If a large tree falls across of the road…
I saw this exercise on Twitter and thought it would be fun to explore:
If a tree falls in the forest and there’s no one to hear it… wait wrong tree philosophy, the only similarity is that the tree falls, this one falls across the road, how would different people respond to this event..
A marketing person would probably be figuring out how to run a tailored campaign in line with the tree’s alignment which has shifted from a vertical orientation to a horizontal brand.
Well, as for me, I would probably ask someone to take my picture next to the tree and start drafting a blog post Of Coffee And Fallen Trees… I would write about how the fallen tree is a metaphor for not seeing the forest for the tree and the challenges that will crop up on our journey through life, blocking the path between where we are and where want to be. I would try to recall a story once I shared about my neighbour’s tree falling into our yard…
I would wonder how fortuitous I had been that I got here after the tree had fallen, if I had been earlier, then the tree would have landed right on top of me, lucky no one had been hurt. The only inconvenience is that the road is blocked by an impossibly large tree…
With nothing but time, I would observe and file everything might be material to use in a future story I may write… everything is a story…
The Combi Guys
Combis are our public taxis with a notoriety for flaunting traffic regulations let alone basic decency. I can predict that the driver and conductor of the one I was in will suddenly tell everyone that this is the end of the trip, as they cant go on any further on account of the road being blocked. The passengers will invariably start a furore about a refund which will be acquiesced by the driver promising to transfer them to combi taxi on the other side of the tree.
The conductor of the combi will then climb over the tree and confer with another from across to negotiate how they can exchange passengers proposing they return with those who were going in the opposite direction while they let them proceed with their passengers.. They may negotiate who owes whoms who payment depending on distances travelled or if the tree is halfway on the route then it’s a fair trade.
When passenger trade-off is done they will do a U-turn and return in the respective distances..
“Tiri kuenda here Rasta?” meaning Are we going Rasta? they will ask me and while shake my head and stay behind otherwise how would know how the story unfolds.
Other combies with less scrupulous operators will come and unceremoniously dump people and not even bother to liaise alternative transport speeding back to collect more passengers…
As the day progresses people know the road is blocked the place becomes a drop off point “PaZimuti” by the big tree. Some combis will take a circuitous route which avoids the tree block but will ridiculously hike up their prices for ‘serious’ commuters “vari serious nekuenda”
A pastor will release a video of a prophecy showing how they predicted the tree falling many years ago, then delivering sermons on how there is only one tree of life and how all challenges on our path will fall like the tree; while selling Annointed Tree Sap of course…
A political aspirant will see the fallen tree as a currency to gain political mileage capitalising on the state’s slow response by telling the electorate how if they had voted for them or if they vote them into power in the next elections this would never have happened. Trees such as this are a national heritage and letting them simply topple is a sign how easily the government will discard all it stands for, not standing for anything falling for everything...
For dramatic effect the political aspirant will make sure pictures of them; muscles straining from the burden of trying to push the tree, will make rounds everywhere showing how they are ready to get to the work of rebuilding the
country road while the rest of government is probably busy doing nothing but get fat on tax payers money…
The people who have been abandoned by combis will start to protest about how they refuse to pay extra and how they are missing work while stuck waiting for alternative transport. They will demonstrate about seeming lack of government initiative in clearing the road. Groups of protestors will be transported to join in solidarity and soon there’s chaos. Tyres start burning, rocks are thrown, car windows broken and its all out chaos running battles with between riot police and protestors, people may get injured or worse and some go missing…
A public outcry for justice for victims of police brutality during the riots and calls for setting up a crowd fund to pay for clearing a portion of the road so that at least some people can travel….
A public announcement will have been made on state media for people to stay calm during these difficult times, unnecessary movement will not be tolerated as security forces will be on high alert to discourage destruction of public property.
A shadowy Third Hand is blamed for cutting the tree and inciting normally peace loving citizens to acts of wanton violence and investigations begin to find people who will be charged with treason for trying to undermine the authority of a constitutionally elected government.
The internet is shut down….
A Taskforce is set up to run a Commission of Inquiry into the Treegate scandal.
The government launches a mega-project to not only remove the tree obstructing the road but to transplant its remaining roots to a protected site and a national roots and heritage commemoration week is introduced and there’s a parliamentary debate on making it a bank holiday.
The government tender for the megaproject gets won by an unknown briefcase company that turns out to be owned by someone who is a runner for someone in the highest office of the government.
Senior government officials make a grand show, talking about how they will root out corruption while they make requisitions for new off-road 4X4 trucks since the road is inaccessible. How else can they go to monitor work on the fallen tree site.
Technicians finally arrive to work on the fallen tree site…. But first they gather wood from the tree to start a small fire to cook a hearty meal.. Construction work requires a full stomach everyone knows that..
So how do you think such a situation would play out? If a large tree falls across the road