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In today’s Impromptus, there’s an assortment of items, as usual. And the final ones have to do with Christmas. Many readers have written in to talk about New York at Christmas (which I do as well). They have also written to talk about the various salvos against Christmas: Must say “holiday” instead, for instance. One man says that his company has even gone so far as to drop “holiday party.” They now call their gathering the “seasonal party.”

Will “seasonal,” too, one day cause offense? What’ll we have left?

One of my items is about Christmas trees from Norway. They’re big Christmas-tree senders, the Norwegians. Touchingly, they send a tree to London, which goes up in Trafalgar Square. That’s in gratitude for British assistance during World War II. The people of Bergen send a tree to Newcastle — whose sons did a great deal to liberate Bergen. And the Norwegians send a tree to us: to Washington, D.C., in particular. As with the British, this is in gratitude for the help we rendered.

Our tree goes up in Union Station. And I was absolutely scandalized last week to discover that the tree is fake. Fake, I tell you! I kept feeling it, to confirm. Double-u tee eff?

Well, a reader pointed me to this article: which says it would not be “practical” to send a real tree on a “trans-Atlantic journey.” Oh? Okay. Still, kind of a bummer. Couldn’t one of our C-5s or something pick one up, and hustle it back here? Another reader points me to this article: which says that, a week ago, those thugs and rioters in London set fire to the Norwegian tree in Trafalgar Square.

Sons-of-guns (I’m trying to clean it up). The newspaper calls these criminals “student protesters.” Why? I love what the great Charles Moore wrote: “Channel 4 News on Thursday night spoke of ‘tens of thousands of students’ protesting in Parliament Square. The only word not open to question in that phrase is ‘of.’”



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