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Grow some thicker bark, why don’tcha?

June 3rd, 2010 · 80 comments

“If you want respect,” barked the Daddy tree, “you gotta earn it. Show ‘some freakin’ acorns!”

“But Daaaaaaad,” whined the trembling young sapling. “I just…I just want to be beautiful!”

“What is this, a goddamn Shel Silverstein book? Quit your birching already.”

I am a dogwood, I am only lovely in the late spring. I believe it is my job to make the environment more beautiful. Why do you not like me?

(As witnessed by Kevin in Arcata, California, and (below) by Taber in Richmond, Virginia.)

I am a sad sad tree, barely hanging on to life. Please...keep your animals away from me...especially their urine.

But as Michael in Seattle observed, at least one of those sad little trees wasn’t about to let his bully of a father have the last word.

Tree to people: I'm Dead. get new tree & plant it here, OK? Thanks

related: The right to bear fruit

FILED UNDER: anthropomorphism · California · dogs · flowers, trees, houseplants & gardens · martyr complex · piss · Richmond · Seattle

80 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Tikikala

    LOL. If trees can talk. It’s Chronicles of Narnia

    Jun 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Laura

      And LOTR…and also my recurring childhood nightmares (the trees walked around outside my house trying to GET me *shudder)

      Jun 3, 2010 at 10:54 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   TippingCows

      You too? High five!

      Jun 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   TheOldSchool bang

      I realized this morning that we’ve all been tricked.

      The trees didn’t write these notes. Humans did!

      Jun 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   Rubber Chicken

      And here I was feeling sorry for that first tree.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 8:35 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #2   Jynical

    I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees!

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 18  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Mo® bang

      But everyone needs a thneed!

      Jun 4, 2010 at 8:54 am   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #3   Canthz_B bang

    Are these trees related to the apple trees in Oz?
    They should learn to get their sap up like their technicolor cousins.

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #4   park rose

    The last one is just deadwood. Drags the team down, no use to anyone . . . though I guess deadwood might float, so it would be handy if the street flooded.

    Tree two might be the Golden Bough, and note one shows the genesis of Twiggy’s battle with anorexia and self-loathing.

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:17 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

  • #5   park rose bang

    Additionally, tree one is healthily dogwood (except for self-esteem issues), but tree two definitely isn’t.

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #6   Charlotte Website Design

    lol: “I believe it is my job…”

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   debkatz

    “Keep your animals away from me, especially their urine”. Was this directed to those people who like to save buckets of their pets’ urine and then run out and pour it on local vegetation? Because….wow….

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   Nack

      I’d guess it’s written to those people who let their dogs piss on anything they walk by. Dogs have an urge to mark, so they do. It’s more than just a need to pee, and that can really damage a young tree if too many dogs do it. People are really jerks when it comes to letting their animals evacuate just where-ever.

      Jun 3, 2010 at 10:44 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   park rose

      Just go with the flow, maaaan.

      Seriously, though, Nack, how do you stop your dog midstream, and how do you predetermine where s/he is going to piddle? And it is a serious question.

      Jun 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   VentureSister

      If you ever walk a dog you will observe an elaborate pre-pee ritual that they go through. You can sense their intention when they pull off the path and begin sniffing a tree or fire hydrant or whatever, and find the right position to pee without getting it on themselves. When they start pulling off the path you just keep pulling the leash and walking forward until they move on.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 1:35 am   rating: 30  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   TheOldSchool bang

      If I were a tree, I don’t think I’d get pissed off at getting pissed on.

      (The same would possibly hold true if I were a fire hydrant.)

      Jun 4, 2010 at 1:51 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   HappyNat

      Really people care about dogs pissing in their yard? I guess I’ll start leaving the dog poop behind in these yards. The free fertilizer will make up for the evil poison piss right?

      Jun 4, 2010 at 9:52 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   park rose bang

      True, Venture Sister, but this elaborate system seems to apply to everything they do. And when they really want to go, the elaborate system does not seem to apply. After the elaborate system, urine isn’t always the end result. Sometimes nothing is the end result. They decide the area is not worthy or something. Plus, I know a little dog who lifts up his back leg only to piss on his front one. Guess it gives him something to aim at. I do understand the gardener’s chagrin – but poo is picked up, and the dog is walked along the verges of the road, and he is pulled along plenty enough if I ever want to get home or to our destination.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 11:27 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   Boss

      It’s rather odd that people take their pets out to urinate and defecate on other people’s yards. If you don’t mind your own dog’s urine then train them to urinate on your own lawn (very easy to train dogs to poo/pee at one spot of your own lawn…if anything it’s more humane that they can do it when they need to and at home rather than wait for you to “walk” them so that they can relieve themselves). It really does kill grass and the owner of the random lawn you allow them to do it on shouldn’t have to deal with YOUR dog’s urine.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 12:08 pm   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #7.8   Woman on the Verge bang

      This is why I don’t have a dog. Seriously.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 7:48 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #7.9   mystic_eye

      Its true you can train a dog to poop in the same spot, and its true you can teach them to pee on command.

