A whole lot of years ago when I was dispatching, the Township let the State use the Township garage as a distribution point of tree seedlings. People had signed up weeks previously to pick up a designated amount of them which they would, in turn, plant. It was and is a good thing for our environment. Most of these people were new to the program and signed up because they wanted to do their share in helping to replace trees.
The time to distribute was set up for a Sunday morning because it was felt that would be the least busy time since the Township offices were closed. Nothing was open but the police and fire departments. It was my shift that Sunday morning and one of the officers on duty and I watched with keen interest as people started coming into our back parking lot. They were coming in droves and coming in big rigs. Dump trucks, stake trucks, pickup trucks, vans and station wagons with huge trailers. Each of them would report to me and ask where they could pick up their trees. Most of them were picking up 250 but some were picking up 500 or more. They would ask if they should back their rigs up to the garage door to make loading easier. Stifling laughter, we would advise them to check in at the garage first before they moved their vehicles. We watched as they walked into the garage and came out carrying a flat with all 250 trees in it; this flat could easily fit in the trunk of an ordinary car.
As time went on it became more and more ridiculous, then it turned into hilarious. The officer and I could barely contain ourselves with each huge truck pulling in. After a while we felt almost......but not quite.....ashamed of ourselves. We tried so very hard to maintain ..... to at least offer some semblance of professionalism but we would collapse in gales of laughter after each person went out the door and headed toward the garage. We held our sides as we watched them get back in their huge rigs with only a small flat in their hands. The looks on their faces was absolutely priceless. Oh I know it was an honest mistake. When you hear the term, 500 trees....you immediately think BIG.
Its been 30 some years since that happened and I still smile a crooked little smile when I think about it. Whenever I see that same officer and ask if anyone needs to pick up any trees we both burst out laughing. I've often wondered how big those trees are now if the poor little things survived. I'm in no way making fun of the people who plant trees for our environment or for any other reason.....God Bless them. I'm just making fun of the situation......I guess its one of those things where you just had to be there to get the full extent of how funny it all was. It sure did put smiles on our faces for a very long time.