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In the land of horizontal trees

You can cut the angst with a chain saw in our verdant, bucolic, idyllic, New Englandy-like town.

That’s because we’re not nearly as verdant as we were before that hurricane thingy. After the storm, the Ridgefield Verdancy Index (RVI) fell from 93 to 84. That brought the broader Ridgefield Idyllic Index (RII) crashing down from 98 to 94.

If you don’t understand the math behind a narrowly focused index falling more than an index with more variables, I don’t have time now — call for an appointment.

Reacting to the news, First Choiceman Rodeo Macaroni paced the widow’s walk high atop town hall, much to the widow’s chagrin, and stared into the inky black, threatening, cliché-ridden clouds. He thought he spied a schooner headed into the port of Ridgefield.

“The shoals! The shoals!” he cried.

Far below, the town’s director of marketing and bake sales hastily convened a meeting to discuss making Ridgefield a vacation destination with the slogan “Forbidden Land of the Horizontal Trees.” As discussion got underway, the coffee pot boiled over, and pandemonium ensued.

“The canapés! The canapés!” someone cried.

Ridgefield’s director of roads and other flat things suggested that residents fasten chains to downed trees and drag them into other towns. “People in South Salem are just dumb,” he said. “They’ll never notice.”

That said, he hopped into one of those big orange trucks and headed out to Sandusky, Ohio.

“The byways! The byways!” he cried.

Sensing an incipient raging controversy among the citizenry, the town fathers scurried to the safety of their hermetically sealed bunker, which is in an undisclosed location, which is 30 feet beneath the fountain.

There they pondered how they’d allowed things to get so out of hand.

“Forget it, Rodeo. It’s Ridgefield town.”

Let me pause here to ask, have you ever hopped in your car and headed off to Sandusky and got a 100 miles into (yuk!) New Jersey when you suddenly realized you’d forgotten to close the garage door?

Wow, I know.

Let me ask this. Why were you going to Sandusky? Are there people there? What do they do for a good time?

Do you think there are people in Sandusky, who were born, raised, lived and died there — spent their whole lives in Sandusky? Do you think those people saw anything wrong with that? Do you think they were even aware of it?

Do you suppose there are people in Sandusky, who wake up in the morning and wonder if there are people in Ridgefield, who were born, raised, lived and died here — and saw nothing wrong with it?

Do they have trees in Sandusky? Are they pointed up or sideways?

Let me ask you this. What would you do if you started off writing a column about horizontal trees and got bored and suddenly Sandusky, popped in your head? You can’t wrap a chain around it and drag it into South Salem, can you? No, you’d just go with it.

Then there’s this pretend blizzard thingy.

To let the big orange trucks clear the way to Sandusky, the governor ordered all of his subjects to stay off the horizontal trees. Then this white stuff just covered up all the horizontal trees. Then there was considerable blowing and drifting of TV weather reporters.

A town father poked his head up out of the bunker, took a look around to see if it was safe to come out … and saw his shadow.

Then some other stuff happened.


Terry Kirkpatrick lives in Ridgefield, “if you can call this living,” and blogs at gumbo.blogspot.com. He says he’s a real nice guy. His mother said she liked him.

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