I like fall, but I avoid saying “I like autumn.” I went to school with a girl with that name and hated her. I wouldn’t want the little god whose job it is to check up on the likes and dislikes of people like me to get confused. So, to be clear, I like autumn, but not the Autumn I knew in seventh grade.
But there are things about fall I can do without; for instance, grownups who wear “onesies,” and those who get as excited as a three-year-old seeing Santa for the first time when the subject is “pumpkin spice.” Usually these people are one and the same. I will hear no defense for normal adults who wear onesies with little fire trucks and/or race cars, Bunnies, Unicorns, Cows, Green Aliens and Sea “Horseys” on them and must tell me about it. What you do at home is your own business, but unless you want me to wonder if you wear a “dype-dype” and rubber panties to bed, don’t bring it up, especially if I am eating.
I like pumpkin pie, and figure that pumpkin spice is a key player in its overall acceptability. But this Pavlovian response to Starbucks telling you what to get wound up over is embarrassing. I see no need to convey an attitude that causes me to wonder if you are crazy and have built a shrine to pumpkin spice at home, and that you bow to it whilst wearing a onesie that has a jack-o-lantern motif. Call me old fashioned, but if you are over ten it is best not to do stuff that gets people wondering about you. It vaporizes any credibility that you might need down the road. “Hmmm, Autumn suggests we do it her way. Which would make sense if I didn’t hate her due to that onesie and pumpkin spice shrine nonsense.”
Yes, fall is the time of year that I express my disdain for meaningless annoyances. I lay off the Sunshine Atheists who live as though the concept of no God excuses them from moral behavior, yet are the first to drop to their knees when something goes wrong. I also ease up on celebrities who not only seek to gentrify sorrow to further their ambitions but also blame their addictions and subsequent bad actions on unsubstantiated allegations of prior abuse–a sort of Not Responsible card. I even overlook the mindset of people who wait in line for days on end to say so long to a person who would have died twenty years ago if she had the same medical that they do.
Naturally this has led me to the construction of a list that will appear at the end of this post, which involves the petty seasonal grievances I have for society.
But for now, let us praise some good stuff that appeared this first full week of fall.
Some happily familiar trends continue this week, plus we have something that has never happened before. Dear friends Tom Sheehan, Harrison Kim and Michael Bloor appear again (along with another repeat offender who scofflaws the restraining order), but for the first time this week’s run of five have been brought to you by six.
We have Travis and Lucas Flatt to thank for the first ever compilation work I can find on the site (save for artwork and stories). Their brilliantly titled and imaginative Fashioned at Last Into an Arrowy Shape led off the week. It is a seamless thing and impossible to sense any change in voice. If I wore a hat, I’d tip it to the Flatts, for I cannot even imagine how to go about such a process let alone attempt it. We certainly hope to see more of these two–singly or doubly.
Michael “Mick” Bloor arrived for the sixth time on Tuesday with Citizen Wyckham-Smith. Hugh and Mick both have this wonderful gift for capturing the feel of the accents and idioms of their characters. Mr. Bloor allows his people to present little insights, thus achieving a richly satisfactory style of story telling.
I’ve put out the word via the SETI transmitter, begging for new laudatory adjectives to describe Tom Sheehan’s ever growing canon. We’ve used up all the meaningful ones this planet and its infinite languages have to offer. Still, they all apply to Tom’s From the Other Side of the Saloon Bar, which proves that there are still plenty of new looks to be found in the western genre.
I slouched by Thursday. The title Whatever It Is, I’m Against It was “borrowed” from the Marx Brothers, and returned before their lawyers, with their weasel-like attorney vision, saw it was missing.
The Rabbit Man of Munyaka by Harrison Kim closed the meaningful part of the week. Like Mick and Tom (and even the sloucher), Harrison has more coming down the pike. This is Harrison’s twenty-first with us, and like the preceding twenty, he deftly explores the tragedies and victories that constitute being human.
Here’s to new friends and old ones and to the faithful commenters for each and everyone of you help keep this project alive, as it steams forward toward the start of its ninth year. (More on that in the weeks to come.)
Anyway, I again close with a list, with a spot left open for suggestions
Top Autumnal Petty People Annoyances
- Black Friday and its bastard love child Cyber Monday
- People who bring their children’s diseases to work
- Complaints about about the weather, as though November rain in the Pacific Northwest is a big secret
- The loss of American Thanksgiving
- Snotty baristas in Santa hats
- People who snag all the chocolate mini bars from the community bowl and leave only Twizzlers and candy corn
- People who defend the fuckers guilty of number six
- People who let pumpkins rot on their doorsteps until the gourds are reduced to a stemmed gray (possibly sentient) goo come February
- Christmas Carols fulltime on the muzak starting at 12:01 A.M. November First.