01x16 - Tree of Strife

(Wind gusting)

(Thud)

Aah! Holy crap!

Eve, honey, look, if you don't want people to think you're a tomboy, then maybe you shouldn't talk like an auto mechanic.

(Laughs) Hey, I'm just saying, this freakin' wind deserves a little more than a "wow."

Ho-ho! Holy crap!

Nice. Nice. Where did you girls get your eloquence?

(Wind howling)

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa!

Whoa. That wind is blowing like a mother--

Mike!

Sorry. Just saying.

We couldn't be more secure, though.

'Cause this little piggy made his house out of brick.

You know, Boyd is actually sleeping through this?

That's 'cause he trusts his grandpa to take care of things.

He shows that trust by snoring and peeing in those pull-ups.

Ooh. I should get the candles ready. (Electricity hums)

Why do you get the candles ready?

The generator's all gassed up.

Yeah, just like its owner.

You're the one that makes Brussels sprouts.

Oh, my God. Daddy, I'm so scared.

It's gonna be just fine.

Aw, come on, Mandy.

We've huddled through bigger storms than this.

But Kim Kardashian is on her book tour.

She could be on a plane right now, and the thought of her bouncing around up there just terrifies me.

Isn't the thought of her bouncing around what made her famous in the first place?

You guys, Kim has been through so much lately, but I wouldn't expect you to understand.

And... we don't.

Dad, how would you feel if your precious Tim Tebow was flying in this weather?

I'm sure he'd be fine. If the airplane got in trouble, he could just carry the plane to safety on his back.

Those trees look like they're about to come down.

She's never gotten the better of your dad.

What about when the pipes froze and burst and flooded the cabin?

Ah, that was Mr. Nature.

That big one near the street looks like it could go at any second.

Look. That's a city tree. I've trimmed that, too.

Come on. Look, guys, we're all right.

We're in our own house. We couldn't be safer.

(Crunching)

(Gasps)

Ooh, whoa, whoa.

(Branches creaking)

(All scream)

(Wind howling)

Holy crap!

Last Man Standing - S01E16 Tree of Strife
Original air date February 7, 2012

Can't believe that guy from the city's already here.

They usually make you wait all day.

Yeah, well, dad said he saw the nest of an endangered spotted owl in the tree.

So if a taxpayer's property is damaged, they can wait all day, but if a precious bird is in jeopardy?

"Oh, we'll get right on that."

(Sighs) Government!

It's like a Mike Baxter with pigtails.

Good news. You guys, Kim is safely on the ground in Vegas.

(Gasps) Thank God.

Right on schedule for her trip...

(Singsongy) To the Cherry Hill mall in Denver.

Well, maybe you can stop at a bookstore and pick up something interesting to read.

Oh, mama, when are you gonna give up on me?

So, guys, you only have one chance to make a first impression, so when I meet Kim, should I recite my haiku or my limerick?

Let's hear 'em! Okay.

(Clears throat) Haiku first...

"Beauty, in and out.

"Defining class, grace, and style.

Kim Kardashian."

That's--that's good, Mandy.

That's good. Yeah. Okay. Or...

Should I go with the limerick? Ready? Um... (Clears throat)

Okay. "The fairest of Kardashian Lasses, "Kim K. Brought style to the masses.

"She did it with flair and a toss of her hair and one of the world's most spectacular--"

(all) The haiku!

So I don't see the nest of any near-threatened species.

Good hustle getting over here, though.

So what seems to be the issue?

(Chuckles)

Uh...

Well...

What do you say we, uh, take a guess?

Gotta do it in a hurry, 'cause I gotta get to work, earn some money so I can pay your salary.

Well, first things first, mister, uh...

Baxter.

Baxter, yes.

Article II, section 57-17-- a "tree" shall mean any perennial Woody plant, usually, but not necessarily single-stemmed and long-lived, with a height greater than overall spread.

Check.

Wow. So we--we have established that this is a tree?

Yeah. Check.

Right. Uh-huh.

And as a tree, per the recent council motion, the city is absolved of all fiscal responsibility.

The city voted not to be responsible for city trees?

Not fiscally responsible.

Are you emotionally responsible?

You know, this is actually very lucky.

Is it?

Yeah. I mean, no one was hurt, right?

Plus this black Walnut shows signs of thousand cankers disease.

I got that in a locker room once. Ever had that?

It's very itchy.

Not really much of a sportsman myself.

No kiddin'.

Anywho, in accordance with article II, section 57-21 relating to the removal of dead and dangerous trees, you're gonna need to chop down this black Walnut.

