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F Minus is the daily comic strip by Tony Carrillo
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Apr 24, 2009

Hate Mail! Trees 101

Y'all saw this right? Got a pretty good rating today. People seem to enjoy it. But wait... not everyone. Not... ARBORISTS!!!
The newest addition to the long list of people I've unintentionally offended, the Arborists (The term "Tree Nerd" is no longer PC) are a scruffy bunch, and don't like when inaccurate depictions of tree growth gets in the way of their cartoon enjoyment. I got a handful of emails today, but the following was the best. It begins with the same clever line that can be found in all F Minus hate mail:

I can see why you got an F Minus.
Your science is 90 degrees off base and is therefore a poor example for folks – especially children. A tree grows both horizontally and vertically. The top leader and branches grow “up” but the existing stems or trunk
grows horizontally out away from it’s center therefore the hook would eventually get engulfed by the bark/tree and to the extreme the two trees would grow together. Your cartoon drawn correctly would have Rip Van Winkle being squeezed together at the same height and not raised vertically; simple high school botany. Were you sleeping in your hammock the day that was taught?
(Name omitted), President

Landscape Architecture · Site Planning · Land Planning


Once again I am called a poor example for children. I have a question, did anyone actually take botany in high school? Really? Botany class?
Here is my response:

Dear (Tree Nerd)
Finally! A chance to use your knowledge of plant growth outside of your landscaping job!
I suppose you emailed Wile E. Coyote to tell him why his rocket skates wouldn't work too? Or maybe you should tell Charlie Brown that his dog should not be able to fly a plane.
You didn't say anything a few days ago when I did a comic about bees
shooting stingers out of their butts at children. THAT's not scientifically accurate. But now of course people will be more afraid of bees because of my poor example. I guess I should have paid more attention in bee school.
Or maybe it's just a cartoon. -Tony C.

Here's the deal, folks. Maybe he's right about tree growth. It's irrelevant. I would have done the cartoon anyway, because it's just a cartoon. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go jump off a cliff, and float safely down to the ground by holding an umbrella.


Oh, and I sent him this:

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16 comments:

Ryan said...

Geez, I am super offended by your gross lack of knowledge about tree growth. I'm pretty sure my first reaction to your comment was "Waaaaait one minute, this is scientifically inaccurate!"

Eric Olsen said...

i still can't believe you write back to hat(e-mail). you're going to go crazy if you take all these people seriously. have you ever actually read a thread under a youtube video?

Tony said...

I only do it for your amusement.

Adriel said...

It's amazing how many people like that exist and often behave in a arrogant manner such as by pointing out their elite job, elite college, or high profile friends. Because they know more than "us", they always have to point out our "ignorant flaws". The irony is that like most people, they don't get it.

Anonymous said...

Well, that was even better than the comic, if I may say so myself! Thanks, Tony!

Jill Elizabeth said...

I don't know about anyone else, but my high school didn't offer a botany course. It was either physics or chemistry.

I'm just saying.

Stella Tamzarian, Action Librarian said...

I'd also like to point out that Rip Van Winkle is a fictional character so this situation would never happen in real life. Your blatant disdain for reality ruined the joke for me.

Good Day sir!

Jason said...

That was even more awesome becasue landscape architects especially especially hate it when you call them "landscapers!"

Anonymous said...

What the... You missed the opportunity to correct his misusage of "it's" instead of "its"? :-)

Chris said...

does this guy realize that was just a newspaper comic, holy crap

Jake Lunemann said...

You just know that some guy wrote in to Disney many years ago saying that elephants can't really fly by flapping their big ears. Your email was from his grandson.

...Ney said...

ya know what's hilarious? based on the content of this post, Google placed tree service ads on your blog! now that's rich!

love your sense of humor, by the way (taking a picture of an item in a thrift store - that's great!); found you in the Boston Globe.

jenm.photography said...

please continue to put up the hate mail AND your response. i love your comic and your blog! both are hilarious.

Billy Gerwitz said...

"Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go jump off a cliff, and float safely down to the ground by holding an umbrella."

Best way to end a blog entry about cartoons :)

Ambroziak said...

HAHAHA your hate mail responses are too good. keep it up.

Patrick said...

When did "tree nerd" become taboo?!?