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Monday, August 7, 2000

Arbor Day

All the hubbub and ballyhoo over the recent Fourth of July celebrations has got some of us here at Big Damn Funny thinking about why some holidays seem to get so much press, and others are virtually overlooked.

For instance, take the aforementioned Fourth of July.

Granted, it is the celebration of our fight for independance and sure, we all like to see shit blow up every now and again...especially when it's state sanctioned. But what about the other holidays? The just-as-important holidays. Like Boxing Day (December 26th), Grandparent's Day (September 10th), Rosh Hashanah (September 30th), and Canada Day (July 1st). What about them?

And the most egregiously overlooked holiday...Arbor Day.

As we all know, Arbor Day was created by Julius Sterling Morton in the 1870s. Julius lived in Nebraska, which sucked. He figured planting trees might make it look better. Who knows?

In 1872 he proposed a tree-planting day. There were those who thought him crazy. And there were those who thought him far ahead of his time.

Some were just plain frightened by the mere sight of the tree-wielding Nebraskan (is that a word?). Others were offended by the constant stench of pine which Julius Sterling Morton carried on his being. Still others, believed his tree planting methods to be unorthodox and...strange.

One man spoke up in a town meeting declaring "Ain't right for a man's crotch to reek of pine, I reckon." It was put to a vote. To this day, Nebraska law states, It ain't right for a man's crotch to reek of pine, we reckon.

Most folks didn't want him near their children. Some called him "Mr. Morton". Others called him "pine crotch". And still others, called him "Father"...mainly, just his children.

Sadly, Julius Sterling Morton died. Sometime in the 1800's. Or maybe it was the early 1900's. No one really knows when. OK, someone probably does. We don't. Who cares? The guy's crotch smelled like pine....what the fuck?

So we here at Big Damn Funny believe because of Mr. Morton's hard work and dedication to keeping this country's tree population plentiful, that this holiday deserves far more credit and attention.

You like Christmas? What would Christmas be like without a tree? Ever thought about that, fat boy?

Ever read a book? OK...ever seen a book? Paper, baby. You couldn't have paper without trees.

Ever climbed a tree? Yeah, you couldn't have done that without a tree.

The Big Damn Funny staff has taken a step towards making Arbor Day a more recognizable holiday. Our first idea was to petition to rename it Big Damn Arbor Day. That didn't fly.

Our next thought was to protest the logging industry. Then we saw how big some of those fuckers are. Screw that. Those trees are on their own.

Finally, we decided to check out the National Arbor Day website. Below is some correspondence.

Subj: Trees are neat
Date: 7/10/00

I'm with Big Damn Funny, an online humor magazine. We chose to put our magazine online to save precious trees. Unlike those bastards at Mad Magazine....and Newsweek, they suck too.

On your FAQ page (http://www.arborday.org/programs/faqs.html) you state:

The National Arbor Day Foundation offers plantings for special occasions and in memory of loved ones in national forests which have been destroyed by fire, disease, or insects. We are currently planting in an area of Targhee National Forest. For each $10 contribution, ten trees will be planted and the individual’s name placed in the park registry.

We are interested in planting some trees with you to support your organization, as well as help us get some much needed publicity.

How about if you put our name right on the tree? No one is going to look in the registry. Who does that? Not me.
For an extra $5, how about burning it into the bark? I'll throw in another $10 if you do it to all ten. We want "Big Damn Tree - find us on the web at: www.bigdamnfunny.com".

How's that sound?


We are still awaiting a response.

So in closing, trees are neat...the National Arbor Day Foundation is not.

So the next time you are being beat with a stick of freshly cut pine...think about old Julius Sterling Morton.

Sadly, people didn't take heed to Julius Morton's desires, and that's why Nebraska sucks to this day.

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