Coping with Fall

(This was originally published in 2002)

Well, it’s fall again.

Yes, you can tell that Mother Nature’s Great Carnival Ride of Seasons is, though its incessant, nauseating spinning, coming around to autumn once again. Leaves are starting to litter the ground, kids are once more sent off to school, Supermarkets are starting to stock last fall’s apples, and paramilitary groups are breaking out the brown fatigues. It truly is a wondrous time of year. This is in no way meant to imply that the other seasons are somehow inadequate. All seasons are, of course, completely equal. I once wrote a column extolling the virtues of summer, and received threatening letters from such organizations as The American Autumn Council and Canadians For Extending Winter By One Month And Making It Year-Round. I really don’t want to go down that road again.

There are many clues to tell you it’s autumn, such as:

– Retail stores are clearing out the Halloween candy to make room for the Thanksgiving stuff.

– Leaves are falling from trees, genius.

– I mean, come on. Why do think it’s called “Fall?” A noticeably higher rate of ladder accidents?

– Sheesh.

Well, after you make the brilliant deduction that it is, in fact, fall, and notify the press, you may find yourself wondering, “Is there something about Scooby Doo that I just don’t get?” Assuming you can pass a drug test, the answer is yes, there is. But you may also find yourself wondering how to make the most of this fine season. Here are a few handy tips:

1. Jump into a pile of leaves. Yes, images of leaf diving abound in our culture, so it is a Good And Wholesome Thing. So, go and jump into a large pile of moldy, decaying vegetable matter. The spiders and slugs love company.

2. Taunt School Children. This one is a longtime favorite of mine. Go stand in front of an elementary school classroom’s window, and make faces at the children. Make a big deal about how you’re free to do anything you want, and reinforce the idea that being an adult means total freedom and no responsibilities. Be prepared to flee on foot when the janitor comes out waving a broom.

3. Watch TV. Fall is when the major networks launch new shows and show new episodes of old ones. So cancel all your social plans and vegetate in front of the TV. Whimper at Scott Baio’s latest comeback attempt. Enjoy the heart-pounding excitement and drama that permeates every moment of a forensic pathologists’ life. Giggle when you think of the ludicrous overabundance of forensic pathologists that will flood the workplace in about five years. Think naughty thoughts about the “Friends” actor of your choice, except for Lisa Kudrow. She’s mine.

4. Sit in the dark and think about your pathetic, meaningless life while the world seems to wilt and die around you. Then go out for tacos. Marvel at how our society can offer Mexican-like food in Canada. Wonder if Mexicans eat Canadian bacon. Do research by going to a friend’s house and calling random people in Mexico. Leave before phone bill arrives.

There you have it. Now you’re as prepared for fall as I can make you. Enjoy this beautiful season of death and dormancy with your loved one or object of your psychotic fixation.

Now if you’ll excuse me, “Friends” is coming on.


Top Ten Things Overheard at a Furry Convention

10. “Well I am just yiffed out.”

9. “What a coincidence, I have a DeviantArt account too!”

8. “Did everyone dress up as a Sonic character?”

7. No, no, my fursona just LOOKS like a guy in a bathrobe.”

6. “Is- is that a giant, anatomically correct bunny slipper with six legs?”

5. “Why no love for the baboon?”

4. “I keep telling you, I don’t want your first prize! I’m just hairy!”

3. “Word on the street is the AKC is going to raid us because we bought all the collars in town.”

2. “I would never have guessed that Conan the Barbarian would work as a chipmunk.”

1. “Next year I am building some fans into this blasted suit.”

Top Ten Signs You Have Poor Taste in Music

10. Burglar did not touch your CD collection

9. Pandora limits your listening to 15 seconds per week

8. You buy concert tickets under an assumed name

7.  Unable to illegally download music due to lack of supply

6. Your headphones have bloodstains

5. First customer ever banned by ITunes

4. The blog about dubstep remixes of gospel music has more fans than your music blog

3. The last time your favorite band was in town, the cops flipped their tour bus

2. Guitar Center just hangs up whenever you ask if they have any amps for kazoos

1. Your favorite band not even popular in Germany

Top Ten Least Popular Bucket List Items

10. Beard of cockroaches

9. Eat entire jar of mayonnaise in one sitting

8. Solve the Reimann Hypothesis

7. Understand the Reimann Hypothesis

6. Invent bulletproof blankets for ultimate blanket fort

5. Write self-insert erotic “My Little Pony” fanfiction

4. Fill terabyte hard drive with porn

3. Genetically modify a rat to taste like birthday cake for pet snake’s birthday

2. Invent time machine so you can moon Mr. Rogers

1. Bring back the mullet


Top Ten Country Western Songs

10. She Took My Duck and Left Me with All the Bills

9. I’m Drunk

8. Line Dance Polka Steel Guitar Remix

7. I’m Lonelier Than a Porta-John at an Indoor Plumbing Festival

6. Darlin’ You Add a Gallon to My Ten-Gallon Hat

5. Hillbilly Fiddle Rap

4. I’m Drunk (Reprise)

3. My Hunting Dog Can’t Find All The Pieces of my Broken Heart

2. I Went for a Roll in the Hay and You Kicked Me Into the Baler

1. I’m Looking Forward To Regretting You in the Morning

Top Ten Signs You Need To Get Out More

10. Layer of moss on skin growing itchy

9. You are on a first-name basis with Facebook moderators

8. You spend hours picking out the perfect desk chair

7. Most social interaction involves emoticons

6. Have pattern on ceiling above bed memorized

5. Have forgotten how to ride a bicycle

4. No longer sure how you feel about the concept of a “Sun”

3. Local Domino’s calls to check on you if you go more than three days without ordering

2. Jehovah’s Witnesses avoid your house because they don’t want to get drawn in to long conversation

1. When asked to specify next of kin, list TV character

More on social isolation:

Barbarian Interlude

Grakthor, son of Bokthaz, tightened his grip on his mighty, broad-bladed axe as the Orkthug charged.  His large muscles rippled as he swung the greataxe, cleaving the head off the fiend’s tentacled mount with one massive blow. The Orkthug staggered as it dismounted the the beast’s oozing corpse, but quickly regained its footing, drawing its own curved, hooked doomitar and trying to cleave Grakthor’s head with a powerful blow.

The fiend’s blade was stopped by the barbarian’s axe, and the two found themselves grappling, grunting, thrusting, trying to overcome the other’s defenses.  Grakthor’s gritted teeth parted as he howled in defiance, and shoved the Orkthug back a step. The creature tried to recover, but the mighty barbarian was quick to press his advantage,  driving the Orkthug back with swing after fearsome swing of his axe that the foul cur was only barely able to parry. Finally it stumbled over a stone, landing on its reeking hindquarters.

The sniveling simpleton held up its doomitar in a futile effort at defense. “Mercy, MERCY!” it hissed through what passed for its lips.

Grakthor’s eyes bulged. “Mercy? You DARE ask ME for MERCY? Did the gibbering hyenamen of the wastes show my family mercy when they slaughtered then and cooked them in a vile stew??”

“Well, I- wait, what?”

“Did I show MERCY when I came across the foul jackals humping my horse’s leg??”

“I don’t even-”

“MERCY IS FOR NUNS!” Grakthor was beginning to foam at the mouth.

“Um, look, do you maybe need someone to talk t-” The sniveling beast’s cries were cut short as Grakthor’s mighty axe smashed its skull, spraying black blood and brain matter all over the parched dirt.

“JUSTICE! TRIUMPH!” Grakthor parted his mighty loincloth and let flow a manly stream of urine onto his vanquished foe. “URRRRRARGH!”