Sunday, September 09, 2007

The Sacred African Sausage Tree

The first time I encountered a Sacred African Sausage Tree I felt I was in the presence of greatness. I pulled into a parking lot and parked under it, thinking it was just like any other tree. When I saw the sign tacked onto its trunk proclaiming this "The Sacred African Sausage Tree" I thought some lunatic had decided to go around naming trees and tacking signs onto them. With a name like that I had to investigate, because I just love unusual, out of the ordinary sorts of things and how could I possible resist a tree with a name like that, made up or not?

I looked up into the Sacred African Sausage tree and confirmed that this was truly no tree I had ever before encountered. This was something special. It was enormous, which to me meant it was old. Long, sweeping vines stretched down from its highest branches and on the end of each one swung a thing that to me looked like a big, long baked potato of the sort that they sell for $15 at the fancy steakhouse place. To someone else this thing resembled a sausage. I can see that, but to me they look like baked potatoes. I guess Sacred African Baked Potato Tree doesn't have the same ring and plus there's something mildly phallic about a sausage, which lends a little added enticement to the whole thing. I mean, who doesn't love a good phallus right?

Calling anything Sacred and African makes it extremely exotic, which I just love. I am a huge fan of extremely exotic (real or imagined) things. As I stood looking at the tree I half expected the cast from the Broadway version of The Lion King to come flying out of its trunk mid-Elton-John song. It also seemed as if the tree might be able to talk. I listened for the voice of James Earl Jones doing a pseudo-African accent. I imagined the tree, speaking with James Earl Jones' voice, gifting me with some ancient African wisdom that could alter my destiny. I heard some green parrots squawking as they flew by. The tree remained silent.

I didn't see another Sacred African Sausage tree for a long time, but then I discovered one in my very own neighborhood!!!!! The only other Sacred African Sausage Tree I had ever seen in my entire life was miles away, and I didn't think I would ever see one again, but lo and behold there was one walking distance (if you aren't lazy like me) from my house. I drive by it nearly every day and wave to it.

A while ago I said, I must get a picture of the Sacred African Sausage Tree because it's so strange and unusual. I felt I needed to share this funky tree with the world. At first I feared that due to its Sacred African-ness that I might be committing some taboo like stealing the tree's soul, but then I decided that tree has a marvelous sense of humor about its vines and phallic, sausagey, baked potato-ish fruits as well as its silly and wonderful name, so I know its fine. I know that the tree, as well as the entire cast of The Lion King contained within its trunk, approve completely.

So there you go: a picture of my very favorite tree.


Anonymous said...

Are they edible?

Wide Lawns said...

I don't think so.

Miss Kitty said...

Isn't that a baobab tree?

And my word verification is elmaile. WTF?

MP said... people plant these or are they a Florida thing??

Very interesting...I'm sure SOMETHING eats them. Wouldn't you think?

Dodogal said...

How do you plant one of those? Just stick it in the ground or open it? Also, where would be the best place to plant it?

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