11 responses

  1. Do not climb that tree! Get someone younger to do it; then, stand beneath them spotting them as if you could actually make a difference if they fell. My foolishness is much superior to yours. Dean Nasser

  2. RGK: I totally agree with Dean. This is not a joke. Tasks like this are for younger people, or for trained arborists with ropes and harnesses. One of my closest friends, a college classmate and thus (at the time) a fellow 62-year-old, fell about a year ago from a similar tree whose branches he thought it would be a good idea to trim. Fortunately, he lived, but broke more bones that anyone could count, and spent months in the hospital and then in rehab. A slim, healthy fellow — and no fool,ordinarily (making good professional use of his Ph.D. in physics from a top university) — but paying insufficient attention to what it means to be older than we used to be. Please. Don’t.

  3. Assuming your wife insisted that you do this, she is a smart, smart woman. Good work, Joan, and good luck with that swing/death trap!

  4. On the other hand, as Kang noted, Only a fool fights in a burning house. And that’s what you’ll be facing if you don’t satisfy those two ladies.

    I also disagree with Anonymous at 0912. I’m a 63-year-old man, and I climb trees all the time. Age is just a number; you’re as old as you act–nor more nor less. If you’re not fit to climb trees, you’d be a fool to climb one at any age.

    Eric Hines

  5. Thanks for your concern. My daughter wandered out, and with her help and with a very, very long ladder and using a very, very low branch the swing is up. I remain the same (which is, frankly, depressing by itself).


  6. MJ,

    I am glad to see that all that money has not gone to your head. You remain snarky as ever, and I am glad. All the best.


  7. I, for one, am glad you dared the Fates. I think it important for all men, but especially those in robes, to undertake ill-advised tasks on occasion if for no other reason than to gain perspective. I hope that, as you reached farther than you should have to tie a knot, or some such, a mental image of a possible, yet highly unlikely, series of events flashed through your mind – perhaps one in which you end with you hanging upside down by one leg, your shirt dangling from one arm, hair akimbo, some superficial, yet nasty looking scrapes across both your forehead and lower back, screaming “Get the wasp spray!” I think this experience would aid you in two ways. First, you could enhance (or establish) your reputation as a hanging judge. Second, and more importantly, the next time some poor schmuck appears in your courtroom with a long, unbelievable, convoluted tale which ends with him being found by authorities in a very compromising position. maybe, just maybe, you will pause to consider whether his tale of woe is possible. Perhaps then, based on your personal experience, you would take a moment to reflect on how silly we humans can be, and how we sometimes find ourselves in foolish positions because of a circumstances beyond our control. And while you pause, the poor schmuck will feel hope. He will see that you are carefully weighing his words, giving him a sense that there is still fairness in the world. . . .

    Never mind, you’ll still laugh at him and find him guilty of public intox.

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