"Hey! What are you doing to my trees!"
"Trimming!? You're butchering them. Those beautiful limbs! You just sheared them off!"
"Had to. Getting in the way of the wires."
"That one was two feet above the wires."
"Yeah, but the leaves on the little branches at the end were touching the wires."
"So you had to lop off the entire branch?!"
"It's just going to grow back. This way we don't hae to trim as often."
"But you aren't trimming! You're butchering!"
"Tomayto. Tomahto. We're here at the behest of SCE&G. We trim the limbs from trees interfering with the electrical supply to the community. Sometimes it requires drastic measures. It just so happens this was required since we are not able to get to all the trees monthly. There are a lot of trees in the Charleston area."
"Where are you from? These trees are our legacy as a Southern state. We left them because we have roots just like them to the past. They are hundreds of years old. They won't be able to survive if you Yahoos continue to butcher them."
"Let's get it straight we are from Ohio not Yahoo. And we don't butcher we are arborists. The only animals we kill are those that run out in front of the truck. Our mission is too important to stop so on occasion we leave kitty discs in our path, but it's never intentional."
"You moron. You're no more arborists than I'm a surgeon."
"Exactly. We are surgeons. We prefer arborist but if you must, tree surgeons."
"What kind of tree is that that you are slicing up?"
"It's a big one with big limbs interfering with the electrical lines so buzz off, gramps, and let us do our job."
"I'm calling SCE&G!"
"Do that you grumpy old man. You'll see that we are perfectly within our rights to trim according to expediency."
"Hello. Is this SCE&G?"
"Yes it is. How may I help you?"
"Some guys in a truck are butchering my trees out front."
"Oh, yeah. We have arborists out trimming the limbs back from the power lines. It's for the public's safety you know."
"No1 No! No! They aren't trimming! They are slicing and dicing! They are butchering my trees. I don't think it can carry on after the stress of such a butchering."
"First off, sir, the men out trimming are arborists. They do not butcher. They do not dismember and kill animals. Trees are plants and they are simply trimming back the limbs that threaten to snap the power lines. It's a necessary improvement to the areas tree population."
"You twit! First off these idiots are destroying not only the look of my trees but possibly killing them. The stress of so much "trimming" is like murder."
"These are plants, sir. We trim them all the time. They grow back."
"But don't you understand they are butchering..."
"How they decide to trim is out of our hands sir."
"Don't you have a written agreement that they trim to a standard?"
"Oh, no sir. We have a Gentlemen's Agreement with the company. We tell them to trim and they do as they please. We ask that they be reasonable with their cuts. That's our only requirement."
"So you are sending men out with to trim and if they destroy a tree's life with the lopping off of branches that is fine with you?"
"It is a Gentleman's a greement. We expect them to use good judgement. That is our only rquirement. That way no one is to blame. You can't balme SCE&G because it is a requirement for public safety. You can't blame the arborists because they know what we want and must make judgement calls in the field. It's win win for us."
"Not for my trees or anyone else's!"
"Sorry, sir. It's out of our hands at this point."
"Why don't you bury the damn lines? That way the trees could grow as they are meant."
"Tee Hee. you're funny sir. The cost of such an undertaking would be far too expensive. Besides one day these trees will die off and the lines won't need arborial work."
"Yes, but you are contributing to their demise."
"Oh no sir. We are only sending out men to trim."
"Good day sir."
I walked outside. My beautiful oaks that had stood in that spot for hundreds of years with spreading limbs looked like poles with round wounds all the way up to a point five or more feet above the power lines. My eyes turned liquid much like the severe wounds of the tree's trunk turned to sap. Each pale circle where a limb once yearned for sunlight was a watery eye spilling it's sap. The truck was gone. In it's place was a flat circular cat which had once been the neighbor's.