copyright © 2002 Jeff Lenhart

The Cussing Tree By Jeff Lenhart


Start: Tent in the middle of the Woods. Three friends are camping. One friend has not come out of the tent for two days because he is afraid of trees.



Jeff, who is scared of trees

Cindy, who is not scared of trees

Scott, who is also not scared of trees

Mountainman Sneed, who wishes people would be scared of him, but no one is

Boulder, who comes crashing down the mountain for no reason except for gravity

LIGHTS DOWN---hold for 12 seconds. Music starts. LIGHTS SLOWLY UP. Music stops.(Theme from Survivor I) Line: "WHOOP’S! WRONG SHOW!!" LIGHTS BACK OFF, then UP

Enter Scott:

Scott: Jeff, you have to come out of that tent, our vacation is half over! Cindy and I just caught some fish. We had a great time. We saw a coyote and Cindy said she saw Bigfoot, except by the time we got the camera, he had taken off. That’s the fourth time this vacation!!! You’re missing everything, Jeff.

Now get out of the tent. You’ve been in there for two days.

Jeff: No, Scott I told you. I can’t come out. They will get me.

Scott: Who are they?

Jeff: How many times do I have to tell you, Scott. The trees. The trees, Scott. They are just waiting for me, and if I come out of the tent, the trees will attack me. They’re not very nice, you know.

Cindy(Approaching the campsite): Oh, he hasn’t come out yet. (To Scott) Is it still the trees?

Scott: Yep. Listen, Jeff. The trees are not going to attack you. Trees just don’t attack people. They aren’t even able to move.

Jeff: That’s what you think. Have you ever been attacked by a tree?

Scott: No.

Jeff: Well, then, there you go. You’ve never been attacked by a tree, so how do you know they can’t attack. I have.

Scott: You have not been attacked by a tree.

Jeff: Yes, I was. I was attacked by a tree when I was 8, and no one believed me then, either.

Scott: What happened.

Jeff: I was listening to the radio. Barry Manilow’s hit song Copa Cabana was playing, and I was in my back yard, reading a Hardy Boys book with my scratch and sniff bookmark. When…

Cindy: What flavor was the scratch and sniff?

Jeff: Bubble Gum.

Cindy: My favorite was Supercool Strawberry!

Jeff: Yeah, so anyways, I was sitting there and reading by my tent because it was too hot to read inside my tent and it was a sunny day and there was a slight, summer breeze and I didn’t have school and I was pretty content, and then it happened.

Scott: What a branch fell on you or something?

Cindy: Or did you try to climb it and it scratched you? Or you fell out of it and broke your arm?

Jeff: I wish. No, actually, at that point, the tree pulled out a knife and stole my Hardy Boy’s book and my Bubble Gum Scratch and Sniff Bookmark and told me that if I told anyone it would kick my ass. Actually, it told me it would kick my sorry ass. It cussed. It was a cussing tree. Nobody believed me. Not even when I showed them I was missing Hardy Boy’s book number 42 on my shelf. And then the tree wouldn’t talk to or mug anyone else. Just like when animals talk on tv and then the person who hears them talk tries to make them talk to someone else and then the animal doesn’t talk to the other person, and then everybody thinks they’re crazy. So, now whenever I get a pet, I always ask it, Hey can you talk because then later when the animal talks and you ask it why it didn’t ever talk before it always says because you never asked, so then, like, if it starts talkin’ later, it can’t start giving me excuses like it never told me.

Cindy: But Jeff, just because the talking pet didn’t answer you when you asked it BEFORE doesn’t mean it COULDN’T talk at that time. Maybe it was lying. Or maybe it hadn’t learned to speak at that point in its life. I would reconsider your initial plan of only asking the pet if it can speak when you acquire it. I propose asking your pet if it can speak at least every day or even every hour. That would be better.

Scott: You know, even if your dog did start talking even if you HAD asked it if it could talk, what would you do anyways? Take it to court? Personally, if my dog started talking, I’m running. Running right out the door.

Jeff: Scaredy Cat!!!!

Scott: Who’s the scaredy-cat? You’re afraid of trees!

Jeff: You guys think I’m crazy.

Scott: We don’t think you’re crazy, Jeff. We just wanted to have fun this weekend.

Cindy: Yeah, Jeff. Come out. Don’t be afraid. We’ll protect you.

Mountainman Sneed: Yeah, actually you should be afraid of ME!!!!

Scott/Cindy: Who are you?!!

Mountainman Sneed: Hi, I’m Mountainman Sneed. I haven’t been a part of society for 15.23 years, give or take a thousandth of a year! With all my lack of social graces, and my loss of touch with reality, it is I you should be afraid of, really, not some doggone tree.

Scott: Why did you abandon society, Mountainman Sneed?

Mountainman Sneed: I guess you could say I abandoned society because I racked up a few too many late charges at the video store. Let’s just say Top Gun isn’t my friend right now. And screw Ferris. Damn videos.

Cindy: Mountainman Sneed, you know, videos are sold now on what’s known as a sell-through basis. You can actually purchase videos now for under $10. Sometimes the local giant retail store even offers them for less than $7.

Mountainman Sneed: Seriously? Well, HAW PSHAW AND DOUBLE HOG BALONEY–that’s it---I’m back in society again! I’d better help you crazy kids get that Jeff out of the tent so you all can get to enjoyin’ your vacation. And I can be reunited with my beautiful wife, VERA PILLOW.

Jeff: Never forget the trees!

Mountainman Sneed: Jeff, now you come out of that tent! You still feel the pain from that tree attack, right? I used to be a counselor. I can help you. Is it a painful experience to talk about?

Jeff: Yes, just like it was yesterday. It happens over and over again in my mind.



Mountainman Sneed: Ok, look you stupid motherfucker. Get out of the fuckin tent!

Or your two fucked up friends here are going to know the meaning of pain!!!!!

Cindy/Scott: Mountainman Sneed!!!!!!!

Mountainman Sneed: Just kidding. I thought I’d play the Mountainman stereotype for one last time, anyways. Ok, seriously, Jeff come on out.

Boulder: Rumble, rumble, thud, thud, rumble, rumble, and rumble. Rumble. Hi, I’m just a boulder falling down the mountain. Don’t mind me. By the way, Jeff, that tree you’re scared of is now incarcerated. It was the only bad tree in the world. Years ago, no one cut down trees, but there was this one bad tree--- The Cussing Tree--and it used to attack people and cuss at them. So, people started freakin out and cutting down trees everywhere. But there was only ONE bad tree, and that bad tree was arrested in 1993 at 9:42PM on the hit television show COPS. So, don’t you fret, Jeff. By the way, would anyone like a scratch and sniff?

Cindy: What flavor?

Boulder: Supercool Strawberry.

Cindy: That’s great sure. That’s my favorite!!!

Boulder: Usually I only give these out as sympathy gifts after I crush someone, but I suppose I can make an exception today since I DID just get laid. Here you go.

Rumble. Rumble. Rumble thud bounce thud thud. Thud thud. (Exit)

Jeff: I feel better now. But I’ll only come out of the tent on one condition.

Cindy/Scott/Mountainman Sneed: What’s that!!!!!!

Jeff: Mountainman Sneed puts on deodorant!!!!!!!!!!





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