Cork Trees and Hooligans

All week I’ve been incredibly busy procrastinating this column. In fact, I’ve discovered that procrastination itself can be the most remarkable motivator when it comes to tackling random tasks like weeding the flower beds and finally throwing out the Christmas tree. I also repaired the hedge trimmers, made seven pairs of earrings, cleared out my inboxes, had my dad over for dinner, did all the laundry, and stared at a blank screen for a total of 10,000 hours.

But then last night I finally had a breakthrough. I was driving downtown with my little brothers, and we came to a stop at 3rd and Broadway, finding (to our surprise) that the city had planted giant cork trees in the center of all the intersections. A pack of young hooligans were hanging in the branches like monkeys, throwing things at cars.

I was super pissed, and I rolled down my window and yelled at them to cut it out or I’d call the police. One of them unzipped his pants and shook his junk at me, and was like, “Whatever!”

If you know me at all, you know that’s my pet peeve and I wasn’t having it. I parked the car around the corner and started dialing random numbers until I finally reached the police, then tried to explain the situation while I marched around the neighborhood.

I couldn’t seem to stop digressing: “I want to report an incident with some pants! Well, it wasn’t about the pants… it started with those cork trees, and nobody is stopping those jerks, and I think I recognized one of them, we were in a play together last year—well, not last year, and I wasn’t in the play, I was doing costumes…” The poor guy on the other end of the line was becoming more and more confused about what I actually wanted him to do, but every question he asked led me down another rabbit hole. I finally just gave up.

Of course I couldn’t find where I’d parked the car by then (because when you walk away from things they disappear in a constantly shifting maze), so I started walking home. At first I was feeling pretty frustrated, but then I realized this was awesome; I finally had something important to write about.

Waking up and realizing none of those things had happened was a little bit of a bummer, but I’ve decided not to let that stop me from telling you about it and tackling the issues head-on (because journalism).

First of all, we absolutely cannot let them plant cork trees in the middle of all the intersections. Sure, they’re beautiful, but it messes up the flow of traffic, obscures visibility, and they will inevitably become a habitat for feral young men.

Secondly, throwing things is not nice, and if we see people doing this we need to band together as a community and put a stop to it. I know we’re all waiting for a hero, but we have to push past that instinct and send a unanimous message about leaving objects at rest.

Finally, and I cannot stress this enough, penises are not suitable communication tools. They have many uses (such as peeing, reproduction, and ring-toss), but they are not meant to convey your thoughts about authority. Do not shake your penis at me, Steve.


Managing Editor for Synthesis Weekly. Amy likes to make clothes, plant flowers, and chase butterflies.