A Few Helpful Hints For A Better Autumn

autumnWe finally made it.  Summer is officially over.  Once again, humanity has survived Mother Nature’s cunning plan to kill us all with soul- searing heat, mind-poaching humidity and the choking smoke of a billion barbeques.  Pat yourself on the back, folks. But don’t get complacent ’cause it ain’t over yet.  Believe it or not, there are people in this world who love summer and lament its passing.  Yes, I know: it sounds crazy, but it’s true.  Unfortunately, these folks just don’t know how to act once the temperature drops below broil.  Personally, I tolerate these misguided creatures, but many people don’t.  So, as the sun slowly fades south, if you’re still wearing flip-flops, here are a few helpful hints so that we can all live together in harmony this autumn.

If you insist on playing Christmas music before October 31st, you can be legally killed and your rotting corpse used as a Hallowe’en display.

Hallowe’en is a children’s holiday.  It’s not a Skank-a-thon.  Control yourself!

Pumpkin Spice is one of the biggest scams since Hallmark came out with Hallowe’en cards.  It isn’t even a real spice!  So, saying you’ve been waiting all year for it is like saying you’ve been waiting for Bernie Madoff to take your money.  And BTW, Pumpkin Spice potatoes, salmon and asparagus are all bullshit!

Parents, we understand you’re overjoyed that your kids aren’t hanging around the house anymore. But, folks!  You’re only driving them to school; you’re not in a race to get them the last seat on the Mars Rover!

Guys, put away the short pants.  You look ridiculous.  You’re a grown man, for God’s sake!

Likewise, women: a long woolen Harry Potter scarf with a pleated micro mini isn’t fashion: it’s a open invitation to pneumonia.

And if you’re too stupid to wear enough clothes when it’s cold, you deserve to get sick — so quit bitchin’ about it.

Also, Germbags!  If you’re sniffling, sneezing, wheezing or coughing up a lung, stay away from public transportation. That includes taxis and airplanes. (What is it with sick people?  Why do they all have this uncontrollable urge to travel?)

And a couple more words of caution — so you don’t become so annoying that regular people finally just snap and slap the crap outta ya:

It’s not necessary to announce that there are only X number of days left until Christmas — every half hour.

And, no,– I have no idea what I’m going to do for Hallowe’en.   Quit asking!

Fall Fever

fallYip all you want about Spring Fever — Fall Fever is worse.  It plays mischief in your eyes with Van Gogh colours dancing in the trees to sad 60s songs.  It rustles crisp on shuffle footsteps that leave no evening echo.  Its dim light chilly is brittle on the breeze, and it speaks in long, muffled tones.  It wears knitted scarves and fat socks and smells like hot chocolate, steaming in the afternoon air.  It aches winter but touches your face with warm summer sun, like a treacherous lover teasing its escape.

As old as I am yet to get, I will never see September without back-to-school.  Stiff new paper; pens with all the parts; blunt pencils of virgin wood, waiting to be pointed; plastic instruments with purposes so academically secret they have never been revealed.  And books.  Heavy books.  Books that told me numbers were true and always acted responsibly.  Books that showed me that some things could be proven.  Books whose gone places and dead lives taught me immortality.  And books that lied — so cleverly, so carefully, so convincingly close to me that we became friends.

These were the books that jealously wouldn’t wait to be read.  These were the after school-books.  The week-end books when the world was too cold for walking but too soon for skating.  These were the books that were finished before any teacher ever assigned them.  These were the books that turned into libraries and later, with part-time money, into dim paint peeled bookstores, dusty with promise.

Fall Fever has a serious heart.  It is what once was — coming again on the low evening light.  Every year when the sun moves south, I hear it scratching its quill pen verse on the skinny wind.  I see the words and accumulating phrases and remember the books that brought me here.  The tales that told me, showed me, explained to me why we are all just souls — single, lost and divine.  Fall Fever remembers that for me.  And it reminds me that it is the stories we tell each other that gather us together against the wind.