I’m not one for drama but I think today I experienced the beginning of the end.

Today I got in trouble for climbing a tree. Never thought that could happen but apparently it can. This probably isn’t a big deal for most people but it just kind of rubbed me the wrong way and makes me believe the end just may be near…

The Incident

It started off innocently as I took a little walk around the shopping center where I work and came across a tree that I had walked by hundreds of times before but never really given a second thought. But for some reason, as I walked by it this morning I looked at it and realized it was a very cool tree to climb. Not very high but lots of branches to hang from and a few semi challenging transitions. I thought that it would be fun to take a little climb, something that happens on a pretty regular basis in my world.
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So I start climbing this tree and after basically just hanging out for 30-45 seconds I see a security truck pull up next to me and a guard get out and start walking toward me. I drop down the 3-4 feet I was off the ground and say hi.

“May I help you??” were the first words out of his mouth and they weren’t friendly.

Taken a little aback by his confrontational tone and facial expression I say something along the lines of “Do you not want me to climb this tree?”

“No, you can’t climb trees.”

“Sorry, I didn’t think it was a big deal. Is this because this is the _____ company’s land?”

I think he said yes or something similar in a very short response so I asked if he knew where there were trees that were ok to climb. He firmly said no and started to walk away.

“So you’re saying I can’t climb trees?”

“Not in this center.” His tone and expression was really getting to me. His behavior and body language was making me think he wanted to say, “What are you stupid or something? Quit being an idiot, why am I having to tell some moron not to climb a tree?”

I wanted to ask him to show me where in the ground rules it says these trees are not to be climbed but I thought better of it and instead finished with, “Sorry, I guess I just didn’t think it would be a problem.”

“Well, it’s a liability if you fall down and get hurt.”

I was again going to say something but decided not to and instead nodded my head and walked away. He was just doing his job and it didn’t matter to him that I’m well aware that a grown man climbing a tree has no one to blame but himself if he falls and gets hurt.

Not many things bother me in life so leave it to something like this to get under my skin. I understand that we live in a society that has all these rules, regulations and bureaucracy to keep us safe, managed and in line. Subsequently, fellows like this security guard are just doing what they are told to do. It just bothers me that 1) I can’t climb a tree if I want to when I’m not bothering anyone, 2) people are rude more often than they need to be and 3) that we live in a world where it’s strange, offensive or moronic to climb a tree. The problem is less likely the random dudes climbing trees every once in a while and more likely that there’s not enough people climbing trees.

I’m likely just frustrated that I didn’t get to play this morning and all my frustrations with modern society and finicky people are boiling to the surface but this incident seems representative of an all too frequent of a theme these days. Why do we now live in a world where having fun is so often frowned upon? Where so many people live in fear of litigation? Where people aren’t nice to one another? With people that are so uptight and rigid? Where everything has to be protected and regulated? Where adults are looked down on if they act a little goofy or childish? Where people can’t be themselves? Where people don’t take any personal responsibility? Where an honest, hard-working, good natured guy can’t climb a tree for 2 minutes without getting approached by security?

Most importantly, how do we now live in a world where people think that it’s weird to climb a tree?

A passing and almost seemingly innocent moment in time that just may be a sign of the apocalypse…

Sorry for the rant, I know I’m overreacting and there are much bigger fish to fry but it helped to get that off my chest. I’m sure I’ll find a good tree to climb tomorrow and it will all be forgotten. 🙂

Thanks for reading, have a great day!

P.S. It probably didn’t help my frustration when some of the reactions I got to telling this story were “well you probably shouldn’t have been climbing a tree” and “what were you doing climbing a tree?” I guess there’s just not as many tree climbers out there as I hoped…

(…for now. The revolution is coming. Since all apocalyptic threats must be met with a underground rising I just might have to lead that group. If you’re still reading, you can join me in bringing the world back from the breaking point, one tree climber at a time. Just don’t hurt yourself, I don’t want to get sued or anything.😉)

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