      However I have yet to see anyone successfully train a male dog to not mark their territory at ALL.

      I don’t let my dog go peeing on other people’s gardens even if they are next to the sidewalk/road, or on baby trees. I also don’t let him mark mail boxes, newspaper boxes, or similar. However he marks the fence in my yard, and leaves little doggy notes on trees and lightposts.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #7.10   TheOldSchool bang

      wotv, and that’s why I don’t have a serious dog.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 5:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #7.11   Clumber

      Serious dogs are a pain, true. In my experience it is the Herding breeds that are the most serious.

      Least serious? Boxers. PBGVs.

      I had a very very serious Sheltie who was a beta-status dog… just itchin’ to be alpha, and she lifted her leg to pee, even after she was spayed.

      I have 2 boys right now (and more than 2 bitches…) and both are quite apt at leaving pee-messages where ever they want to – even while being pulled along…. it just becomes more cursive-style writing. If I see gardens or whatever in our path, I try to steer them off the sidewalk around those areas, but really now. It rains like crazy here, the pee is gone – whooosh.

      Jun 7, 2010 at 2:38 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #8   Nack

    I’d also guess the first one is probably to some H.O.A. who came by and said they needed “nice” foliage or they were going to get fined. I had that once, with my moon-flower vines, they were called “weeds”, and I was told to remove them.

    Jun 3, 2010 at 10:45 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   Scribbles the Monkey bang

      Moon-flower vines… Sounds like something from World of Warcraft!

      Jun 4, 2010 at 9:34 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   mystic_eye

      Patch of thistle I didn’t want to deal with = environmentally conscious butterfly garden

      You’ve got to be creative with sanctimonious idiots.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 12:46 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   sharkfan

      don’t you mean ‘sanctimonious fuckbuckets’?

      Jun 5, 2010 at 10:08 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #9   ClearlyDemented

    This was the Sixth Sense of PANotes. Even though I should’ve seen the clues, I had no idea it was all leading up to a dendrologic medium.


    Jun 3, 2010 at 11:33 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #10   cowbert

    Is the owner of the “urine tree” too lazy to water their tree regularly or do they seriously not know what fertilizer is?

    Sure, undiluted dog piss will burn the tree, but if you’re watering it like you ought to (and not with brawndo), then it should be fine, and the tree will actually grow taller than it is! By the looks of it, the grass could use some water too.

    Jun 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #11   TheOldSchool bang

    I am your young dogwood. I am still growing.

    And if you really do like me as much as your lame-assed sign implies you do — why did you sadistically attach that giant, vice-like nipple-clamp to my lithe young trunk?

    Jun 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

  • #12   Canthz_B bang

    Tree #2, are you serious…or taking a piss?

    Jun 4, 2010 at 12:09 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #13   Blueknittedmonkey

    I can see one reason not to like that dogwood. It’s too close to the building and the pipes. It doesn’t have room to grow.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 12:23 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   mamason bang

      Sounds to me like a reason not to like the building and the pipes.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 10:45 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #14   JJ

    wtf… sad tree (#2) is a weed tree in my area

    pull the bastard out!

    Jun 4, 2010 at 12:31 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #14.1   park rose

      It’s a wee tree in that area, JJ.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 1:23 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #14.2   Naoyusimi

      Seriously, a maple is a “weed tree”? In what geographic locations are maples weeds?

      I’d have to reply to Tree #3: One can’t plant a new tree in *your* exact spot; one should always move approximately 4-5′ away from where the old tree was . . . Old Tree.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 2:27 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #15   snatchbeast

    I love the last tree.

    I bring life to trees at work. The boys I work with are “bad” kids, and tend to enjoy pulling leaves and branches off trees, therefore I tell them that the trees love them and they should at least try to respect the nice, caring trees.

    I <3 trees

    Jun 4, 2010 at 2:46 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #16   gladystopia

    There’s no good reason not to like a dogwood.

