Wednesday, 14 October 2009
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As you might or might not know, I was recently back home in Erding for some completely undeserved rest. As you probably know, it is currently autumn in the Old World of which Erding is a part. Among other things, with autumn usually comes a beautiful explosion of color in the trees and lots of leaves on the roads. However, autumn and the tree world also provide something far more important: Chestnuts.

When I was growing up, there was hardly anything more precious than a big massive pile of chestnuts. This pile had been collected over a maybe 4 week period. When I say collected I mean mostly picked up from the floor, but it also involved climbing trees, and hours of throwing something up into the tree in the hope it would dislodge some more chestnuts (or hit some other guy stronger than you taking your chestnuts). At that time the trees in our street were still very young and they would yield only a few chestnuts, so in your hunt you would cover great distances on your bike in the search for chestnut trees. All this would become the absolute center point and focus of your very existence. It would fill many afternoons and great energy would be expended doing it. Life was great.

I don’t particularly remember what ever happened to all the chestnuts. They don’t last forever and I think they eventually all ended up in the park where they would be fed to the deer. The next year you would start the whole process again from scratch. Brilliant!

Now, I don’t know exactly what, but something has happened.

The chestnut trees in my parents’ street are now quite a bit bigger and there are lots and lots of chestnuts. I could not help but notice that there were dozens of chestnuts lying around. How could this be? Where were the kids? I have been observing this over a couple of days and have to tell you that today’s children have alarmingly little or no interest in collecting chestnuts.

I do realize that collecting chestnuts is not a complex battle simulation with enhanced weapon systems and that there is also no IPhone app for collecting chestnuts, but I mean, come on! Get off your butts and collect the chestnuts! You do not have to do some lame arts and crafts project with them. Shoot them at the neighbor for all I care! But out the door you go with a bag and chestnuts it is! You do not even need friends necessarily!

Alas, it was not to be. And so, the Grinch had no choice but to collect chestnuts this year rather than to save Christmas. Yes, I was out there almost every day. At first, when I still could not believe that nobody would claim the chestnuts, I would create a little mountain of chestnuts under one of the trees. However, nobody other than dogs had so much than a passing interest. Later on I would carry them myself to the park. I mean, somebody has to do it.

I would also like to take this opportunity to apologize to some children if I have encouraged them maybe a tad too enthusiastic to collect chestnuts.

Furthermore I am exceedingly grateful and also a bit sorry to the little guy (Polish, I believe) in London’s Hyde Park (great chestnut place!) who I uninvited donated about 3 dozen chestnuts to as he was not only collecting chestnuts but had had the great foresight to bring a bag. It must have startled him a good bit to have a somewhat chubby sweating figure march up to him, grab his bag and drop in chestnuts which were produced from about every pocket. He might be mankind’s last chestnut hope.

But seriously, if you read this and have children, please send them out for the chestnuts. Trust me, its far better than Halo 3 or a stupid phone!

Wednesday, 14 October 2009 00:03:00 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |