red leaf trees near the road

Autumnal Thoughts About Fall As Autumn Nears

As the leaves start to turn, like so many stomachs at the sight of a MAGA hat, one becomes reflective. I’m the one, by the way. I’m not saying I’m Number One or anything, it isn’t an ego thing. I just thought it would sound classier. But reading back over it, it feels maybe a little narcissistic – which isn’t a deal breaker – and a tad too mathy. Which is.

Anyway, as I, which I just realize looks like Roman numeral I, so maybe I should stick with “one.” As one (I) feels the first few crisp days and the summer ebbs, one’s thoughts start to become philosophical. After all, autumn is a season which represents change. Well, all the seasons do; that’s their defining characteristic, come to think of it. But autumn falls under that subset of things which bring about change. So here a few of my random musings I made in my own journal, strolling aimlessly along my own leafy street, in my own pants:

  • I’m hardly the first, and likely not even the third person (ones) to make this observation, but when did Pumpkin Spice become the organizing principle of fall (trigger warning: I’m going to use the words “fall ” and “autumn” interchangeably: try to keep up)? And this trend seems to gather troubling, if pleasantly scented, orange steam. This year, I found some “Pumpkin Spiced” crap (metaphorically) in AUGUST.

The answer, sadly, is all too clear: The shadowy, nefarious minions of the Big Pumpkin lobby. When I was a lad, pumpkins knew their place: arranged a other rustic artfulness on front porches and stoops or dropped off of the occasional overpass. Now, however, they have infiltrated every nook and cranny – yes, even the crannies! – of our lives between Labor Day and early December, when egg nog rears its ghastly, viscous head. One expert (me – that should have been obvious because I said “one”) has calculated that by 2030, we will have transitioned completely into a gourd-based economy. That is not a world I want to live in.

Now bear with me, as this is an emotional topic for me (one): I like to think of myself as a reasonably empathetic man. I don’t know people’s struggles, so I at least TRY to reserve judgement.

But (and I think you know where I’m going with this):

  • I have NO sympathy for Alvin and the Chipmunks’ manager. I don’t get his short fuse and frankly abusive tone.
  • Yes, Alvin is an insufferable jerk. That’s a given. He’s freaking unbearable at the best of times. But anyone who opts to manage chipmunks and steer them through the cutthroat world of the music business must expect difficulty in getting them to focus, let alone harmonize. They’re freaking chipmunks. I mean, 10 points for thinking outside the box, I guess, but you signed up for this. You let chipmunks loose in a studio, wires will be chewed and equipment destroyed. That’s part of their process. I know it’s I not strictly (or even loosely) a thought involving autumn, but it occurred to me in autumn, so. Nameless (as far as I know) chipmunk manager guy: talk to someone, please. A person.
  • The fall is, of course, when elections are held in the United States, always on a Tuesday, which makes you swell with pride at how our Founding Fathers were able to shrewdly pick the optimal day of the week to take the time to go vote. But call me old-fashioned, but one hates how political divisions have caused so many families and friendships to be torn asunder. When are we going to return to the traditional American values of having families and friends ripped apart by chronic alcoholism, infidelities, and the occasional pack of marauding hobos ? Ah, simpler times. No going back, I fear. Much like fall itself, as the leaves turn copper-hued and the late afternoon air is suffused with a honey-colored glow, we know we can’t return to the verdant summer, and instead must watch helplessly as everything around us dies.

Yikes, that sentence took a real sharp turn at the end. Apologies, I (in this case, the I is the Roman Numeral I) am as appalled as you about the mordant tone it took. On the other hand, if you stuck with this post past the marauding hobos part, you had to expect the occasional dark diversion.

  • It’s early yet, but it’s looking more and more like my investment in a truckload of “Sexy Rudy Giuliani” Halloween costumes will likely not yield the level of profit I was promised by the nice toothless gentleman who sold it to me beneath that underpass.
  • And when did Halloween become so commercialized? It used to be all about the druid-based belief that all hell would spring from its shadowy netherworld and reign in cruelty for one day of darkness (or the druid equivalent of hell. Honestly, I don’t know if it’s druid-based. It’s likely not, now that I think about it, seeing as its name comes from the fact the next day is All Saints Day). It used to be about unbridled terror and communion with unholy. Now it’s become all about hoarding candy and dressing up as M&M’s or football players, or, to a far lesser degree than I had hoped, Sexy Rudy Giulianis.
  • So this year, let’s try to keep the Anti-Christ in Halloween.
  • As the nights grow longer and colder, it’s clear to me, as it must be to you by now, that one’s meds need adjusting.

8 thoughts on “Autumnal Thoughts About Fall As Autumn Nears

    1. Speaking about commercialization of Halloween, when I was a child (I know, a long ago) in Europe we didn’t celebrate it at all. It’s only in the recent, well at least 20-30 years, that Halloween started as a tradition. And it started immediately with commercials. Beautiful and funny insights Jack (you choose which one).

  1. Pumpkin spice? Ugh! I detest pumpkin-flavored anything but it’s good for the farmers. People are actually consuming them more.

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