Fall Fun Isn’t That Fun
Do you have a flannel shirt on? Are you drinking a warm apple cider festooned with a cinnamon stick, or a pumpkin spice latte, or somehow both? Are you eating an actual caramel apple in an actual corn maze? Are you surrounded by pumpkins—just, like, absolutely hemmed in by them on all sides, like an actual prison made of pumpkins? How about mums? You got a gajillion of those? Maybe even some of those Frankenmums that are somehow yellow and purple and orange because they are botanical visitors from the multiverse?
My family recently visited one of the prettiest damn apple-picking farms on the Eastern Seaboard (despite the dust, the drive, and the bees—Jesus Christ, the bees). But the orchard was unusually crowded, and our group got separated, and we all spent the day in search of each other, wandering the farm like Caine in Kung Fu. Plus, I forgot to post or even take any pictures to remember the trip by, which feels somehow like the biggest #fallfail of all. Spirit of the Great Pumpkin, help me, I feel kinda… bad… about it? Despite having all these delicious apples and all these really nice memories, I somehow feel like I did it wrong?
Then there was the weirdly dark, weirdly early autumn evening when, after breaking a sweat trying to untangle the cobweb lights that make up one infinitesimally fractional part of my family’s seasonal decor — which, when fully assembled and installed, can be seen from outer space — I wondered, how did we get here? Why is it so exhausting, and expensive, and how did this artisanal ceramic pumpkin get into my apartment? How did fall become so strenuous?
The answer, I’m afraid, is the Chute.
In the name of all that is mulled and holy, you’re riding this thing until New Year’s.
What is the Chute? Funny you should ask. Because we’re in it — all of us, right now, but especially those of us sipping maple-flavored beverages. The Chute is the horn of plenty of seasonal fun that sucks you in around Labor Day. (Or, if you’re a parent, sometime in late August, when you receive the first Chasing Fireflies catalog full of perfect Halloween costumes that cost more than your prom dress did.) Have you ever dropped a penny into a funnel at a science…