Tuesday night blank time. We should've all been home making things.
The trees who didn't make it through the auditions for the part of Treebeard in Lord of the Rings were sat opposite us in the corner. The pub was hushed. The windows were dribbling and the toilets were spacious. The three trees were rustling and grumbling. I thought we could bond over our shared un-love of Lord of the Rings. Book or film. Something to do with it being very dull.
We were drinking beer brewed in oak pyramids. It was said to have benefits. You couldn't taste the geometry, but it made everything you tasted afterwards taste amazing. For a while. It was the opposite of toothpaste. That was the quote on the bottom of the label: "The opposite of toothpaste!". Not everyone loved it. It was new. It was fighting hard. We were enjoying some sesame snaps from a zip-loc bag.
The trees were drinking it too. I thought it might be a way in.
Nice beer you're drinking, I said, on my way back from the toilet.
No it isn't, replied the middle one. He was old. He had transparent teeth.
What is it then?
The other two trees looked at me and raised their twiggy eyebrows. The one on the left pulled a leaf from his nose, scrunched it up and threw it on the floor. I thought he might spit. Can trees spit? I asked him.
You mean like hoick-pwff?
No we can't. Too dry.
I thought you pumped loads of water round all day.
We do. It gets used up. We're efficient.
That seemed to end the conversation. I went back to my friends. A hiss followed me.
We were wondering why tasty is a good thing and smelly and touchy are bad things and sighty and soundy are non-existent.
Go and tell those trees that they're sighty and soundy, said one of us.
No, you do it, said another one of us. It went on.
They're a bristly bunch.
What'll we learn?
Actually there's unsightly, isn't there.
But not sightly.
Not even slightly.
They're staring at us now.
They might come over and loom.
We can't have that.
Shall we offer them a sesame snap?
They don't eat.
Why've they got mouths then?
To be gobby with.
We finished our pints and sauntered out. A couple of leaves wafted after us.