Wednesday, May 05, 2004


One of my favorite highway signs is The Tipsy Tree. It is a graphic depiction of a picnic table accompanied by a single tree, slightly askew. I can't say that I know why, exactly, the tree suffers from severe slantiness. I suppose it is meant to represent idyllic shady groves which lure passing motorists to pull over and rest for awhile. "Come, weary traveler," the sign beckons. "Enjoy thy peanut butter and jelly whilst cavorting in nature's ample bosom."

Hint to Weary Travelers: The sign isn't big enough to depict EVERYTHING in nature's ample bosom. Otherwise there would be mosquitoes, overflowing trash cans and a deathly black cloud of automotive exhaust. All you get is a picnic table and a single tipsy tree that looks like it's about flatten any picnic enthusiasts that happen to drop by.

I tried hard to find an image of a tipsy tree sign. Unfortunately, my boyfriend gave me a virtual "What you talking about, Tuna?" and offered up his best guess: The Tipsy Toad.

Today I am pausing at the Tipsy Tree of Outer Blogenia to salute a fellow traveler and lover of The Tipsy Tree. Some days it requires the wisdom of Solomon and the patience of a patient person to travel with Clan Tuna. Many would have crumbled at the multiple readings of Brown Bear, Bear Bear, What do you See? throughout the entire state of Ohio. Others would have had their faith sorely tested as prayers that a truck might put all Four Fur Feet out of its misery went unanswered. And then there was the memorable impromptu 90 minute country western backseat crooning at the top the lungs of Away in the Manager that contained one hundred or so extra verses. All of which (somehow) managed to rhyme.

From finding ourselves in Copenhagen instead of Berlin, to stumbling across Johannesfest in Mainz during a downpour, to hiking the San Bernadino mountains (just one more switchback), to thunderstorms at Tanglewood, to scary motorcycle ex-convict campers wanting their picture taken, to reenacting The Perfect Storm on the USS Minnow trying to leave Mackinac Island at midnight because we missed the ferry regular people ride because some little tuna brother just HAD to have fudge, to bears at our campsite in Yellowstone, to a ten year old reprimanding us last weekend for embarrassing her in a restaurant as we fell into unspeakable fits of hysteria (yet again) because you had "squeaky green beans."

To a mighty traveler and a mighty mom -- Happy Birthday GramTuna. What a wonderful, amazing adventure it's been! You just say the word, TinyTuna will bring the Edmund Fitzgerald, we'll hop into the 1969 VW Bus, take all the corners in third, and do lunch at the Tipsy Tree.

But please, leave the squeaky green beans at home.

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