Fall Fever

“I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal.”

From the excellent McSweeney’s essay, It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers.

This essay put into words exactly what I’d been trying to write about for the past few weeks. What is it that causes people to bust out their pumpkins as soon as the calendar turns to October? What is it about fall that inspires such devotion, such a need to acknowledge the season?

Other seasons don’t get the same attention. No one hangs decorative icicles from their SF home to mark the onset of winter. No one runs outside in SF wearing shorts when June arrives. But if it’s October, then Decorate Gourd Season takes hold —  and SF doesn’t want to miss out.

When you’ve suffered through months of hot weather, I can understand that you might welcome a new crispness in the air. But in San Francisco, there’s little sign of fall in October. Sure it gets dark a little earlier, but we don’t have trees turning vibrant colors. We don’t hear fallen leaves crunching beneath our feet. October is the end of San Francisco’s short summer so temperatures usually rise in October rather than drop.

But a lack of fall elements doesn’t deter the Decorative Gourd Army. If the calendar says it’s fall, then they have to mark it. As the McSweeney’s piece says, it’s about looking ‘so seasonal’.

When I see fall decor appear in San Francisco in October, I get the same uncomfortable feeling I get when Christmas cards appear in stores this month. I thought I was alone in this feeling, that maybe I was some sort of fall scrooge, until I read the fantastic McSweeney’s piece (and laughed until I cried).

Another excerpt, because it really is a masterpiece:

“I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up.

Go read it now.

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One Response to “Fall Fever”

  1. mary evelyn Says:

    When I grew up in SF I would walk thru GG park to experience Fall; I especially liked The Bandstand, between the Steinhart and the DeYoung, where the deciduos Oaks (Sycamores??? or whatever) surrounding the seating area displayed some fall color. Then in winter months, after those trees dropped their leaves, the trees looked comical and grotesque w/ their stubby branches. I miss SF in many ways but embrace the change of seasons experienced in the Foothills.

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