    Now, if you want to have a REALLY good hate on against a tree, why not try a cottonwood? By the time you’ve finished pressure-washing eleventy-nine metric tons of little fluffy fuzzybits from the intake of your central-air unit, you too will be thinking of especially profane names to call them.

    And please don’t even get me started about those little helicoptery things that the maples do every year….

    Jun 4, 2010 at 3:13 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   Sarah

      Ooh I love the little helicoptery things. It’s fun to pick up as most as you can find and then throw them all up in the air and watch them twirl down around you.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 3:24 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #16.2   Clumber

      … into your douchecanoe neighbor’s yard… wheeeee!

      Jun 7, 2010 at 3:35 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #17   Splint Chesthair

    I have a dead tree that I keep in my yard and don’t plan on cutting down. The woodpeckers flock to it. I’m guessing it’s full of tasty bugs.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 6:33 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #18   Woman on the Verge bang

    I am a sad tree. I am too close to the driveway and your noxious exhaust fumes. My roots are being crushed by these “decorative” boulders. Please help me.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 8:02 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #19   Canthz_B bang

    Hey Baby, won’t you be my dog? I’ll be your tree and you can pee on me!

    Standing on the Verge of Getting It On (Funkadelic, 1974)

    Jun 4, 2010 at 8:10 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #20   Canthz_B bang

    I think that I shall never see,
    A complaint as bitchy as a tree’s.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 8:20 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

  • #21   The Elf

    No snark, just an anti dog-pee tip. You can make a great animal deterrent by slicing up habeneros and infusing it in vodka. Use rotgut vodka if you’re just making it for deterrent, but use good vodka if you’d like to have a little fire water yourself. Infusing it in vinegar would also work, but vodka is just more fun. Anyway, after a few weeks, strain it and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray the plant and the ground around the plant. Most dogs/cats/wildlife won’t go there because the smell irritates them. It won’t harm the dogs or the plants.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 8:28 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #21.1   Canthz_B bang

      Alcohol abuse!

      Jun 4, 2010 at 8:39 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #21.2   Neeners

      I was wondering what I should do with my rotgut vodka supply.

      I think my dog would like this smell considering he rolls in the stinkiest stuff imaginable and enjoys it!

      Jun 5, 2010 at 12:43 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #22   Angela

    If a tree can’t survive a little dog piss, then it deserves to die. Survival of the fittest, baby!

    Jun 4, 2010 at 9:08 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #23   shwonline bang

    Atomic dogwood
    Bow wow wow water me water me

    Jun 4, 2010 at 10:40 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #24   Edwina the Defrocked Nun

    That dead tree was fucking delicious!

    Jun 4, 2010 at 11:18 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #25   MomWhoThinks

    Trees have laminators??

    Jun 4, 2010 at 11:46 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   infanttyrone

      That one was a filing error.
      It was meant to be part of a photo-layout on deciduous cling film bondage.
      A completely understandable rookie mistake on the part of one of the unpaid interns slaving away over a terminal behind the scenes at PAN.
      Look for it to reappear next week in What Wrappin’ Trees Represent.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 2:36 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #25.2   Canthz_B bang

      No laminators, but they have lamentations.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 6:27 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #25.3   infanttyrone

      L33t Tr33s ?

      Jun 5, 2010 at 12:30 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #26   Blogmella bang

    A tree that a dog can’t wee on is about as much use as a chocolate teapot.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 11:55 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #27   eslinger bang

    I had all 7 trees on my property cut down last year, and the only regret I have is not having the stump of one ground down *before* getting my new sidewalk poured. (It’s too close to the new sidewalk for the guys to grind it down properly as they do not want to ruin said sidewalk.) I don’t miss the trees, nor the constant noise from the birds nesting in them. I’m pretty sure the birds are holding a grudge though, because they shit on my car constantly. Damn birds! >.<

    In summary, fuck the trees. Edwina's right, they were fucking delicious.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 1:14 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   mamason bang

      You seem like such a joy. :-|

      Jun 4, 2010 at 11:21 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #27.2   TheOldSchool bang


      There must be some sort of device that will emit sonic waves of some sort to warn anything living of your whereabouts at any given moment.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 1:44 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #27.3   infanttyrone

      Shoes ?

      Jun 5, 2010 at 2:59 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #27.4   Woman on the Verge bang

      Wow. Destroying trees to pour concrete. Nice one, communist.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 7:51 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #27.5   park rose bang

      Or, someone like Henry Ford with a healthy monetary interest in the establishment, expansion and upkeep of highways and byways and driveways . . .

