Shut up, maples (or I’ll give you something to scream about)


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Damn, I wish I liked fall. I really do. So much so, in fact, that sometimes I'll even convince myself that I do like it. But I'm a compulsive liar (just ask my ex-wife or my hair colorist), especially when it comes to seasonal affiliations.

Truth be told, I don't really like any season except summer. Spring's too wet and muddy. (I'm only into mud when it's intentional.) And winter? Don't get me started. There are absolutely no redeeming qualities in a Minnesota winter.

Fall, though… So many people get all puppy-dog-eyed when they start talking about it. And I'm a sensitive man of the new millennium. I want to get all puppy-dog-eyed about something other than puppy dogs.

So what's a guy to do? I try to listen and pay attention when people start getting excited about fall so I can hear what they're so excited about. But it's all a load of crap.

What's so great about fall?

Comfortable temperatures
This is crap. I get totally sick of idiots babbling about a "crisp" fall morning. Call it what it is. It's cold. (The fact that the oncoming winter temperatures here are totally f'ing ridiculous should not diminish the fact that crisp = cold.) Even an absolutely ideal fall afternoon is 70 degrees. That's room temperature. If I want room temperature I'll stay inside. Still, I think I could tolerate this misrepresentation of "comfortable" better if I didn't live here in the home of these godawful winters. I just can't carpe the diem without looking at what's coming in a mere matter of days. Brrr.

Sweatshirt weather
This is crap. I just don't get the people who look forward to tugging on a thick, baggy sweatshirt. Honestly, how do you get sick of shorts and sandals?

Colorful leaves
This is plausible…but ultimately crap. Yes, I agree that the fantastic oranges and yellows of the maples and the brilliant reds of the sumac are beautiful. But after their week or two of showing off, you know what's coming. They're all falling down. On my lawn. And I've got to mow them and rake them and bag them and haul them and dump them. And, if that's the tradeoff, I guess I'd just as soon they stay green and stay on the trees. I like green just as much as I like orange or yellow or red. (Now if they ever come up with blue leaves, I think maybe I'd take that tradeoff. I'd rake blue leaves.)

Hunting
I don't hunt. Looks bulky, cold and bloody. I'll pass.

Football
This is a pretty compelling one. Fridays have been good so far this year for both the Sartell Sabres and the Rosemount Irish. And most falls I can count on some good football from St. John's. (Okay, I'll make an exception for Johnnie football. A warm, colorful fall afternoon spent watching St. John's kick ass in that spectacular football stadium – especially if you've managed to get in a little tailgating; perhaps with the Stiftungsfest crew – that's undeniably fantastic. No two ways about it.) But years of experience have taught me a few things, and here are two of them: 1. Football's arrival means baseball's departure. 2. Any wonderful fall football coming on Sundays in Minnesota is part of an elaborately constructed and infinitely cruel hoax. Enjoy it now. You'll pay for it with your heart when winter comes.

So, as much as I'd like to be, I'm just not totally on board as a fall fan. And I'll be watching with envy over the next few weeks as many of God's smarter creatures get their grand migrations into full swing. Open your window right now and listen. You can hear the honking already… (That Caddie has a distinct horn.) And if you listen even closer, you can hear the plaintive cries of the snowbird, desperately longing to get underway: "Damn it, Janet! Get in the godamn car!"

Lucky bastards.




One thought on “Shut up, maples (or I’ll give you something to scream about)

  1. Wow…you really hate autumn. But, then I love winter because I snowshoe, XCski, skate, and have taken up downhill again after 15 years! I love the interim whilst the humidity of summer departs and I can breath OUTSIDE air again before the scraping of the windshield and a white landscape sets in…. But that’s just me…

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