It's a hazard.

This is the hazard. There's nothing wrong with that one.

Yes, there is, see?

Well, you just made my tree a hazard by checking it.

Yeah. Well, now it's official.

If you'd like to appeal the decision, you can always come down and appear before the city forestry board.

I'm kind of the chairman of that board. (Chuckles)

You know, I'd, uh, I'd rather have my left nut caught in a car door.

Okeydokey.

I'm gonna go ahead and put you down as waiving your right to appeal.

Walk me through this, all right? Sure.

So the city's not gonna be responsible for one of your trees that fell on my yard, but you want me to cut down my tree on my yard?

Oh, sir. You're not gonna make this difficult, are you?

Why don't we ask the building inspector who's decomposing in my crawl space?

Have a good one.

(Ed) Hey, Mike, what's up?

You're usually the first one in here.

Oh, I spent the morning dealing with the city bureaucrat.

I've had prostate exams that were more comfortable.

There's no more soul-crushing adversary than the man.

"The man"?

Yeah.

What are you, a Black Panther?

Oh, yeah.

Briefly. It was the '60s.

Well, "the man" wants me to remove a tree from my own yard.

Oh, all right. Let me guess. Now you love that tree because it symbolizes the growth of your family.

I couldn't give a duck fart about that stupid tree.

I just don't like the man telling me what I can and can't do on my own property.

Yeah, I understand.

Well, that means you've got to fight.

Not that book. Don't bring that book out.

Using the principles of "The Art of War" by... Sun Tzu!

That's just for ancient Chinese warriors.

Oh, really? Really? How about when Ted's tackle box threatened to open a store a mile from us, huh?

Listen, I used the tactic on page 37 right here.

Is that in Chinese?

The point is I bribed the realtor to sell us the lot, remember?

(Grunts) Because all war is deception.

Right, right.

According to the great Sun Tzu.

It's a cliche, but there's gotta be a way that we can fight city hall.

All right, you can use your agility against their clumsy, ponderous size.

It's guerilla warfare, man.

You know, as much as I'd like to grab an assault rifle, paint myself green, go in the mountains, this is happening in my suburban front lawn, my friend.

They--they move slow. They move--I got it.

They move fast.

Don't say it again. Don't say it again.

This is to your infinite advantage according to the great Sun Tzu! (Crack)

(Groans)

Wow.

I heard something let go, man.

No, no, just-- okay.

(Clicking)

Oh. I always loved this tree.

Yeah.

Remember when I hit my head on the low branch and got 15 stitches?

Or when I fell out of the tire swing and broke my wrist?

Yeah, so many incredible memories.

Guys, it's just a tree.

Honey.

Yeah, but this is the first tree I kissed a boy under.

Oh, my God. Me, too.

(Both) Jake Borelli.

Classy.

Nobody's gonna cut this tree down. You know why?

'Cause they're bureaucrats, and the only thing they can do quickly is give themselves a raise.

Mr. Baxter!

Dad, it's the government.

The city is acting in accordance with article 2, section 57-21-- listen, we have an document we'd like to present.

How about the bill of rights?

Yeah, maybe you've heard of the fourth amendment?

Yeah, well, that protects against searching and seizing, not, uh, not sawing.

Hey, hey, do you even care that this tree's been a part of our family and grown up with us over the years?

What do you think?

Take it down.

(All) Wait, wait, wait, wait.

Wait, wait. Do you have an H-SR219 form?

Uh... well...

You do know you're required to show proof that this action won't have a deleterious effect on the soil.

(Chuckles) Yeah, deleterious.

Suck it!

Easy! Hey, hey.

What are you, some kind of a geologist?

Yeah, the worst kind-- a geologist with a bad attitude and nothing to lose.

All right. You're right. You win this round, but we'll be back with an H-SR219, and then this tree is coming down.

You do that.

Wow. (Chuckles)

"A geologist with a bad attitude and nothing to lose."

That's your mom talkin'.

(Clicks teeth) Damn straight.

Yeah. What are we gonna do when he comes back with an H-SR219?

(Sighs)

Tell you what we we're gonna do. I told you girls always fight for what you believe in, right? We're Baxters. We don't give up.

I say we fight this in city hall.

Honey, I thought you didn't care about the tree.

I don't.

Right.

But I care about the people that care about the tree.

Aw, daddy!

All right, all right, all right.

That's enough, that's enough, that's enough.

Little bit more.