      Jun 5, 2010 at 12:05 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #27.6   infanttyrone

      But the immediate, concrete path appears to be a sidewalk…
      Makes me think more in terms of his portfolio being dominated
      by Rockport walking shoes or Hot Wheels for the kiddos…
      But if he cut down seven trees to squelch birds he’s probably not overly fond of five-year-old humans doing a baby-Sturgis run up and down the urban tarmac in front of his dwelling, so maybe just the shoes.

      I wonder what would happen if, just to be ornery, he put up artificial trees based on the hypothesis that the birds wouldn’t use them ?
      Might he be afraid of them leaving plastic vomit on his windshield ?

      And if the bombardment of birdshit on his car rises to the level where he starts taking the bus or bikes to work, well, I’d stand clear of that stump.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 3:53 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #27.7   Canthz_B bang

      We should cut down all the trees on the planet. Who needs oxygen, fruit, nuts or shade?
      Besides, with all of the trees gone, we could finally see the forests!

      Jun 6, 2010 at 11:48 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #28   Blueknittedmonkey

    @ #20 The Elf

    It’s probably the vinegar and not the peppers. Vinegar is recommended to kill the pheromones that says to the dog/cat ‘this spot is a toilet.’ The vinegar can harm plants if applied too generously, especially if it’s an plant that needs alkaline soil.

    Peppers and dogs. I tried that thing in the Lassie book where Lassie was trained not to eat dropped food by putting red pepper in bits of meat. From what I can tell, dogs don’t even notice hot peppers are hot.

    Jun 4, 2010 at 1:24 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #28.1   The Elf

      Well, I did try the same thing to deter my bunny from eating electrical cords. I also tried bitter apple paste. He enjoyed the new flavors and chewed with gusto. Eventually, we had to resort to wrapping said cords in tubing that was too big for his tiny mouth. You might be right that it isn’t the peppers.

      But I have tried vodka + habenro and it did work on keeping the dogs from using our lamppost like a message board, regardless of which ingredient it was that drove them away.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 2:19 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #28.2   Canthz_B bang

      Pheromones don’t live. They are basically scent molecules, I think.

      Jun 4, 2010 at 6:47 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #28.3   Neeners

      Nope, I saw them in concert one time!

      Jun 5, 2010 at 1:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #29   CherylT

    How did you ever find the perfect trees to fit that story? LOL

    Jun 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #30   Neeners

    I wish my trees would leave notes for me.
    How do you teach them to write?

    Jun 5, 2010 at 12:47 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   infanttyrone

      For best results, with mechanical pencils…cuz they’re too young to shave.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #30.2   park rose bang

      Put in a trunk call to the special branch, Neeners, if you want the literacy to really take root and flourish.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 5:29 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.3   infanttyrone

      Ah, Morticia…I love it when you talk tech…Il me fait trembler avec plaisir.

      Jun 5, 2010 at 9:25 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.4   Canthz_B bang

      Any tree that believes it can learn to write is a real sap!

      Jun 6, 2010 at 11:44 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #30.5   infanttyrone

      Keep ‘em floem, folks…we’re here all week.

      Now more hits with the Stones from their album Xylem on Main Street

      Jun 6, 2010 at 4:50 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.6   infanttyrone

      I’m frond of tracking jargon, but I’ll leave it to you to stalk the badlands of botanical terminology with a serrate blade issued by Special Branch.
      Relax after a job well done and enjoy your crowning achievement with a delicious cone.
      If further questions shoot up, we’ll conifer with you for the anthers.

      Jun 6, 2010 at 5:13 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #31   Walker, "Tex" (a stranger) bang

    Behold the poor dogwood tree — that can’t go for a walk and so has to pee on itself.

    Jun 5, 2010 at 11:30 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #32   Bunnee

    I can’t believe no one has made any Rush references…
    “There is unrest in the forest,
    There is trouble with the trees,
    For the maples want more sunlight
    And the oaks ignore their pleas.

    The trouble with the maples,
    (And they’re quite convinced the’re right)
    They say the oaks are just too lofty
    And they grab up all the light.
    But the oaks can’t help their feelings
    If they like the way they’re made.
    And they wonder why the maples
    Can’t be happy in their shade.

    So the maples formed a union
    And demanded equal rights.
    “These oaks are just too greedy;
    We will make them give us light.”
    Now there’s no more oak oppression,
    For they passed a noble law,
    And the trees are all kept equal
    By hatchet, axe, and saw.”

    Jun 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #33   All together now: please don’ climb da tree! |

    [...] Grow some thicker bark, why donttcha? [...]

    Apr 21, 2011 at 9:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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