10/18/2010 05:09 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

If a Tree Falls in Los Angeles, This Is the Sound it Makes

Several months ago, a large portion of a giant, city-owned carob tree fell across the road in front of our house, exposing a massive beehive. The bulk of the towering, dying tree still looms precariously over our house. I spoke to the City of Los Angeles today. For your enjoyment, I tried to get it all down:

CITY of LA: We have no record in our system of anyone calling about this tree.
ME: Really, we've been calling about this tree repeatedly for two years. Most specifically for the last few months.
CITY: Nobody has called here.
ME: We've called about the bees and the tree many times.
CITY: Someone named Ellen called about the bees in June.
ME: So someone did call.
CITY: Yes, and we dealt with it in June.
ME: You dealt with it last week after she threatened legal action.
CITY: Not according to our records.
ME: What about the tree?
CITY: Nope. Nobody has called here.
ME: Unbelievable.
CITY: I'm sure it's unbelievable to you but nobody has called here. Not since 6/6/08.
ME: Someone called you in June of 08?!
CITY: Yes, a Michael Seitzman
ME: That's ME! What did I call about?
CITY: That the tree in front of your house needed to be pruned immediately.
ME: Are you serious?
CITY: Yes.
ME: What else did I say?
CITY: That it was in danger of falling.
ME: Oh. I see. Well, IT FELL! A big part of it, anyway.
CITY: Well no one has told us that.
ME: Yes, we did. You had a crew come out and move it to the side of the road.
CITY: Not according to our records.
ME: Trust me, they came and they said they'd be back to remove the debris and take down the tree because it is in danger of falling.
CITY: Yes, I see now. We removed it.
ME: No you didn't.
CITY: But you said we came.
ME: Yes, and piled the debris at the side of the road. It takes up five parking spaces. We need it removed and the rest of the tree looked at.
CITY: We don't hire people for that.
ME: I don't want you to hire people.
CITY: Well, what do you want?
ME: To have an expert look at it.
CITY: We don't have experts. We can send an arborist.
ME: An arborist? You mean a tree expert?
CITY: Yes.
ME: Oh my God.
CITY: Please don't use profanity.
ME: Are you serious?
CITY: Sir, how can I help you?
CITY: Okay. Here is your confirmation number...
ME: Are they coming out?
CITY: I don't know. This is just a call center.