“People think you can just go into the woods, chop down a tree and put it up in the high street,” says Richard Randall-Jones, a town manager for Poole in southern England. “But if it blows over and kills someone then somebody is liable.”
So instead of taking the infinitesimally small chance that the tree would put a Poole resident out of commission, the town decided to erect the world’s lamest Christmas tree. According to the Times Online, the tree has “no trunk so it won’t blow over, no branches to break off and land on someone’s head, no pine needles to poke a passer-by in the eye, no decorations for drunken teenagers to steal and no angel, presumably because it would need a dangerously long ladder to place it at the top.”
The result, as you can see from the picture above, is a giant, hideous, AstroTurf-covered traffic cone.
The tree, which cost the city about 14,000 pounds, is not exactly putting shoppers in the Christmas mood. “It’s horrible,” says 54-year-old Karen Byron. “If you are going to have a fake tree then it ought to resemble a tree. You can get some really good fake trees but this is awful. It doesn’t feel Christmassy at all.”
Another resident, Bill Scott, called the tree “a total disgrace.” “I’m an army man,” he said, “and it would be wrong for me to express my real feelings in language other people might hear.”