Thursday, December 10, 2009
I wrote about Chubby & Tubby Christmas trees before (here), and I'll probably write about them
next year too, but I do miss them. Untrimmed, unfashionable, sparse and often flattened from
having been trucked-in, they filled the parking lot of the variety store every December. For what seemed like centuries they cost $5; then the price leaped up to a whopping $7.
They dripped with sap and were mossy and lichen clung to the branches. They had cones. They were real trees. (Yes, I know, cut off in their prime but Oh Well.) Awkward, often. Adolescent Douglas firs, with skinny little trunks not unlike the legs of many thirteen-year-old boys. They'd never done the weight-lifting of the tree-farm trees. Never taken commercially-manufactured vitamins. Never been to the salon for a shaping.
And a Chubby & Tubby tree presented unique challenges when decorating: the branches slumped with the slightest weight, so many decorations were hung close to the trunk. The trunk itself was often too narrow to properly tighten into the stand. (I recall shimming it with wooden blocks.) Some branches stretched ridiculously wide, others barely existed. But if you had the space, you could buy the tallest tree on the lot and still pay only $7. Joy!
Gone now, farewell, au revoir. The Chubby & Tubby building on Rainier Avenue, vacant since 2003, is for sale. A beauty school camped out there for a while, then a school-supply facility for disadvantaged children. They too have moved on.
Driving past on my way to work, I attempt to summon the ghosts of Flattened-Christmas-Trees-Past, but, alas. It's dark, and it's vacant.
Only in memory.