Welcome to the greatest competition the Southern Hemisphere has ever seen.
Neighbor John took us out a few weeks ago to see what he called “South Australia’s biggest eucalyptus tree.” Neighbor Scottie took issue with that assessment and said he knew of an even bigger one.
I was tired of hearing them bicker back and forth, so I proposed that we round up a tape measure, then drive out and measure both trees to settle the argument once and for all.
Neither John nor Scottie trusted each other to conduct the measuring process with an unbiased eye, so I was invited to be the Impartial Arbiter of Eucalyptus Girth. It is an honor and I will do my best to live up to the trust they have placed in me.
Here are the competitors (Scottie on the left, John on the right). Both worthy. Both with outstanding credentials. Both girded for the greatest confrontation since Muhammed Ali met Joe Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila.
First we drove out to Collingrove Road to measure the tree John claimed was the biggest in South Australia. As I’ve told you before, he was the Angaston town doctor for fifty years and visited every part of the Barossa while making his rounds. Hence his confidence.
Then we drove all the way across the valley to Steingarten Road to see and measure the tree Scottie insisted was the biggest in the state. Scottie was the valley’s leading realtor for many years. So he has visited, walked, and sold almost every piece of property as part of his duties. Hence his confidence.
The final measurements?
John’s eucalyptus tree measured a massive 31 feet 9 inches in circumference. Scottie’s measured an even more massive 34 feet 6 inches.
Game. Set. Match. Scottie.
Sadly, John has not taken his humiliating defeat well. He seems to have become a shattered, broken man since the results were announced, a shell of his once confident self. I fear for his mental and physical well-being.
Sad to see such a vibrant young man wither away in such a tragic way.