I’m on my way to work but have a little time to kill. I decide to stroll through Chadwick Arboretum. It’s a clear day. I have a couple hours before work. The arboretum is sparsely populated today. I think I’m the only human present, actually. Plenty of birds and squirrels darting and flitting about. I go to my favorite tree there. The redwood. It brings to mind my childhood in California. All those hours spent climbing trees of this nature. I’m tempted to climb this one, but I remember that she’s not mine to climb and I move on. I round the nice path about fifty yards and come to a tree that looks like it could pass for the tree of life. So full and gorgeous. I also notice an old friend petting said tree and surprise him with a tackle hug from behind!
Above: Chadwick Arboretum
G – (startled) I am Groot!
LV – Ha! I know! I couldn’t resist! How ya been? Ya tree huggin’ lug!
G – (satisfactory) I am Groot
LV – Speaking of tree hugging… Aren’t you petting the wrong tree?
He’s a bit embarrassed. He scratches the branches on his head. Nervously eats a leaf he’s just sprouted from his shoulder and responds.
G -I am Groot?
LV – Nah. Don’t worry about it. I won’t tell her. I know you guys aren’t technically committed but she gets jealous anyway… How’s your wrestling career going?
G – I AM GROOT!
LV – Again?! Rocket can’t help himself. Can he? You’d think he’d have learned. You were undefeated! How many matches has he cost you, now?
G – I am Grrrroot.
LV – (laughing) Wow. Really? He did that for you? I always said. “There’s nobody cooler than Rocket.” Except possibly Star Lord. Where IS Rocket, anyway? You two are usually inseparable.
G – I am Groot
LV – Well I could use a drink, too. You know what? I’m going to see if my dude Adam’ll cover me today. It IS Sunday after all. We’re slow on Sundays. Should we go meet him?
G – I am Groot!
LV – Cool. Where’s he at?
G – I am Groot
LV – Ohhhhhh! I know that place! I just conducted an interview there with Leanne!
G – I am Groot
LV – Figures… At least he’s got good taste! Let’s go!
G – I am Groot
LV – Oh! Sure… I’ll just be over there on the bench, buddy. Take your time. I’ll call Adam and make sure he can cover me today.
I walk over to the bench to make my call while Groot says goodbye to his lady friend. It really is a beautiful day out. I call my fellow bartender, Adam Duncan, and he can indeed cover for me. We chat about work for a bit. I remind him to pick up oranges for garnishing drinks and we say our goodbyes. I chance a look back and notice Groot still petting the top of the tree of life. I figure I got time for another call, so I dial.
LV – Hey! What’s up, big guy? Why didn’t you tell me you were in town?
Rocket – Lord Veil? (Said with sarcasm and disbelief) Holy nebula Crap! How ya been? Where are ya? I think I need the Veil magic up in here. Not making any headway with this chick!
LV – Leanne at Local Bar? I think she’s engaged?
R – Nooooooo. She’s off today. Some other dame. Where are ya? Ya close?
LV – Yaaaaaa, I’m at the Chadwick Arboretum with Groot. He’s over there petting a tree. You know how he is…
R – Ooh! He’s sooooo busted! (Laughing maniacally) Wait till SHE finds out!
LV – Your not gonna…
R – How can I resist? This is too good!
LV – Rocket! They’re not even together, man! (Laughing because I know Rocket’s going to tell her anyway. Just to see what happens)
R – I know that. You know that. And GROOT knows that. He’s never even sent the wrong signal! You know him. All purity and light. But SHE thinks bark-face belongs to her! She’s gonna flip! It’s just how some girls get around him. If he were just a little more worldly he’d probably be as bad as you, me or Star Lord. Then he’d have no trouble dealing with clingy broads.
LV – So, your saying that by telling her and making him awkwardly deal with her jealousy you’re helping him?
R – Nah. It’s just fun! It’s his own fault, anyway! He should never hung out in the DC Universe in the first place! Stay put, LV. I got the ship on the roof. I’ll come get ya. Just don’t tell Groot I’m coming. I wanna see the look on his face when I bust him! (Laughing to himself before disconnecting)
I can’t help but chuckle as I chance a glance over at Groot as he pets this beautiful tree. In seconds the ship is there and Rocket’s voice is booming over an exterior speaker.
R – Caught ya!
Rocket’s so quick exciting the ship he’s practically a blur. A camera phone flashes from nowhere and snaps a picture of Groot petting this tree. Groot looks startled and desperately exclaims,
G – I AM GROOT!!!
R – (in an inescapably endearing tone) What? I can’t help it. It already sent, buddy! I’m sorry! Nothin’ I can do!
G – Iamgroot… (Sorrily said while pout-walking into the ship with Rocket and myself trailing behind trying to stifle uncontrollable chuckles. It’s as if we’re in church and trying too hard not to be heard while chortling uncontrollably behind the palms of our hands)
R – Heyyyy. Lemme make it up to ya, Groot? Come-on, pal. Let’s hit Bob’s Bar. I’m really chill with the bartender there. Plus I might get some tail from one of the locals.
