Walter Mencken 8:33 a.m., Nov. 21
- Community Blog
The unstable Christmas tree
I got my Christmas tree last week. I had the tree stand out and all was ready to get it set up. Since I bought a smaller tree, it is sitting on a 2 foot high square table. The tree stand fits perfectly. I set the tree in the stand, tightened the 3 prongs (they screw in), turned the stand a little so I got the best view facing out, then filled the stand with water. It looked quite nice. I did not start decorating right away as I had several projects going at once and I needed to be in the kitchen.
Later on I found the tree topper and went to put it on the tree. As I reached up, the tree tipped towards me. I fell backwards and grabbed the tree trunk as I went down. There I sat with this tree on top of me, water from the tree stand splashing on the table, floor and me. I wrestled with the tree trying to lift it as I tried to get up. I was on my knees trying to get the tree back in the stand. As I did so, I discovered the problem. The tree had been hanging from the 3 prongs, swinging freely. It did not reach the bottom. Now I had to get the prongs loosened and take the tree out of the stand. We got into a pretty good wrestling match and the tree was winning the battle. When the prongs finally disconnected, I tried to pick up the tree, at the same time wondering where I would put it! I decided to set it on a chair but I did not want that slimy wet trunk on the chair. This was not working out well. I held on to the tree while reaching out with one leg trying to pull a box towards me. I knew there was a towel in the box & I finally got it and wrapped the tree trunk.
I took the stand and emptied the water, noticing that a lot of water had splashed out. I went back to the table, set up the tree stand & measured it and the trunk. I then used a hacksaw & cut off 2 lower branches. I hefted the tree up into the stand & it still was too short. I stepped back, with one hand holding the tree, fell on my ass, tree on top of me. An encore performance! I went through the same stuff, put the tree on the chair, and started searching for something about 1 inch high with a radius of 2-3 inches to hold the tree to the bottom of the stand. I tried a few things that did not do the trick. I finally found a plastic measuring cup that fit and it also was puncturable (is that a word?). I again hefted that darned ole tree, set it in the stand & voila, it fit. I had to position it so the branches fit between the prongs. I tightened it up, & as I stood back to look and see if it was straight, it came tumbling down!!! I was again on the floor with the tree on top of me, thinking someone should be filming this. It seemed like a 3 stooges routine, but with only 1 stooge. Luckily there was no water this time. I went through the process again, got the tree aligned, took a chance on adding some water and left it standing in the corner. No decorations as I was afraid to touch it for fear that it would knock me to the floor again!
Pretty dam long story about putting up a Christmas tree. I did get it decorated & it has stayed put! It seems stable.
To see a photo of the battling tree, go to: