Monday, February 16, 2015

The Australian-Tongan Connection - Tree Trimmers to Die For


This memory piece was first posted in May of 2013.  I so remember this huge, smiling, brilliant man who ate his fried chicken on my front veranda while his younger more dextrous family members climbed and trimmed the huge palms in my front garden.  I need to write a fictional diary of 'My Days In Brisbane', doncha think?



 Just the first page of a commentary on big men with huge shoulders and wild accents.

The Tongan

You thought I had disappeared?

Well, it rained and you know about the big wet and witches! I melted!!

Now, the sun has come back out and dried up all the drains and witchetty grub me has re-formed again! How's that for an international story?

Anyhow, today while I was busy playing solitaire on my computer waiting until it was time to head off to lunch, I heard a male voice calling, 'Hellooo,' from the front of the house. I live in this rather large Queensland Colonial and my office is in the very back.

I knew that my housemate, Erica, was sleeping cause she worked the graveyard shift, so I scurried down the long front hallway to see what the racquet was all about.

Leaning on my front gate with his arms spread from one gatepost to the other was a square man with a Tongan accent. 'We're working in the area today. Would you like your palm trees trimmed?'

 He waved both of those long arms to encompass the four very tall palm trees growing in the front garden. All four had window dressings of palm nut bundles all tied up in  
date-like arrangement ready to fall to the ground where I would later be picking them up. 

Below the palm nut bundles hung dead yellow seven foot palm fronds, an underdressing that would also fall in the next big wind and bounce off the fence or topple one of the lovely shrubs growing beneath them in the garden.

From the top of the front veranda stairs, I asked, 'How much would you charge me for all four?'

'Humm, that one is extra high, more than a 30 feet, cost more to climb that one. $180 for all four and we'll take it to the dump.'

I really wanted those palms trimmed, but that was just too much money.