It’s a typical David and Goliath story.
Except in this case, the little guy doesn’t win.
Well, at least not at first blush.
This time, the little guy tried to outdo his big brother but got knocked down in the process.
I’m talking about Montreal’s Christmas tree which is being mocked online by people around the globe.
Earlier this month, in celebration of Montreal’s 375th anniversary next year, the city decided to try and best New York’s famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree with one of its own.
Hoping to earn bragging rights to the tallest tree in North America, the city came up with a 70 foot tree.
What was intended to be a feel-good publicity stunt, ended up earning Montreal publicity, all right, but not the right kind.
The tree has been compared to an ugly Christmas sweater – so tacky it’s endearing.
The tree is leaning slightly at the top, it’s so scraggly you can see right through it, and the tree has no top because it was apparently lost in transit.
To make matters worse, the only decorations adorning the tree are tacky Canadian Tire logos to recognize the business’ sponsorship.
And to top it all off, the tree didn’t even beat out the Rockefeller staple which this year topped an impressive 94 feet.
The tree has made headlines around the world.
Even PEOPLE magazine picked up the story of Montreal’s sad Christmas tree.
And it has its own Twitter account, @SapinLaid which means ‘ugly tree’ in French.
The reaction has not been good in the Twitter-sphere with one user suggesting it looks like the tree was ‘just released from Xmas tree rehab and needs any spare change you might have for a bus ride home’ while another compared it to Charlie Brown’s lopsided tree in the popular Peanuts episode.
I have to admit the tree is pretty comical and it does make for a good laugh.
But it’s also a bit disheartening.
I’m always rooting for the underdog, the little guy.
How cool would it have been to take the title away from New York City? Even for just one year.
It makes you feel a little sorry for Montreal, and in particular the company that was hired to find and put up the tree.
Particularly when I read that Philippe Pelletier, who works for the company, was quoted as saying: “We found it very nice. We don’t pretend that it is the most beautiful tree, but it’s unique and if you look at it long enough, you will find something unique for you.”
They tried. And it was originally a nice idea and something Montrealers, and perhaps all Canadians, could get behind.
Who doesn’t like a Canada vs. USA storyline?
Especially one where Uncle Sam gets taken down a few pegs.
Maybe Montreal will still get a shot at redemption.
The city is hosting the World Junior Hockey Championship in just over a week.
Perhaps Canada will still get justice.
We’ll beat them on the scoreboard – where it matters.
And, if not, there’s always 2018.
Maybe next year at this time the story will have a different ending and I’ll be writing about the beautiful tree standing tall and proud in Montreal’s Quartier des Spectacles.
A winner that took down the legendary Rockefeller Center icon.