Proof that monster trees are everywhere, they’re stalking us and they want to kill us.
Until last Sunday, I never understood tree muggers. That’s a term I use for those who seemingly never saw a tree or a forest they liked.
Thanks to a harrowing experience, I’ve come to appreciate where tree muggers are coming from. Trees are not the benign inanimate objects many of us take them for; they are intimidating and sinister. Given a chance, they’d trip us with their roots, ensnare us in their gnarled limbs, drink our blood and replace it with sap and turn our brains into mulch.
Last Sunday I came to realize that trees are lurking everywhere, in the woods, along city streets, in nurseries … watching our every move, waiting until no one else is looking. While hiking in the park, I felt the trees staring at me. A chill went up my spine when I turned around and came face to face with this:
I turned and I ran until I came to a spot under a huge oak tree, lost my footing on a bunch of acorns, and went into a pratfall with arms flailing and blue language spewing from my lips. Then, I looked up to see this:
I regained my footing and sprinted out of the forest. Out of breath, I hastily walked down the road toward my house, constantly looking over my shoulder. Then, I heard a sound coming from the tree line along the road, looked over and saw this:
It was enough to convince me that tree muggers aren’t irrational after all.
When I got home, I did some research on the darker nature of trees. Lo and behold, there it was — images from our popular culture depicting sinister, evil trees. Like the ill-tempered apple tree from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz:”
It’s widely known that, during the making of the film, one of the Munchkins, after having been spurned by a lady Munchkin, hanged himself from a tree on the set. Movie buffs claim he can be seen in the background dangling from the tree with his legs kicking as Dorothy, Toto, the Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and Scarecrow dance down the yellow brick road en route to Oz.
Skeptics have countered that what you’re actually seeing is a large bird, a crane of some sort, meant to add some realism to the set.
Popular culture also gave us a glimpse into the true nature of trees in the 1957 horror classic “From Hell It Came.” The star of the film, an evil tree monster called Tabanga, terrorizes the natives and their American visitors on a remote desert island. Tabanga can best be characterized as a zombiefied version of the evil apple tree from “The Wizard of Oz.”
The hit TV series “Twin Peaks” demonstrated that not only are trees sentient, but have supernatural powers. Remember clairvoyant talking log?
The mysterious Log Lady’s psychic log had a lot to say, but its counterpart from “Sesame Street’s” parody “Twin Beaks” had just one thing to say. Tired of people pumping it for words of wisdom, the log finally spoke up, saying, “How should I know? I’m a log!”
Which only goes to show that, not only are trees sentient and endowed with supernatural powers, they’re smart asses.
Next time you’re out hiking or just walking down the street, be on the lookout for sinister trees. Get photos and email them to me. I’ll add them to our watch list. Together, we can stop the spread of these knotty hooligans. Remember the tree muggers motto: “I came, I saw, I sawed.”