So Wednesday night was the annual Christmas tree lighting in Rockefeller Center, in New York, that event created to convince tourists to pay $50 to skate around on an undersized ice rink, weaving unsteadily amidst crowds of people who would probably have better balance if they were legally drunk and standing on a sailboat during a squall.
Anyway, the star of the show is the tree — or else Al Roker, I can never tell which gets the top billing — but this year, the tree got the nod for its status as a Hurricane Sandy survivor. The 80-foot-tall spruce, which was growing in Mount Olive, somehow survived the whipping winds and intense rain — and a serious snowstorm a week or so later — before being selected for the honor. From The Star-Ledger:
Trees around it cracked and snapped and fell, destroying power lines, homes and cars.
But like the state where it grew, it withstood Hurricane Sandy. And that's what made it special to Jim Daggon.
"A lot of big trees came down," Daggon said. "This one was kind of like the rest of New Jersey — it stood tall."
So, you know, it was cut down. You guys do know what happens to the Rockefeller tree when Christmas is over, right? Has nobody in New York — or Mount Olive — studied irony?
You have to love the irony of not only the tallest tree around being cut down for its durability, but the fact that in the aftermath of the storm, when it was tapped for this honor, it was able to make the trip into Manhattan when so few commuters were able to do so.
Even though climate change already has three strikes against it — as a lie, a hoax and an Al Gore pet project — for some other unexplained reason, we are seeing more severe storms striking New Jersey of late — Irene and so-called "Snowtober" late last year, and Sandy this year. Flooding is becoming a more serious concern. And an 80-foot-high tree soaks up hundreds of gallons of water a day. Maybe we should have used a downed tree, for the sake of the flood next time.
I'm even more irreverent on Twitter @joe_arney.