I've been camping countless times in the forest -- as one does -- and without fail, there's always plenty of wood just lying around.
Plenty of concrete might indicate that, perhaps, you've somehow pitched a tent in Pittsburgh. But in the forest, there's definitely wood. Lots of it. Everywhere.
That's how forests work, and it's actually the first question in their job interview.
"Do you make wood?"
"Lots of wood?"
"Congratulations. You are a forest. Here is your bear."
Yet, despite all the trees, at no point in my many outdoor adventures have I ever consider whipping out a saw and hauling back a medium-sized log with the intention of selling it to sheltered city folk as an ironic, rustic home furnishing.
That would just be ridiculous.
Which is why -- of course -- a furniture store exists in Toronto where they've literally price-tagged a plain stump of wood for $98 Canadian. Which, these days, counts as real money!
Mind you, this stump -- which isn't intricately carved or decorated or manipulated in any way from its natural form -- will not charge your iPhone, it won't make you an omelet, and I'm pretty sure it doesn't come with Netflix.
It's just a stump. And it costs $98 (that's $94.84 in American dollars).
I first learned of this uber-log the other day when, prior to a work trip to Canada, I was searching Reddit for popular and unusual topics relating to Toronto. Almost immediately, I found a link to a photo of the log with the topic headline, "I submit proof that Toronto is the Hipster Capital of the Universe."
Though that original post was actually created more than a month ago, it remained popular within the Toronto sub-Reddit. Thus, when I got to town I simply had to see if this thing was for real.
So, when I had a few spare minutes, I made a special trip over to DesignRepublic, a trendy little store in the heart of the city, just to have a look.
And there it was. The exact STUMP from Reddit. Only now somebody had added a "Y" to the tag so it read "STUMPY."
Perhaps this was a shout out to the animated series "Ren & Stimpy," which, when I initially saw the log online, was the very first thing that came to my head.
Back in the early 1990s, the completely warped (and brilliant) somehow-for-children's cartoon gave us a musical segment called "Log Song." It was a parody commercial where a bratty kid pines not for a bike or a video game but for a giant piece of wood.
The song ends with a jubilant cry: "Come on and get your log! Everyone needs a log!"
It was meant to be silly, of course. No kid would ever want a log over other exciting toys. Maybe a Lincoln Log if they're desperate. Or if they just really, really enjoy choking.
Either way, log appears to be making a comeback.
I spoke with a sales clerk at DesignRepublic who (quite rightfully) seemed both uneasy and taken aback by my multitude of questions regarding the stump. But I'm a serious journalist, and I needed answers. And he was the unlucky bastard who had to deal with me.
"People live far from nature," the clerk politely explained before finally conceding, "but if you live in the country, you're like, what the hell is that?"
He also enthusiastically added, "Wait till you see the new stumps we have!"