“Go, Georgia!” by Justin Fish

Apr 11th, 2012 | By | Category: Nonfiction, Prose

One of our esteemed candidates for the Presidency made the news recently for a comment which seemed to elicit quite a few giggles from all but the most ardent of supporters. I giggled too. Of course, I’m just embarrassingly immature, so my laughter didn’t surprise me. For all I know, I might have been thinking about something completely different at the time. What are some really good reasons for sticking string cheese in light sockets? Why do people keep telling me to try it because, oh boy, you’ll be so glad you did!

That probably was not what I was thinking, because I’m thinking about it now, and it’s obviously a ridiculous idea. Reading by cheese light makes you hungry, and nobody can eat that many crackers.

But I now believe that my mocking laughter may have been premature. I hadn’t thought the whole thing through. I’ve put a lot of thought (too much… way, way too much) into this since, and I’m pretty sure that I can shed some light upon this silliness (for those of you who have nothing better to do, and I feel nothing but sympathy for you if you don’t).

So here’s the quote. It’s actually nothing earth-shattering or mind-blowing. I realize I’ve given it such a build-up that you’re expecting something gut-splittingly funny, but it isn’t. Really. I’m starting to feel badly now about letting you down. I apologize.

In fact, now I’m feeling so badly about leading you on that I’m going to hide the quote in the next paragraph. Take some time to find it—hours, if you need to—and then we’ll talk again afterward. The search will distract you from your frustration, and I can use the time to write all of you apology letters. Good luck. Don’t be mad.

I can think of several good reasons to not stick string cheese in light sockets.

a) For all we know, string cheese could be highly explosive, and “I don’t know what happened” just isn’t going to cut it.

b) Insurance policies don’t usually have “I blew up my house playing with cheese” riders.

c) Your wife/husband/etc. might leave you.

d) Remember the time you thought about dressing up as Liberace and strolling down             Main Street singing “God Save the Queen”? This is worse. Your wife/husband/etc. will leave you.

e) You’re still reading, and that can only mean you actually are contemplating doing this. Your wife/husband/etc. should leave you.

f) The trees are the right height. All my best to you and your wife/husband/etc. I hope you work things out.

Find the quote? Well done! If you couldn’t find it, these instructions should help:

a) Imagine an arrow pointing to it.

b) Follow the arrow.

Good! And I’m so relieved that you’re not upset.

So now that we’ve got all that nonsense out of the way, back to my original point. The laughing at this quote is premature. There is much more going on here than meets the eye, and I think that the gentleman to whom this quote is attributed has actually—and perhaps indirectly—touched upon some valid concerns. They’re worth considering, if for no other reason than it keeps one of us from exploding our house.

Imagine a state in which the trees are actually too tall. Take California, for instance. California has some redwood trees that are over 350 feet tall. They’ve been there for, like, fifty sixty years. They were there before Ramen noodles were invented. The point is, they’re tall.

Now measure the total length of all the giant redwood trees in California, and then cook and unfold the equivalent number of feet of Ramen noodles and lay them out back and forth between Las Vegas and Wyoming. That’s a lot of noodle. That much noodle would constrict traffic, impede the shipping of produce, and nobody would eat enough roughage. That’s one reason why trees shouldn’t be too tall.

Here’s another reason. Let’s say Georgia has the most chickens. I don’t know this for sure, but it’s possible. They have a lot of chickens, anyway. Go, Georgia! Now, if this many chickens all of a sudden began acting like turkeys, they would roost in really tall trees. Shorter trees might do, but you know how turkeys are. Just have be the best at everything.

Have you ever tried getting a turkey out of a really tall tree? No, you have not, because Georgia (where most of the chickens are, so that’s probably where you would be if you were trying to get a turkey out of a tree) is either not where you live, or because Georgia is smart enough to not have tall trees. They don’t want to spend time getting turkeys out of trees. They’re too busy dealing with all the chickens.

And if they did want tall trees, they would move everybody to California. Which might be a good idea, because it’s going to take a lot of people to clean up all those noodles.

Two really good examples of why trees can, in fact, be too tall. Now what about short trees?

Florida has trees. It also has oranges. If all the oranges grew on bonsai trees, the pickers would have to spend all day bending over. But you don’t have to bend over to pick oranges, so if they were bending over, they would probably be picking lettuce. And then all the oranges would go bad and none of us could eat breakfast, which is supposedly the most important meal of the day.

And, of course, how could we not mention Texas, home of the border with Arkansas. Go, Arkansas! By the way, I’ve never been quite sure what little rock in Arkansas people keep talking about and why it’s so popular, but there must be something special about it. I’ve got a whole bunch of little rocks around my house, and they don’t seem so great to me.

Texas just does things in a big sort of way, and they take great pride in this reputation. If all of a sudden they had short trees, they would have to scale everything down. It would look like a whole bunch of miniature Lego towns spread around in a sand box. Everyone would have those little round bumps all over them. There would always be somebody walking around without a head, and none of the windows would ever have any glass in them. A little bright yellow guy heads off to work, and no matter how hard he tries, he can’t unstick his briefcase from the table! You know what I’m talking about.

At least they could take their cars apart and make spaceships. That would be neat.

So there you have it. An absurd and laughable comment made sensible through the application of sound reason and logic. An observation once absurd now clearly wise and astute. The gentleman at whom we tittered is obviously much more clearheaded and forward thinking than we thought. I just don’t understand why he tries so hard to hide it. Let it out, friend. We want more!

We laughed, we giggled. The trees are the right height—oh, what a silly man!

Well, who looks silly now?


Justin Fish lives and works in Vermont.

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