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.

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