G – I am Groot.
LV – Awwwwwwww, Groot! Don’t be maaaad! (Pats him on the back)
G – I am Groot.
R – Yaaaaaa! That’s what I’m talking about!
We’re at the bar in no time and I’m excited to be having drinks with Rocket. He’s always getting us into trouble. Groot just drinks water then ends up saving the day after Rocket causes whatever ruckus he chances upon. On our way in Groot notices that rain water has collected on one of the outside tables. Groot, being Groot, decides to tip the table toward him and drink the water! He immediately gets chided for it by Rocket!
R – Come-on, buddy! Don’t drink that!
G – (Wipes mouth with arm and smiles as if he’s suddenly refreshed) I am Groot!
LV – (waving to the busy bartender) Heyyyy, Paul! Lemme get two! (Pats Rocket on the shoulder with the back of my hand) Trust me on this one.
Paul knows instantly what I want. And since Rocket bought last time, I figure I owe him one. I reach through the throngs of people inhabiting the busy little bar and slap a ten and some ones on the counter. A quick chin nod let’s Paul know the change is his as he places the beers on the counter.
P – Two Dragon’s Milks.
R – Dragon’s Milk?
LV – Ya. It’s awesome. (To Paul)Thanks, man!
We inch our way to the back where the pool tables are. I’m walking and our raccoon-looking friend, Rocket, is riding on our living tree companion, Groot. This takes us a while since its so busy with the happy hour crowd. By the time we reach the tables Rocket and I are nearly finished with our beers.
Remember when I said it’s always Rocket who gets us in trouble? Not this time! Groot gets us into a Hell of a brawl in no time! Not on purpose, of course. Groot is a gentle soul who wouldn’t hurt anyone if he didn’t have to. -Wouldn’t get on his bad side though…
Groot accidentally bumps into a big smelly guy who seems to be bullying a woman’s phone number from her.
Above: Groot the ladie’s tree!
Burly Customer (obviously not a regular here) – Outta my way! You frikkin tree-fag!
G – I am Groot
C – I don’t give a f@#k WHO you are! Touch me again, I’m turning you to tinder! Rocket hops down from Groot’s shoulder just before this bruiser pushes Groot back a couple steps.
R – I’m sorry, a-hole. Did you just threaten my friend?
C – (to no one in particular) Awwwwwwww. Ain’t that sweet? Little rodent b!#@h has ta fight the tree fag’s battles!
I step up to get involved just as the jerk knees Rocket out of the way! Groot has had enough. A split second before I have a chance to smash this meatball’s head with my beer glass Groot has extended his arm branches and sent the attacker flying against the opposite wall! This jerk has ten friends with him! They’re certainly not Bob’s Bar regulars. Their the usual rowdy lot from across the street, but their bar is currently closed for inventory! They’ve been here for two hours basically terrorizing the laid back usuals who regularly inhabit this bar.
The pool room explodes in a flurry of fists, branches, knees and pool cues! Rocket has just scrambled to his feet. I get smacked on the back with a stick and knocked forward into the guy who thinks he’s got Groot in a choke hold. I inadvertently take him down as Rocket leaps and claws the face of my assailant! Once Rocket has his guy down he jumps atop the pool table and dumps a bunch of metal knicks and knacks from his backpack.
Groot and I are fighting back to back. I’m getting pounded by three guys but I’m not backing down. Instead, I’m laughing at then as I take their best punches. Groot’s extended his arms into a wall of branches and is holding back four guys as the rest of our attackers scramble to their feet for round two. A loud report shocks everyone into complete stillness.
It’s Rocket! He’s a genetically engendered raccoon looking genius who has just fashioned the largest multi-barreled blaster rifle anyone has ever seen and is now pointing it at the people, wannabe bikers, who decided they could beat up on us for no reason.
R – You got two choices! LEAVE! Or I stun the lot of yaz into drooling IDIOTS worse than the ones ya already are!
LV – (I’m a people person so I loudly offer another option) OR choice number three! THAT drooling idiot (points to the smell-blob who starts the fight) apologizes to us and the rest of you by the first three rounds!
G – IIIIIII AAAAAAMMMM GRRRROOT!!!
C – …alright…. sorry…
LV – Paul? Two quad-shots of your best whiskey and a pitcher of water for Groot?
P – Coming right up!
We’re all smashed and laughing about the fight in no time. Rocket ends up in the lap of the chick the bully biker was hitting on. Groot tries to replant pieces of broken pool cues and I’m trying to conduct random interviews, but failing miserably since my only manner of speech at the moment comes in slurs. All in all it was a typical romp with my two favorite space pirates! Next time I’ll have to get a proper interview!