(Girls cooing)

(Mike laughs)


(Eve) Okay, we're ready.

All right, Eve. What are you gonna do?

I am circulating an online petition.

That's a great idea.

Oh, I signed one of those once. Yeah.

Didn't have quite the effect on the Taliban we'd hoped.

All right, Kris, what are you gonna do?

Okay, well, I'm gonna call the local environmental group, 'cause I wanna see if we can get, like, a big group of people together for a tree sit-in.

I like trees. I don't like tree huggers.

Let's not do that.

Shoot for the emotions.

Get an emotional appeal somehow.

Okay, you know what? I've got a great idea.

Great. Great, great.

All right, Mandy? Um...

I'm kinda spending tomorrow with my new best friend, Kim Kardashian, so...

You're never going to be friends with a Kardashian, not even rob.

(Singsongy) Hater alert!

Raising my shields. (Imitates doors closing)

Blocking it out.

Honey, what are you gonna do?

I am gonna go dig up some dirt.

Ah, blackmail city officials. I like it.

No, I'm gonna actually dig dirt, get soil samples.

Wanna help?

Oh, yeah. I'd like to.

I didn't think so.

(Indistinct conversations)

(Crowd screaming and cheering)

(Panting)

Hi. (Chuckles)

What's your name?

Fandy! I'm your biggest man.

Oh, my God. Kim, Kim, seriously, you look so beautiful.

Thanks, Fandy.

Can I give you a hug?

Sure. I could use one.

Oh, my God! I'm gonna give Kim Kardashian a hug! I rule!

Oh, my God! I'm so sorry! Oh, God.

It's okay. Don't worry about it.

No, I'm sorry. Um, we're still doing the hug, though, right?

Now I'm thinking no hug.

I'm not leaving till I hug you. No, sir. Sir!

Please take your hands off of me!

No, Kim, listen. I wrote you two poems.

Hey! One is a haiku! It's really, really short!

(Mandy) Kim, I love you!

(Camera shutter clicks)

(Motor revving)

Whoo! Mike Baxter here for Outdoor Man, cruising across the Colorado terrain in my A.T.V.

That's right. It's the 900 series reaper.

Lot of power in this baby. Thank God.

Look at that! See ya, suckers! (Laughs)

That's right. It's an A.T.V.

The government wants to call it an S.T.V.-- a some terrain vehicle-- tell you where you're supposed to drive it.

You're not allowed to drive it on public roads.

Why? Well, 'cause frankly, it's not that safe.

Good call on that one, man.

Yeah, the man--always wants to tell you where and when you can do things. When do they cross the line?

(Shuts motor off)

You know when they cross the line?

When they get into private property.

The man shouldn't be telling me what to do on my private property.

Heck, I don't tell him where his bridges to nowhere should go.

(Motor resumes revving)

Where's the end of this thing?

Oh, right there!

But out here on my private property, he can't tell me what to do 'cause he can't find me.

Damn! It's the man! Always got the cool stuff!

But they'll never take me alive!

See ya, guys! Buh-bye!

(Grunts)

(Click)

A little more unhinged than usual, Mike?

It's bureaucrats. I can't--

I just can't handle it.

Look, Mike, I know you're upset with the city, but now more than ever it's time to invoke the bend-but-don't-break strategy.

Another great slogan from the famous philosopher Sun Tzu.

Forget Sun Tzu. I googled him.

It turned out that China lost a lot of wars after he wrote his books.

Okay, up next is... Michael Baxter.

Good, good. Okay, girls. Let's go. Go, go.

Whew. Eve, honey. Wait. Get up.

Eve, honey. Get up. What is she doing?

Hold on. Tebowing. Need all the help we can get.

Okay, honey. I think he heard you.

Ahh. Here's a online petition in support of our tree.

Oh, well, good for you. It is great to see a young person showing some initiative, although it will have no bearing on this process.

So I wasted my time?

No. No, not at all, because I have a button here for you with a picture of our state flower. (Laughs)

It's all right. Come... You. You...

Go on.

I'd like to read a passage from a book that talks about the impact of a single tree--

"The Giving Tree" by Shel Silverstein.

Aha. And don't they cut down that tree in the end?

Withdrawn.

(Under breath) Dad!

What? I never finished the book.

I read. She always fell asleep in bed.

I don't even know how the book ends. (Speaks indistinctly)

I didn't mean to do-- uh, your honor, uh, I have done my own geotechnical soil survey.

Ooh! Here we go.

And, uh, in our yard, we are dealing with the parent material of glacial outwash, which is a coarser soil than glacial till.

