Much like the Joshua trees of the Mojave, or the Steaked Cheese of Philadelphia, or the special Hepatitis you only got on Fantasy Island, the tree octopus resides in only one place on earth, the Pacific Northwest. In the forests at dusk, you can hear their familiar SHLORRRRRRRP-shmp-shmp SHLORRRRRRRP-shmp-shmp up and down the redwoods as the smart and graceful (yet slimy) creatures hunt for squirrels, jackdaws, and lost monkeys.
From Olympia to Vancouver and all the way down to that part of California that’s basically South Oregon, the tree octopus lives a quiet life, only occasionally dropping out of trees only people’s faces. If you didn’t want cephalopods ambushing you from above, then you shouldn’t have gone hiking, is my feeling.
The indigenous invertebrate is also, of course, the inspiration for long-time friend of the blog, Mr. Completely, who patrols the streets of Portland as the Tree Octopus, no matter how many times the police ask him to stop, or how many appointments with therapists his family makes.
He’s even got a theme song!
Tree Octopus, Tree Octopus:
He’ll extrude his stomach over you,
And digest you alive!
If he thinks you’re a criminal.
In between stopping crimes and eating criminals, the Tree Octopus makes recommendations, and this one is a doozy: 9/12/87 from Maryland. There is a Cumberland, but it does not count.
The Loser counts, though. Garcia has a great night, vocally and instrumentally, and he states his intention to fuck shit up during his first tune. There is something about this version in particular that–and I cannot say precisely why this came to mind–makes you think that Garcia truly enjoyed singing this song.
Phil also enjoys singing Tom Thumb’s Blues, and I’m just going to end the sentence here.
What about Samson? Does Garcia do that thing, that awesome little thing, where he holds out the “down” in “tear this whole building down?” He totally does, yo.
There is so much goodness!
And then there is the Morning Dew, which draws up a 50 Shades of Grey-style sexual contract with you, has it notarized, and then immediately and deliberately does all the stuff you didn’t want, plus a lot of stuff you didn’t even know existed.
This Dew will do things to your butt, and not just your physical butt: your emotional butt. This Morning Dew will fist the butthole of your heart.
I need you to stop this right now.
“What?” Fuck you, that’s what. This is why you don’t get invited to contribute to box sets.
You deserve the truth.
I know; still hurts.