work early the next morning. Rick went outside in his underwear to shift cars around, and the next thing he was aware of was he driving down a road and seeing a sign that said "Welcome to Pennsylvania."

To quote Rick: "FOO!"

I have a lot of Thanksgiving stories. Most of them are sad. I went to see the new Christopher Guest film For Your Consideration last night thinking I was seeing a comedy. During the course of this film a small budget production originally called "Home for Purim" builds momentum and evolves into a retitled film called "Home for Thanksgiving." I watched this spoof on Hollywood where a cycle of hope for an Oscar and fame becomes a story of starry illusions and broken dreams. I came outside the theatre to see a blaze of Christmas lights with a half dozen signs of warning. Happy Holidays.

There's something incongruous about Christmas lights
with cautionary warnings


Blogger Reya Mellicker said...

She's back!! I'm talking about your Christmas avatar. Yay!!!

I love the conifer section of the Arboretum. Even without controlled substances, I always "see" the symbols of Reiki in the outline of those trees. (Maybe it's the conifers, maybe it's a flashback to the 70s when I did enough controlled substances to last a lifetime.)

Touching and beautiful to read your thoughts about Thanksgiving. Bittersweet, funny, sad. Thank you.

9:12 AM  
Blogger Megarita said...

That tree deserves a warning. ANything that artificial (or maybe it's my drugs talking) needs a fence around it.

Nice to hear from you again!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous niels said...

My stuffing's secret ingredient is crystal meth.

It keeps the holidays exciting!

12:37 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Reya: I spared you all the sad stories...this year. ;)

Mega: My parents had conifers in their landscaped yard, including a tall blue spruce type thing with droopy branches. I always thought it was very Japanese looking, and my mother loved it for it's abnormal shape. Sort of like the Japanese principle of making a teacup and then deliberately creating it with a flaw so it's not perfect.

Niels: I applaud your culinary skills. Stuffing made with 'dro could be interesting too...or boat.

3:18 PM  
Blogger playfulinnc said...

Yippee! Hiya Cubie!

So...waiting with baited breath for the Guest review!

If I don't get one, I'll go home and bite my pillow at you!

(I need to learn to communicate sans exclamation points.)

6:03 PM  
Blogger Momentary Academic said...

Wow. That's just amazing. The trees are freaky...That's crazy. Drugs are wild, Cube.

9:56 PM  
Blogger cuff said...

When I was in high school I was really sick and took this cough medicine called creo-turpin that I think was creosote and turpentine mixed up (it smelled like it anyway) and then I went to my room and played Genesis's The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway and I swear everything was turning into crystals before I fell asleep.

1:52 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Merry Christmas to you, Cube.

3:06 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Great pictures. As a sidenote... Thanksgiving is now merely an excuse to usher in Christmas a month in advance.

Look at those trees! And I had pizza for Thanksgiving!

1:21 AM  
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8:28 PM  
Blogger Miss Penny Lane said...

The trees in the top photo look like they're holding hands. (Or maybe the bong has just come 'round my way too many times this evening? LOL!) Anyway, I love it!

8:45 PM  
Blogger R2K said...

: )

11:41 AM  

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