You Can’t Kill a Tree

The girl in the tree was 18, maybe 19. I forget her nom de treesit, something like “Squirell” or “Moth”. She did not and would not come down. My kids made her cookies. We yelled up to her one day, “hi there! we support you!” she was just a kid. Blonde hair, red face, wrapped up tight in a donated sleeping bag and tree-top tent complete with cell phone and water jug. Of course we had to leave the cookies at the bottom of the old Oak. Three or four other trees were occupied. This was way before Occupy.

They were organized. Several people manned a table with flyers, and also managed food donations, media relations.  They were the “treesitters” and the Treesit went on for months.

UC Berkeley planned to remove the old grove of noble, serpentine branched Oak trees to expand building around the football stadium. There were maybe 20, 25 trees that made a beautiful shady grove between streets, nestled next to the old stadium. Was it on scared ground as was claimed? I don’t know. I do know it was a beautiful grove, and they were stately trees. They planned -and have now built- some form of “high performance center” on the site, which i’m sure will hold a state of the art weight room and other modes of sparking “high performance”.

The Trees are gone. The sitters were violently brought down. They were blasted with  bright lights 24/7 and loud music. Sleep deprived. They were supported by many students and citizens, heckled and jeered by others. I even secretly harbored thoughts, while I stood by often in support, thinking “only in Berkeley….hrumph..” But they cared about the trees, right or wrong. They didn’t care about fame or notoreity- who knew them, they were up in trees? All the same I hadn’t thought about them for a year or two, until yesterday. Strange, as for months we talked of them all the time, we’d go and demonstrate, watch tense interactions with UC Berkeley, police. For months it was high drama…

Yesterday, for the first time in the newly remodeled stadium, with new high performance center attached, UC Berkeley played Stanford.  They lost to Stanford 21 to 3. Cal was powerless, listless, clueless, and almost pointless. Stanford’s mascot is not the cougar, wildcat, hurricane, bear, crimson, panther or shark- it is a tree. The winner of the Big Game, (of which this was the 115th) gets to keep the Axe.


To paraphrase the old Parkay commercial, “it’s not nice to fuck with Mother nature”

The Boston Red Sox traded Babe Ruth and were cursed for almost a century for the mistake. Cal won’t beat Stanford till they fix the Karma. Start planting.

Irony. Defined.

Zamboni gives a Sermon with Fanny and Fifi

(Friends, the only thing holy about great zamboni is my memory, and also my powerpuff pajamas- nevertheless, I gave this sermon at the behest of my friend Laura in Berkeley. I gave it at a spiritual service, presided over by the church of Fanny and Fifi, that was meant to raise money for paying the lawyers from her icky divorce. Thus my theme… I hope you can enjoy something here..)

The title of today’s sermon is “Bad Divorces are the Reality TV shows of the Gods”

Today’s text is from the book of Zamboni, written by Me, Great Zamboni, chapter 88, Verse 4B footnote on the left.

“And so Shadramalama, the vitupertive sheep farmer, daughter of Ding Dong, said to her husband “I wish to divorce you” and her husband the very disagreeable shrew known in the village as “shadramalama’s man bitch” because no one could remmeber his name– The husband said,
“I will divorce you, wife, but you will regret this day, because I will make this divorce more difficult even than getting lemonade out of a sheep tit.”

And, so Shadramalama, daughter of Ding Dong, filed for divorce, hired a lawyer, was taken to court, had to sell the herd to pay for the lawyer.– Her children were made poor pawns in this litigational swamp and at the end of it all she got the divorce but had not a pot to piss in because even her trusty urine pot was taken in the settlement. And even though her children loved her, and truth be told, were not too fond of the man bitch who’s name is hard to remember, she was now allowed only to see them on February 30th, if that should ever occur.”

Thus ends the word of Zamboni, knower of all and also every single thing.

For what can we learn from today’s text?

Yes, we learn that divorces can be ugly. We learn that Estonian sheep-herds have quizzical names. And we learn that anything in which lawyers are involved is evil. Do we perhaps learn that marriage itself is bad? No…

Marriage, like trying to sail a boat made of toothpicks, is a noble, yet naive act. It is a lot to ask of the toothpicks, you see. So what happens after the text leaves off? What does Shadramalama do next? The text doesn’t say. Does she become bitter, a disbeliver in matrimonium?

The legends are various. Some say Shadramalama  lived out her days as an angry spinster, so bitter the meat of her sheep was tasteless. Some say that like Odysseus, she dressed as a sheep and this way sneaked in to see her children on the Man Bitch’s farm.

But the toothless fishermen say something else. They say that from that point on Shadramalama became a blessing to all whose life touched hers. They say her sheep’s milk was the sweetest, her laugh was the loudest, and when she made sexytime, several giant squid jumped out of Crab Cove throwing out gold coins to the children with eight whirling arms.

I believe the fisherman. Because, my friends, trial and tribulation, pain and even lawyers do not make us bitter–they make us better. and if we are patient, even February 30th will come, *eventually.

(*The last thing probably will not happen, but you get the idea)

Thus says, the word of Great Zamboni.

“Thoroughly good”

These are the most comfortable shoes I have ever owned and they are not shoes. They are boots. Union Made in the United States by Thorgood, in Wisconsin. Vibram soles.  Remind me of the best skateboard shoes I used to wear back in the day, the kind that sort of glove around your feet in cushion. My name is Great Zamboni and I approve this message. I was not paid for this endorsement. Yet. You may not need these, but you do want these. I will wear these with my tux when getting my Oscar. I do not like to take these off. It’s sad.

Lately I have been thinking of something my peculiar Uncle Hornblad said to me once. I said to him one day, “Hornblad, you have no job, your wife has incurable boils, you were jailed for Halitosis, your stack of original IBM shares burned up in a hash fire- why are you smiling?” And Hornblad says to me, winking the one eye he had left after the french fry accident, “my shoes fit.”

You’ll see what I mean.


“Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then has not the health of the daughter of my people been restored?”

Hello friends- there is an old story once told me by a mushroom forager from the Purple Forests of Estonia. He had owned a dog names Procrus, a faithful mutt who  accompanied him on his fungus hunts for almost 20 years..One day, accidentally, the mutt ate just a crumb of a very potent poisonous cap of Fungicidus Orientalis Cryptus- a mushroom so powerfully virile and petulant that Hannibal used one of them to slay an army. The dog became very ill, while having strange hallucinations, speaking in fluent Latin, and spinning its head in circles while the paws tapped out in Morse code, “holy sheepshit” over and over again… Then, my forager friend -who became misty eyed at the telling of this- let his dog go free in the forest, and that was the last he saw of him.

“How could you do that? ” I, Zamboni asked of this wandering micologist.. His answer was cryptic.

“Sometimes the best way to cure someone is to let them go.”

Now the moral of the story is this my friends. Zamboni is no old mushroom hunter, but I am wise enough to tell shit from Shitake. This old idiot let his dog get torn up by wild boar in the middle of a very bad trip. And karma is a bitch because a week later, the man himself mistook a shroom and became stiff dead.

He did the wrong thing. Don’t give up, never give up.