Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More On the Christmas Tree Bandit


Bandit handiwork, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

So much has happened regarding the Christmas Tree Bandit, I hardly know where to start.

First off, Cedar Park, the small, ahem, humble town in which I live now has its very own bandit. Now, it's not the same bandit as the "official" Christmas tree bandit, mind you (can there really be an "official" bandit? I'm not too sure about that but, if there were one, it would be the one from Austin I suppose.)

For those of you unfamiliar with the Christmas Tree Bandit, you can read up on him here or just take my word that he exists. He randomly decorates trees along Austin's 360 corridor. Why is he called a bandit, well, that's an easy one. Because the City of Austin, in their infinite wisdom, declares the trees "trash" since, though he does clean up after himself, more than 30 days elapses between the time he hangs the decorations and the time he tears them down so, technically, they are "trash" at least according to Austin Police (APD) and the City Council in their infinite wisdom.

Cedar Park has taken a proactive stance with regard to this bandit behavior; they've started alerting the citizens of this "random Christmas decorator" (as they call him) by making an official statement. Brace yourself, my fellow citizens, for the City has spoken and, well, we hardly know of anything else that makes sense coming from a Town Hall these days.

The statement says that the City of Cedar Park will allow the "bandit" (or bandits, as the case may be) to decorate but asks that anyone participating in decorations consider the "welfare of the wildlife that lives in the trees." Ok, so we're allowed to put up Christmas balls, provided we don't strangle the squirrels. Got it. Check. They also tell us that they "won't be dusting Christmas balls for fingerprints anytime soon." Phew! Now that's a relief. (I guess the new motto of Cedar Park could be: "Welcome to Cedar Park. We're not as loony as Austin. Just yet. But, you know, give us time and we'll catch...er...up?")

Next in my seasonal Bandit news briefing, it was just yesterday that I happened upon the actual Christmas Tree Bandit. The real one. The original. He was down in Austin talking to the pinon wood selling guy on highway 360. And, big news here, he's married now. He was actually standing there, talking to the pinon guy with his new bride. How romantic. (Congrats, Christmas Tree Bandit guy, and bride, wherever you may roam!) They were both parked next to his truck which is a white Chev...oh wait, I can't tell you that much information now, can I? (I'm certainly not going to finger the Tree Bandit, no no no, we can't have that now, can we?) He drives a Dodge actually, or maybe it was a Toyota. Gosh, it was really hard to make it out. Come to think of it, it might have been a Ferrari. Yeah, that's it. A purple Ferrari, with orange bucket sets and a big longhorn on the front. (What's that you say? Ferrari's don't come in purple? Yeah, well Christmas Tree Bandits don't actually drive now, do they? Since they don't really exist and all. Not if APD has anything to ask me about them, they don't or like they wouldn't. "Honest officer...he looked just like the Stig without his helmet." That's all I got.)

Turns out that APD also had their hands full this past week. One of the Yogurt Shop Murder suspects got stopped at a red light, bolted, and wound up stabbing a police officer in the neck. The officer is ok (he'll recover) but the Yogurt Shop Murder suspect was killed by APD over the course of defending themselves. Now, I can't speak as to why somebody would want to run away, stab a cop, get shot, and killed two days before Christmas but I can probably safely guess that APD was a bit busy this holiday season, so much so that they appear to have let up their search for Christmas Tree Bandits everywhere and have actually started, oh I don't know, hunting murderers instead. Something tells me this sounds like a bit better use of taxpayer funds so I'll just leave it at that. (Apologies if you'll have to cancel your BOLO's, tear down your police sketches and re-decorate the Post office looking for more hardened criminals, but the tree decorating bandit is still on the loose. Citizens of Austin should be vigilant in locking their...um...pine trees up tight I suppose. You wouldn't want any free roaming holiday decor landing on your front porch-it could be hazardous to your squirrels. Unless, of course, you live in Cedar Park, where it would appear all of the town squirrels got some memo from Town Hall asking them to go to Florida for the winter so we can decorate our highways without coronating a new batch of felons on the lam from the law. Or something like that.)

With all of this bandit news happening, I'd be remiss if I didn't tell you that, this year anyway, there's a new form a decoration appearing. Since the bandit got married many folks (not just the bandit himself, mind you) have taken to putting up decor in honor of a loved one or for the recently/soon to be married folks they know. There are now a bunch of trees sprouting up with decor that reads thing like, "Greg and Susan, November 29, 2010" (and the like.) It's a new trend in Christmas Tree Bandit Decor I'd have to say, if such a thing can be construed as a trend at all, since as the whole thing is illegal unless, of course, you live in Cedar Park and then it's just annoying to squirrels everywhere (I suppose.)

I'd say "that's a wrap" but it might be illegal in my town (no word from Town Hall regarding Christmas wrapping paper just yet) so, instead, I'll just send you a picture of a short tree with some balls on it and leave it at that. Oh, and, should you happen to see a purple Ferrari with orange bucket seats a big longhorn on the front being driven by a Stig and his misses, don't forget to wave. (*Waves* Hi Bandit! Merry Christmas!)

Is there someplace where Christmas is normal? Yeah, I so want to move *there* don't you?

Until next time...

3 comments:

mythopolis said...

I like to decorate the trees with toilet paper. You don't have to take it down since it degrades in the weather....and it sorta looks like snow...ribbons of snow.

Victoria said...

A very amusing saga... I enjoyed reading it! Happy New Year. (wonder if the Christmas Tree Bandit would come to my house and decorate a tree for me since my other half is so NOT interested) ;-)

Carol said...

Mythopolis, the Tree Bandit used to do that a bit but then the paper got all wet and washed away. This is a hot new trend in Austin-Tree Bandits everywhere!

Long live the tree bandit!

Victoria, thanks! Happy New Year to you too!

Something tells me the tree bandit actually doesn't do his own home. Maybe he lives in an apartment and can't decorate? That might explain it actually. :~)

He's more than welcome at my house too.