[at front door]
ME: No, I’m sorry, I’m just not interested in professional lawn care services. I think the lawn should have made that clear. Have a nice day.
[a few moments later, insistent knocking at the door]
ME: Ah, c’mon, what is it now? I’m just trying to have a quiet Tuesday evening at home.
TREE: HELLO SIR OR MA’AM GOOD MORNING OR EVENING I WOULD LIKE TO TALK TO YOU ABOUT OHIO STATE FOOTBALL
ME: What the heck
TREE: HAVE YOU WITNESSED THE TRUTH OF OHIO STATE FOOTBALL SIR
ME: Well, I watched the 31-0 playoff game, yeah
TREE: SIR THE OHIO STATE FOOTBALL PROGRAM IS ONE OF THE NATION’S PREEMINENT PROGRAMS OF FOOTBALL, EXCELLING BOTH IN FOOTBALL AND IN PREEMINENCE, AND-
ME: Wait, so, you’re a tree, shouldn’t you be talking about Stanford football?
TREE: SIR I BEG YOUR PARDON BUT NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT STANFORD FOOTBALL
TREE: ALSO YOU MAY NOT BE AWARE OF THIS AT THIS PRESENT JUNCTURE BUT THE SYMBOL OF THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY IS THE BUCKEYE, WHICH COMES FROM A TREE, THE BUCKEYE TREE
ME: So I’ve heard.
TREE: YES, WE HAVE A SAYING AROUND HERE, YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE NUTS TO LOVE OHIO STATE BUT YOUR BRANCHES NEED TO BEAR THEM
ME: I don’t think that’s a saying.
TREE: IT’S A TREE SAYING
ME: Listen, what are you looking for here? Money?
TREE: I WOULD JUST LIKE TO SHARE WITH YOU THE GLORIOUS WORD OF OHIO STATE FOOTBALL
ME: Alright, fine. Just make it quick. I’ve got a microwave burrito in the oven.
TREE: [produces crumpled papers, begins reading] IN THE YEAR 1492, CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS LANDED HIS SHIPS ON THE SHORES OF THE OLENTANGY RIVER, WHERE HE WOULD NAME A NEW LAND AFTER HIMSELF. TO THIS NEW LAND OF PLENTY AND MILK AND HONEY AND SAUSAGE RESTAURANTS HE BROUGHT A GAME - FOOTBALL - OR AS THE ITALIANS CALLED IT, “HOSPITALIANO”.
ME: There a number of grave factual inaccuracies in what you just said. Is this what kind of education you get at Ohio State?
TREE: SIR I AM AN OHIO STATE FAN I DID NOT ATTEND OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY
TREE: JUMPING FORWARD TO 1951, WHEN A YOUNG MAN WITH A DREAM WOULD GIVE HOPE TO ALL OF US WHO ARE WOODY FOR THE BUCKEYES
ME: Are we not doing phrasing?
TREE: WOODROW WILSON HAYES, OR AS HE WAS KNOWN TO US IN THE TREE COMMUNITY, “THE MEAT TREE”, WAS AN INSPIRATION, RETIRING ENTIRELY OF HIS OWN VOLITION AFTER A SUCCESSFUL 28-YEAR COACHING CAREER WHEREIN HE NEVER PUBLICLY DEFENDED WAR CRIMES
ME: Once again, I’m going to have to take some exception to a few of your details here.
TREE: SIR IF YOU DON’T LIKE IT YOU CAN JUST LEAVE
ME: This is my house.
TREE: THAT’S JUST SOME TREE HUMOR, GET IT, LEAVE? LEAVE? BUT NO, PLEASE STAY WHERE YOU ARE. I HAVE MUCH MORE TO TELL YOU. AFTER A PERIOD OF RELATIVE QUIETUDE, IN 2001 OHIO STATE HIRED HUMAN FOOTBALL COACH JIM TRESSEL, WHO WOULD BE A HERO TO TREES EVERYWHERE WITH A STYLE OF FOOTBALL THAT, MUCH LIKE US, WAS SLOW, STURDY, CAUTIOUS, PROVIDED SHADE AND HABITAT FOR WOODLAND CREATURES, AND EVENTUALLY ROTTED AND FELL ON TOP OF A HOUSE
ME: Are we almost done?
TREE: FROM THE WRECKAGE OF THAT CRUSHED HOUSE EMERGED TWO MEN. FIRST, LUKE FICKELL, WHO WOULD LATER LEAD THE 2017 CINCINNATI BEARCATS TO A 4-8 RECORD-
ME: It feels unnecessary to even bring that up, but I’m glad you did before anyone else did, I suppose.
TREE: AND ALSO DARRYL EDBERT “URBAN” MEYER, WHO WOULD LEAD THE BUCKEYES TO A CHAMPIONSHIP IN THE 2014 SEASON, WHICH IS THE MOST RECENT THING THAT MY NOTES MENTION.
TREE: THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME, NOW I WOULD LIKE TO REQUEST A SMALL DONATION
ME: What? Why? Ohio State is one of the nation’s wealthiest athletic programs. You don’t need my money.
TREE: MY SONS. THEY’RE VERY SICK
ME: I’m getting my chainsaw.