If you are planning
on hugging a tree in the near future
, it is wise to choose one that will welcome such affection. Not all trees
are as loving as we assume
they are. Depending on how badly you crave this dendrophiliac
experience, I suggest taking a trip to Toronto
. Yes, in Canada
Native Torontonians may know what I am talking about. Once you have established your presence in glorious Hogtown, find a road map that will lead you to Queen Street West. Use whatever means you deem necessary in order to be standing across the street from the Silver Snail, a small but popular comic book store which is located at 367 Queen St. W.
Fix your gaze upon the store. Now turn right. Ninety degrees should do it.
You should now be staring, mildly amused, at the infamous Queen Street Hug Me Tree. Assuming you aren't following these instructions as you read them, I will describe the extraordinary sight you should be beholding.
Popping out of the sidewalk along the street are living, healthy trees, and then suddenly there's this one.
The Hug Me tree is a mystery. Nobody knows how it became what it is, or why. It is quite obviously dead, and probably rotting. It has been spraypainted with a multitude of colors (mainly purple), and every one of its limbs has been hacked away. On its back is drawn a very bored looking face with three eyes and a green outfit. The bark is stripped away from more than half of the surface, and of course, scrawled in dark purple on the front are those desperate, begging words.
In 2008 the Hug Me tree was hit by a car, and being quite dead already, it fell over. It had been dead for about ten years at this point, when it was set to be removed by the city. Before that could happen, local artist Elicser Elliot painted it, turning an unsightly piece of city property into a work of graffiti art. You didn't have to stand on the corner of Queen St. W. and Soho St. for very long before someone came up and hugged it, usually while a friend took pictures. Periodically, the art on the tree changed, either by Elicser or other artists on a whim.
When the tree fell, it was moved to a studio after narrowly avoiding a date with an enthusiastic wood chipper. It's back in its rightful place now, with a metal plate holding it up. The tree is quite a bit shorter as a result, but it still gets a fresh outfit every once in a while. As of this update, it is mostly orange and yellow, though it still has a face and its invitation scrawled on the front. Impaled on the trunk is a small model house, with the top of the tree bursting out through the splintered roof. It still gets hugs.