Wednesday, December 13, 2006

tree painting--LOBO--the origins of trees

The bottom quarter of any tree along any public avenue in China is usually coated by a nice splattering of white paint, which is usually applied during the fall. This has the wonderful effect of ruining the few pieces of untouched natural greenery that still exist in China's towns and cities. Since I hate nature and pretty things, I love the fact that people slobber white shit all over these ungodly weeds.

I asked LOBO, who is an expert in all things Chinese, why these trees are painted. The interview went as follows:

Me: Why are these trees painted?
LOBO: My name is LOBO.
Me: Yes. But what about the paint? The paint?
LOBO: Last night I ate a banana.

Since LOBO was of such little help on this particular matter, I consulted my own brain, which is a size 32D and is known in some circles as a world-renowned expert on things related to trees being painted in China. Indeed, it was my own brain that at last provided the answer, as follows:

"When trees were invented 2000 years ago in China, the ancient Chinese sage, 萝卜(Luo Bo), decreed that all trees must be painted white, from the last quarter down, in order to ensure that the location of all trees was known at all times, that their status as trees would be known to all who gazed upon them, and that no one would confuse trees with their close cousins, the Irish (invented in China in 1203BC). This policy was resoundingly successful, cementing the status of the tree in ancient Chinese culture as ' that thing we put paint on.' Now, the location of all trees in public spaces is known immediately, and no one must fear their sudden, unexpected appearance."

Well, that certainly helped me understand the phenomenon. I hope it helped you understand it, too. If you would like more information on this matter, please do not ask me.



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