The scene is set in a Brooklyn apartment. A 7 foot tree lays on its side on the hardwood floor. A man struggles to fit the cheap metal tree stand on the 7 footer, cursing under his breath that he could have sworn that he declared last Christmas as the last year they would use this flimsy tree stand.
He tightens the screws, hoists the tree back up and the family stands back.
The tree is crooked.
The man lays the tree back down, fiddles with the screws around the trunk and hoists the tree back up. The family stands back and looks.
The man summons the woman to hold the tree as he attempts to adjust the 7 footer in a vertical position. They stand back again.
Still slightly crooked. But maybe good enough.
He flicks at the tree to make sure that it is stable and won’t fall over in the middle of the night as it did a few years back. The tree seems stable.
Satisfied, the man goes away. The woman slowly circles the tree, scratches her head, stares, and stands back. She calls for the man.
“It’s still a bit crooked”, she says, hesitantly.
The man approaches the tree and instructs the woman to stand back to make sure the tree is straight as he wrestles with the tree and the stand once again.
“Ok, it’s straight”. They both stand back and nod.
The man goes about sweeping up the needles around the tree, but in a split second, the tree tips over and falls on the man. He lays under the tree for a minute, deflated and defeated before standing back up. “That’s it”, he says as he puts on his coat, grabs some cash from the other room and storms out the front door in search of a sturdier tree stand.
The kids, who have been sitting on the couch the whole time oblivious to the scene happening before them, look up and notice that the tree is down and the man is nowhere to be seen.
“Where’s Daddy?”, asks the little one.
“I think he’s under the tree”, says the older one.
The girls shrug and go back to their game.