Dagnabit, I was wrong about so many things in my last post, I feel compelled to go public. Trust me, I wouldn't do it if I didn't feel morally compelled. (Rumors that I'm worried about being sued are entirely false.)
The post was, of course, about the tree cut in Montana to adorn the lawn before the Capital.
First of all, there’s the minor but embarrassing misspelling of “capitol,” which I spelled throughout as “capital.” It turns out that the “ol” version is used only for the building itself, not for the city. Okay, that’s easy to fix. Five down.
Then, gulp, there’s the rather more embarrassing matter of having gotten the fates of the National and the Capitol trees mixed up in part of the quiz, the whole point of which was to explain the difference. Good, Kate.
Actually, that wasn’t the whole point; I also—well, I—in fact, if you get right down to it—okay, I’m just going to go for it here: I WANTED TO BE AMUSING, okay? In part by being confusing. Talk about being hoisted on one’s own petard.
Here’s what I said:
h) The National tree sits on the West Lawn, while the Capital tree is planted somewhere near the White House.
Well, er, not exactly. In fact, not at all. The National tree is planted somewhere near the White House, while the Capitol tree sits on the West Lawn of the Capitol building.
So, like so many attempts to make other people look like idiots, this rather rebounded upon the finger-pointer.
Finally, there’s the vexed problem of the tree’s height. I practically dislocated my virtual eyes, rolling them over the inability of the various sources I looked at to agree on the height of the tree, and calling a Montana TV station “overenthusiastic” for claiming that it measured 100 feet.
Well, guess what: it did—before they cut off its lower trunk, that is. That trunk got sliced into “cookies” which were presented to people who contributed equipment, money, or hands-on helping cutting it. This information was fairly well buried, but there’s a moral here: check your facts before you diss someone. My apologies to KPAX of Missoula.
However, there’s still some room for virtual eye-rolling, as the official website says they cut the tree back to 73 feet, while most sources say 78 and the 2cbs TV reporter I mentioned in my first post says 68. In fact, I’m once again in danger of eye-dislocation, as the latest find, again from KPAX, says that the tree is 126 feet tall but only a hundred years old.
That’s it, enough with the crow-eating. I quit. It's the day after Thanksgiving,* and I need to save some room for turkey. This is me tossing my laptop over my shoulder as I head for the table.
* US version. Canadian Thanksgiving is celebrated on the second Monday in October.