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"If Alain climbs the wrong tree in the forest, and there is no one there to laugh at him, is it still funny?"

by Alys Mackyntoich
May 21st, AS XLI

Alain in a tree - the wrong tree.


Our story opens at the joint birthday party of Mercedes and Katryne, down at Thomas & Marion's house in South Jersey. Many folks are playing a game with a weighted ball with streamers. The game bears a passing resemblance to Calvinball, but with slightly less violence. Only slightly.

Foxtail

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During the course of said game, our hero Alain Longship completely flubs a throw and hurls the ball into a very tall pine tree in the nearby woods. Ian's son expresses his great distress at this turn of events, as this particular ball with streamers is "the best." So our hero sets off into the woods to climb up the tree and retrieve the ball.

Of course, what our hero fails to realize is that all pine trees look alike from the ground. He initially scales the wrong tree. His helpful friends stand around shouting "encouraging" comments while never actually mentioning that he is climbing the wrong tree. Eventually someone takes pity on Alain and tells him that it's the wrong tree. He then laboriously scales backdown the wrong tree.

Undeterred, yet covered with pine needles, sap, and other unspeakable things, Alain attempts to climb the correct tree. He succeeds, eventually retrieving "the best" ball with streamers, to the great delight of all.

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I did not actually witness the "climbing the wrong tree" part of the story, I only saw the epilogue: Alain arriving in Marion's kitchen and begging for some Bactine and a couple of cotton balls. Marion, always prepared, presents Alain with an industrial-sized bottle of Bactine (larger than my head!) and a veritable loaf of cotton balls. Alain then spends several painful minutes ministering to innumerable scrapes on his legs, arms and other extremities. In the process, he somehow manages to get blood on Marion's kitchen wall, a fact that I'm sure some future CSI technician will find significant.

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Other highlights of the party include:

Katryne and Mercedes re-enacting the velociraptor hunting scenes from Jurassic Park using cake frosting and unsuspecting males.

Pascual managing to draw blood from Ronan while they were fencing in T-shirts, thus, by his own rules, getting a "foul."

Griffyn showing off his spectacular bruise from falling down the stairs (because there's gorram plastic all over our house due to the remediation).

All in all, it's exactly what you'd expect from a Tadcaster-TOAD-Shark Party

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Alys
May AS XLI (2006)