By Anna Rettberg
Casey Muratori
We interrupt our regularly scheduled program to bring you this special announcement.
There was a man in a tree.
Yes, you heard right. This is not a case of us resorting to grand hyperbole or outlandish metaphor. There truly was, no exaggeration, a man in a tree. Anna and I saw it with our own eyes, in person, and unless it was one of those illusions like the kind they do in Las Vegas with the billowy shirts and the excessive eyeliner, it really happened.
But what did it mean?
Here’s what happened.
Anna and I were eating lunch when we heard sirens approach. This is not all that uncommon for downtown Seattle. But what was uncommon was that the sirens stopped very nearby. And it didn’t just happen once, it happened several times.
Since this is America and the only thing we value more than privacy here is sticking our noses into other people’s business, we decided we should take a walk and see if we could find out what was going on. I grabbed the camera we use for reference photography, and Anna didn’t grab anything, because she had her cell phone and apparently thought “Shot on my iPhone 6” was going to be sufficient here. Of course I think it’s an iPhone 5, but whatever. Anyway we can all laugh at that a little bit later, but spoiler alert, it was woefully inadequate.
Once we were outside, it didn’t take long to see that there was a major fuss beginning to fustulate (definition: to self-enfuss) at one of the intersections. Several emergency vehicles had parked along each of the streets, and crowds had formed on all the corners. But there was no accident.
This was rather strange.
We approached the scene, still thoroughly confused about what was going on, until we noticed that everyone was looking upward. It was like there was a fire in one of the buildings or something  —  and there was even a fire truck with its ladder extended  —  but we couldn’t see anything like that happening. Then we overheard someone say something like, “there’s a man in the tree,” so we looked up at the only tree in that intersection  —  a giant 80-foot sequoia  —  and found, improbably, that someone had climbed all the way to the top.
Using the real, actual camera that has a camera in it that real people who want to take actual photographs use to take photographs and make movies, I recorded this video clearly illustrating the situation:
Anna also took some video with her iPhone, but of course, since it’s an iPhone and the “camera” sucks, there’s no point in showing it to you because you can’t see anything!
For the next 24 hours, there was a man in the tree.
You probably heard about it. It was national news. Hillary Clinton gave a speech here on the same day, and the local news reported that the viewers for their coverage of her speech was somewhere in the 2,000-3,000 range. Their Man in Tree coverage? Over 400,000. Note to aspiring politicians: next time you go to give a speech, consider giving it from a perch.
Anyhow, Anna and I returned to work, safe in the knowledge that the man in the tree was watching over us in a spiritual sense. When we left work for the day, we both thought it unlikely that the man in the tree would be there when we returned the next day. But he was.
And so for a brief while, the man in the tree became a sort-of Molly Rocket forest spirit, watching over our game development efforts. After that day’s lunch, when he finally decided to climb down and leave, Anna and I both felt a sort of sadness that the tree was now empty.
Thank you, Man in Tree.
If the man in the tree taught us anything, it’s that we all have an emptiness in our lives that needs filling. Because deep down inside each of us, there’s a tall tree that nobody is allowed to climb. We’ve put police tape around the bottom, and closed off that spiritual intersection to the rest of the world. But if we all just radioed to the emergency vehicles in our souls to turn off their flashing lights, take down their barricades, and let the bearded men who want to climb up our heart-trees get all the way to the top, it would be a better world for everyone.
Of course since the man in the tree was up there for a full day, obviously he pooped and peed and stuff like that. But I decided to leave that out of the extended metaphor because I thought it might ruin the mood if I was like, “Sure, the people who climb the tree in your heart will poop on it and pee on it, but it’s all biodegradable in a metaphorical sense so don’t worry about it.” I don’t know  —  feel free to throw that in there if you want.
Until next week…