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Friday, October 5, 2012


So here we are.

It’s amazing. Every year it’s the same thing. Once Labor Day has come and gone, there’s a day -- a single day -- when the temperature drops below 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and within hours, it happens: Everything around me suddenly becomes pumpkin-ed. 

Signs go up on every corner, in every shop and farmer’s market. It’s pumpkin time. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin muffins. Pumpkin donuts. Pumpkin cupcakes. Pumpkin pancakes. Pumpkin whoopie pies. Everywhere.

The world is getting colder, it seems, and the only way to stave off the chill is to ingest something pumpkininininny*. Then, presumably, after you eat enough of these warm, spicy treats, you will be shaped like a pumpkin, and that extra round layer of caloric aftermath will get you through the frosty winter. 

And I fall for it, every damned year. All I have to do is put on a light jacket, feel a relatively cool breeze, walk by a popular coffee chain or two and suddenly, my mouth starts watering and my mind starts racing: let’s put cinnamon on everything, dammit and where the hell is the allspice and I want to eat all the things that are burnt-orange in color and smell like gingerbread and are dolloped with some sort of glaze or cream or frosting. Now

Yeah, even when the temperature goes back up to 80, which it is wont to do in October in New York City, the feeling stays, because the die has been cast. The pumpkin mind-games have you in their clutches. There is no turning back.

I don’t get it. I am not cold and weary from the icy rains and sleet. (Yet.) I have not earned those moist pastries and hot, artificially-flavored beverages topped with sweet frothy goodness. But I’m feeling it. I’m in the mood. All the carefully conceived signs and posters have put me in that mood. I want to dress like I’m in a J. Crew catalog and don a jaunty knitted beret and a useless fleece vest so I can cram the harvest goodness into my crazy, craving maw and feel that autumnal hug that pumpkin-pushing corporations have promised me will solve all my woes.

I’m still waiting for those woes to be solved. But at least I smell like cinnamon.

Yes indeed. Welcome to me. 

*Pumpkininininny is borrowed with love from an old Mr. Show With Bob and David sketch.

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