An Open Letter to the Good People of Peak’s Point

Good People of Peak’s Point,

I write you in order to request a resolution to an unpleasant situation.

I will start by saying that when we, the people of Peak’s Point (Ghost Island’s largest boreal town), swore to, ‘let [Paul Farnsworth’s] tree grow for all of eternity to honor his memory,’ and to, ‘never cut a limb of the tree lest we cut a limb of Paul Farnsworth himself,’ there were maybe some things that were overlooked in the emotion of the mourning process. The most crucial of these overlooked things, I believe, were (1) the tree’s proximity the Pleasant View Condominiums, and (2) the eventual paths of its limbs. Additionally, I now regret not more actively opposing attaching the penalty of death to any attempt to alter or harm the tree, though I doubt that any of us foresaw such a situation arising.

Now, I can see how we could have underestimated the eventual size of Paul Farnsworth’s tree; it was only a sapling when Mr. Farnsworth left us, barely large enough to support his weight as he fell against it during the heart attack that resulted in his death. I can understand that, at that time, the future well-being of the occupants of the Pleasant View Condominiums would have not been Number One on the list of concerns. After all, at that time, the tree was a wonderful symbol of the undying passion of its caretaker, a symbol which only added to the ‘pleasant view’ I’d been promised by the condominium association.

That symbol of Mr. Farnsworth’s undying passion is now much larger, however. After about ten years of growth, the tree had engulfed the entirety of the view from my window; where I once saw beautiful sunsets, I now saw tree. This was a heartbreaking obscuration, but it was tolerable. I tolerated it for the sake of the late Mr. Farnsworth. But now, after fifteen years of growth, one of the tree’s larger limbs has breached my living room window. It extends roughly two feet into my home. I can no longer stand idly.

Before I go further, there is something I feel I should address: yes, my father and Paul Farnsworth had a bit of a falling out. Things were said, blood feuds were promised. It has come to my attention that some of you are saying things like ‘he’s only making a big deal of this to get back at the Farnsworths,’ and ‘he wouldn’t care about the tree if it were growing in someone else’s honor.’ I understand how it could seem that way. I can’t entirely blame you for your assumptions. I must assure you all, however, that this history has absolutely nothing to do with my desire to remove the tree branch from my living room window. Aside from a few eggings (many of which were Halloween-related), I have never engaged in any activity perpetuating the blood feud. You must believe me when I say that I just want to be able to close my window and not have to compete with squirrels for my breakfast.

Do I think that Mr. Farnsworth knowingly, in what ended up being his final act, planted a tree in a location that would inevitably result in a limb extending into my living room? It’s hard to say, but in the interest of putting certain unpleasantries behind us, I’m going to go on the record as saying that no, I don’t believe that Paul Farnsworth planted a tree in an attempt to drive me from my home.

That being said, I know that we agreed that certain things would be done to honor Paul Farnsworth. And nobody’s saying that Paul Farnsworth’s death wasn’t tragic. Of course it was. I’m not claiming that he, despite the things he may have done to my father or the rest of my family, shouldn’t be remembered or even revered; his contributions to the Arborists’ Society, after all, were undeniably vital and remarkable. He is a hero in this town. I think it is time, however, that we engage in a bit of maintenance. Would not Paul Farnsworth, a lifelong, card-carrying arborist, have wanted his tree to be well-maintained? What better way to honor him than with pruning? Paul would have wanted it that way.

So, in summation, I am asking you, the good people of Peak’s Point, to consider trimming Paul Farnsworth’s tree, annually, as a favor to me, so that I might be able to close my living room window during the winter. I will be forever grateful if you decide to grant my request without enforcing the ‘penalty of death’ portion of our hastly-conceived law regarding this particular tree.

Thank you for your time.


2 Responses to “An Open Letter to the Good People of Peak’s Point”

  1. 1 johuat
    January 15, 2009 at 5:47 am

    Fuck that tree! Fuck Farnsworth!

  2. 2 butttub
    January 15, 2009 at 6:08 am

    Though we understand your concern, we will not tolerate such language about Mr. Farnsworth, whose skills and visionary work have left such a profound legacy on not only our community, but our Island and even the greter part of the English-speaking world.

    As President of the Farnsworth Society and the Association for Living Monuments, I am obliged to inform you that law changes not only will not happen, but no leniency will be granted in the event of tampering with the tree in question.

    However, we do not feel that your plight is unworthy of our attention. I have assigned one of our top engineers to build for you a snug-fitting window that we will happily install around the branch in your living room. The window includes a flexible seal to allow for adjustments when the branch widens. Further, the window has two small internally nested side-windows that will allow you to let in fresh air.

    We will install this window at no cost and are prepared to offer you an additional benefit of a 4-day per anum stay at our official Farnsworth Society Time Share cottage on the Salamander Bay in return for the encroachment of this tree into your living space.

    We believe that this is more than fair and we have no doubts of your continued compliance with all living monument statutes. I will in closing remind you of that famous passage of Farnsworth’s that you surely know by heart, “And so my hair will grow and grow, though my body lies dead in the ground/and my hair will climb from the earth and twine itself into the tallest tree/that my children and their lovers will spill such seeds as they can while nudely fondling amidst the branches of my folicular demise/and spring will, quite literally, come upon the land.”

    Yours Sincerely,
    Alfred M. Haraday, on behalf of the FS and the AfLM

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