Know Before You Go

I know before I go…into the woods so dark and deep.

But there is nothing more natural then peeing on a tree!

Course, I have the wrong parts….so I end up peeing on my feet!

Unlike in the U.S., where it is forbidden by law, in Europe it’s not rare to see a man standing to pee at the side of the road, or even at a tree in the city. Less common but not unheard of is a woman hovering behind bushes with her pants down. Some might wonder what the flora has to say about all that. The artist Friedrich Karl Waechter surely considered this when he created his piece Pinkelbaum, or Peeing Tree.

As part of the Frankfurt art initiative Komische Kunst (Funny Art), the artwork is installed in an old maple tree. A plaque near the tree reads (translated from German): “For 300 years I was pissed at, starting today I piss back.” 

Just walking towards it, the tree looks very innocent, but once you get closer, there it is: the passerby is hit by a stream of “pee.” Most people, after recovering from the shock, find it quite funny.

The tree is located at the side of the way around the little lake Jacobiweiher, near the Oberschweinstiege, one of Frankfurt’s nature areas. The pee stream breaks only in winter for a short time. The Pinkelbaum is still there, but it does not pee, to prevent damage by frost. 

Know Before You Go

The “Pinkelbaum” can be reached by a short walk along the small lake “Jacobiweiher”, close to the Restaurant “Oberschweinsstiege”.

It can be reached by Trolley Car No. 17, get out at the sorp “Oberschweinstiege”.

If you come by car, there are two parkings along the “Oberschweinstiegeschneise”, one at the crossing with “Isenburger Schneise”, the other at the crossing with “Darmstädter Landstrasse”.Visit Germany with Atlas Obscura Trips

a Word about Disability

Christy Brown (5 June 1932 – 7 September 1981) was an Irish writer and painter who had cerebral palsy and was able to write or type only with the toes of one foot. His most recognized work is his autobiography, titled My Left Foot 

Part of the problem with the word ‘disabilities’ is that it immediately suggests an inability to see or hear or walk or do other things that many of us take for granted. But what of people who can’t feel? Or talk about their feelings? Or manage their feelings in constructive ways? What of people who aren’t able to form close and strong relationships? And people who cannot find fulfillment in their lives, or those who have lost hope, who live in disappointment and bitterness and find in life no joy, no love? These, it seems to me, are the real disabilities.

My Analyst Told Me

Twisted/Annie Ross Annabelle Short / Wardell Gray

Mae West/Diane Arbus photographer

My analyst told me that I was…right out of my head.
The way he described it?
He said, I’d be better dead than live.
I didn’t listen to his jive! I knew all along that he was all wrong.
And, I knew that he thought I was crazy! But I’m not!
My analyst told me that I was right out of my head!
He said, I’d need treatment!

But I’m not that easily led!
He said, I was the type that was most inclined…
when out of his sight to be out of my mind!

And he thought I was nuts…no more ifs or ands or buts.
They say as a child, I appeared a little bit wild. With all my crazy ideas.
But I knew what was happening. I knew I was a genius.
What’s so strange when you know that you’re a wizard at three?
I knew that this was meant to be. Now I heard little children were supposed to sleep tight. That’s why I got into the vodka one night. My parents got frantic, didn’t know what to do!
But I saw some crazy scenes before I came to.
Now do you think I was crazy?
I may have been only three but I was swinging. They all laugh at angry young men. They all laugh at Edison. And also at Einstein.
So why should I feel sorry, If they just couldn’t understand?
The idiomatic logic that went on in my head.
I had a brain…it was insane.
Oh, they used to laugh at me when I refused to ride on all those double decker buses. All because there was no driver on the top.
My analyst told me that, I was right out of my head.

But I said, dear doctor, I think that it’s you instead.

Because I have got a thing that’s unique and new. To prove it I’ll have the last laugh on you! ‘Cause instead of one head I got two! And you know…two heads are better than one.

Diane Arbus/What I do