Now the health of our soil is greatly enhanced by the roots of our trees.

Hmm. And each layer of soil is called a horizon, and I have conducted tests at four different boring depths.

Yes, boring depths. Well, mission accomplished.

(Mouths words)

Ma'am, the city takes no joy in removing this tree, but if we made an exception here, we'd have to do it for everybody.

Yeah. And then you know what'd happen.

Next thing you know, the city would be covered in... trees.

Unless you have anything else to add, we will be moving on to Vivienne Wilson.

Just a second, just a second. What we're trying to get at here is we planted this tree shortly after we moved in the house, so we--we picnicked under this tree, and my--my youngest daughter here has broken a lot of bones falling out of that tree, and--and my other two daughters made out with the same boy under that tree.

Not at the same time. I didn't say at the same time.

It makes me look bad. I did it first. It doesn't--it doesn't-- it doesn't matter. That Borelli kid-- (Speaking at once)

The point is...

Yes?

If you cut down that tree, it's not cutting a tree down.

It's like removing a member of our family.

Hmm. Well, thank you, Mr. Baxter.

Your speech is very persuasive.

Not persuasive enough, I guess.

Hmm. But on the positive side, its gonna be a lot brighter in my den.

Did Lady Gaga wear a catcher's mitt on her head to a funeral?

We've got the pictures.

But first, how meeting Kim Kardashian proved to be too much for one excitable fan in Denver.

No. No, Shaun Robinson, no!

Yes! I'm going in to hug Kim Kardashian, you guys!

Oh, my God! Wow. So sorry.

Wow. No, it's fine, it's fine.

(TV turns off)

Gosh, Mandy's been through a lot.

We should watch upstairs so her bummed-out attitude doesn't make us feel weird for laughing.

Let's go.

(Doorbell rings)

(Sighs)

Surprise.

(Gasps)

(Whispers) My angel.

No, it's just me.

And I brought a small film crew.

Uh, oh, my God.

(Gasps) You-- you're in my house.

Well, my producer thought it would make good TV if we locate the clumsy poet from the mall so I can console her.

Um, how did you find me?

It wasn't hard.

As my security was dragging you out, you were screaming, "hello! Don't you know who I am?

My father's Outdoor Man!"

(Laughs) Oh, no.

Um... (Whispers) Are they filming right now?

Who?

What do you mean, who? The...

Oh, them?

You stop noticing after a while.

Oh. I'm totally not camera-ready.

Oh, no, yes, you are.

Are you kidding me, with this skin of yours?

(Chuckles)

Oh, my God. I'm getting such a hit of what it must be like to be your sister right now, and it is awesome.

Well, hey. Life knocks us all down every once in a while, but it's what you do when you get back up that really matters.

Come here.

(Whispers) I love you so much.

You're gonna be fine.

Well, you don't understand what I've been through.

I-I've been publicly humiliated.

Do you even know what's that like?

When I feel like I'm the butt of the joke, you know what gives me strength?

A silk bag full of money?

Sometimes. (Chuckles)

But it's family. They'll always be there for you, and you always have to be there for them.

You're so wise.

You got that, right?

Well, Fandy, it was so nice meeting you.

Oh, my God. You, too.

If you ever come to California, you have to come see me.

Oh, my God. That's amazing. Can I get your number?

Okay, then. See you soon.

Okay! Bye, guys.

(Singsongy) See you soon! See you in California!

(Squeals)

Wow, honey, why are you so happy?

Because I love my family so much.

Oh.

And it took an angel to teach me that.

Mandy, honey?

Mandy, get back here! Are your pupils dilated?

Hey, guys.

Hey.

Hey.

Hey, dad.

Oh.

What's that?

Well, according to city code 57-15, this is, in fact, a tree.

This is a little baby black Walnut, and we're gonna plant this right out in front of the house.

Aw.

Oh, now, now, now don't get all excited.

It's gonna be a long time before any of you can kiss a boy under that tree.

Yeah, next time, make it a different boy.

I did it first.

I did it better.

Guys!

Wow.

Do you realize dad is right here?

(Girls speak indistinctly)

Listen, here's the situation.

We may have lost this battle, but we didn't lose our spirit.

Yeah. So here's what we're gonna do. We're gonna plant this little baby out in front of the house, and if the man comes out here and dares to cut this down...

Mm?

What we're gonna do--we're gonna just plant another one.

If he comes back a second time, you're on your own, because literally, it's just a tree, and I got stuff to do.