PCP: Don’t fall for it

By Ross Bernhardt

Click here to view the other side of this week’s Point-Counterpoint: “Falling hard for fall.”
I don’t consider myself to be an expert on judgement. I couldn’t even get the gig to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol (damn you Steven Tyler), but I do know one thing: fall is an awful season. I can understand how on the surface, fall is fairly attractive. The foliage is nice, football and basketball season are starting and you get to celebrate holidays like Halloween and Thanksgiving. But one needs to look deeper when determining how good this season really is.

First, fall goes by two different names: “fall” and “autumn”. What kind of nonsense is that? Who was the genius that awarded this season two monikers? It certainly is not so much better than the other seasons that it deserves two names. It might be because of these competing names that the season sometimes can’t decide how it wants to behave.

When conditions are right, temperatures can rise during these fall months. This is called an “Indian Summer.” It is an inconvenience to me. Do you know how hard it is to dress during an Indian summer? When you wake up, it’s a brisk 45 degrees. By noon, it is a simmering 80. If you wear a sweater or sweatshirt, you are drenched in sweat by midday. At least in the other seasons you can prepare for the weather. You know it’s going to be cold in the winter. You know it’s going to be hot in the summer and Punxsutawney Phil tells us what weather we can expect during the spring.

Sure the foliage during autumn is beautiful. Many flock to New England during October just to try and catch a glimpse of the various reds, oranges, and yellows that color the landscape. “Family Guy” calls these people “leafers” in a great Season Three episode. I have no problems with admiring the beauty of dying trees. The only things I think about when I see a tree that no longer photosynthesizes are: this tree is dying, somebody is going to have to rake these leaves because I’m not doing it and those rotting leaves smell terrible. Then when I finally get the smelly leaves raked, some kid jumps in the pile and forces me to do all this work again. Another thing about these leaves: They are dangerous. Wet leaves can lead to reduced traction for both cars and bikes, which leads to accidents.

Thanks for making our roads more dangerous, fall. This definitely isn’t the dominant narrative when looking at trees, but it’s all I ever think about.

Sure Halloween and Thanksgiving are wonderful holidays. But both are extremely gluttonous and evil holidays. With America’s obesity epidemic, nobody should be letting their children parade from house to house accepting candy from any and everybody. But will we ever learn? No. Halloween has also turned into an opportunity to turn our clean, good-natured girls’ costumes (nurses, teachers, etc.) into outfits more suitable for a harlot. No wonder other countries frown upon us when our middle school girls parade around looking like prostitutes just to get candy! Black cats get tortured for Satanic purposes, egging and other forms of vandalism run rampant among youthful pranksters, and some sick freaks still tamper with Halloween candy. OK, maybe that last part might not be true, but that is a hard stigma for me to break.

Thanksgiving is the glamorous union of the Pilgrims and Native Americans, who combined their food for a marvelous feast. This is just an exploitation of one of the few positive encounters between Native Americans and the invading Pilgrims/Colonists. The good times didn’t last long. Native Americans lost their land and were given smallpox in return.

But it’s Thanksgiving! Let’s stuff our faces and forget about all that stuff! Not on my watch. Pick some more responsible holidays, fall. Something like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter or Independence Day.

Here are a couple more things that bug me about fall. Warm breezes turn into wind chill, one of my least favorite terms in the weather glossary. Anyone who has walked past W.E.B. DuBois Library during a cold day knows what I’m talking about. (I know this carries over into winter, but it starts in the fall.) Birds start to fly south for the winter. I am a bird person, and I love hearing the chirping of birds when I am outside, and fall is trying to take away this simple pleasure.

Fall should not be held on any pedestal. It is an inferior season and should be treated as such. Save all your joy and adulation for the good seasons, and don’t waste it on fall.  

Ross Bernhardt is a Collegian columnist. He can be reached at [email protected].

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