Tuesday, December 01, 2009

British Council Replaces Christmas Tree With Giant Traffic Cone

You wouldn't think anyone could screw up a Christmas tree. Even Charlie Brown and his friends took a spindly, nearly-dead Christmas tree and made it the best looking tree ever.

But the Council in Poole, Dorset, England managed to do it somehow. They basically spent £14,000 ($22,979) to replace a normally £500 ($820) Norway fir with a giant green traffic cone.

Officials were worried that for the first time ever, the tree might topple over in high winds. So instead, they purchased the 33 foot traffic cone that has embedded lights and music speakers.

According to an article in The Sun (official motto: who needs news, we have Page 3 Girls!), the council made this decision on the heels of cutting back on other Christmas lights.

Shop owner Trish Glover told The Sun: "This health and safety lark has gone far enough."

Poole's Town Centre Management Board, said this would somehow save money, since a real tree costs about £4,000 ($6,500) to put up.

Town centre manager Richard Randall-Jones told The Sun: "People think you can just go into the woods, chop down a tree and put it up in the high street. But if it blows over and kills someone then somebody is liable for it."

So what did you do in all those other years, Mr. Randall-Jones? Did you just get lucky in the years and decades past that there were no high winds? Or, oh I don't know, did someone actually make sure the tree was properly secured so nothing would happen?

This tree reminds me of the joke about how we got the tradition of putting the angel on the tree.

Santa was having a bad day. It was Christmas Even, and everything was going wrong. The Christmas cookies were burned, the elves were bitching and threatening to unionize, the reindeer were drunk, except for two, which were pregnant. A giant bag of toys had spilled while the elves were loading it, and it was going to take a few hours to reload. And they didn't even have a Christmas tree up yet.

Santa was ranting around his workshop. "Unbelievable. I've got millions of presents to deliver, the reindeer are useless, the elves are picketing, and we still don't have a tree. I sent that stupid little angel out hours ago to find a tree, and he's not back yet. This is the worst Christmas ever!"

Just then, the front door burst open, and the angel appeared, dragging a Christmas tree.

"Isn't it a glorious Christmas Eve, Santa? It's a great day to be alive. I'll bet you're looking forward to delivering gifts this year. So, where do you want me to stick this tree?"

And that's how we came to put angels on top of Christmas trees.


Something tells me Poole, Dorset is going to have a new tradition for where to stick the Christmas traffic cone this year.

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1 comment:

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