Mitt Romney - the dendrophile U.S. Presidental candidate from the state of Michigan - abruptly halted a campaign stop today in the neighboring state of Ohio due to his intense discomfort with the height of that state's trees.
Romney was at a campaign rally in Mill Stream Run Park in Strongsville Thursday when half way into his stump speech he began to become visibly uncomfortable as he stared into the forest beyond the crowd.
Deep into a stinging critique of Barack Obama and his "failure to lead on the economy", Romney paused unexpectedly for about fifteen seconds as he scanned the forest's horizon like a Roman sentry looking for Visigoth trebuchets before commenting to a puzzled crowd:
"I needed to take a break for about 20 minutes. That one evergreen over there was really freaking me out."
"Umm excuse me...Does anyone?... " he paused, then continued with fear in his eyes "does anyone else?... Does anyone else find thoses trees to be a little on the short side?"
"I just find it odd that no one else has said anything yet. It's very disturbing."
Then with 30 minutes still left to go in his appearance, Romney excused himself, said "god bless america" three times and left the stage.
Romney is known for his love of tree height in his homestate of Michigan, famously commenting during a primary election campaign there:
"A little history—I was born and raised here. I love the state. It seems right here. Trees are the right height"
Experts were puzzled at the time about the meaning of that phrase, pointing out that the height of a tree is dependent upon its species type and not which side of a political boundary it grows on. Yet some psychiatrists now seem convinced that Romney has some sort of PTSD-like disorder to non-Michigan trees.
"It appears he has an unnatural aversion to non- Michigan trees." says Debra Garrison, a pschiatrist at the University of Michigan medical center in Ann Arbor, "Maybe it has something to do with a childhood trauma. Maybe he fell out of a treehouse while on vacation as a young child?"
In an interview wiith reporters following the incident Romney appeared shaken, but with a grief counselor to one side and a water bottle in hand he appeared resolute to continue his campaign:
"I needed to take a break for about 20 minutes. That one evergreen over there was really freaking me out. I don't know what it is, there's just something about the trees in Michigan that make me feel myself. With these Ohio trees...I dunno. I feel like a fish out of water sometimes. I can't breathe. Its a lovely state though, and we're gonna win in November"
To avoid such mishaps in the future, the Romney campaign has created an advance team of location scouts to find campaign sites with the appropriate tree height.
Where non-Michigan trees are too tall the campaign will hire a landscaping company to cut them down to proper Wolverine-state dimensions.