Autumn. Fall. My favorite time of year. Football season. The leaves change and the air gets a chill. Time to break out enough jeans and flannel to be confused for a 90’s grunge band. You know, emo music before it was emo...
...seriously, every song is about how step-dad was mean.
However, my joyous time of year is always tainted with the same damn thing. And that dear friends is the dreaded Pumpkin Hysteria. Products and advertisements pumping their pumpkin spice into everything they possible can to sell their sub-par crap.
Every year, I am drowned by my friends’ juvenile jabs of pumpkin related crap flooding my email, social media and home. Yes, they intentionally bring be baskets of pumpkin based bullshits: candies, baked goods, cookies, mixes...you name it.
But it’s time to tell the truth...
...**psst...I don’t hate pumpkin**. I really don’t. Pumpkin Pie? Pretty good. Pumpkin rolls with the cream cheese filling? Pretty damn tasty.
But my aversion to pumpkin stems from the annual slavish worship of a, let’s be honest, C+ student at best. We live in a world where we can get seasonal fruit all year thanks to modern agriculture. Yet, pumpkin is only hauled out during the “traditional” fall season.
Because the corporate bastards at Big Pumpkin knows know they have only an “OK” product. And if it was out all year (aside from the frozen pumpkin pies you can get), they’d lose business quickly. People would become bored with it. Big Pumpkin knows that scarcity, mixed with absence, brings about fond nostalgia for even a midling flavor like pumpkin spice.
Thus, every year, Big Pumpkin trots out “pumpkin spice”, heralding it like a returning war hero. And we (well, you not me) welcome it (and enough ginger, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and allspice to make a horse diabetic) with open arms.
Seriously. A 16oz Pumpkin Spice Latte, on average, is 360 calories (a small meal), 14 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 52 grams of carbs and 49 grams of sugar. But that’s the nature of deserts, sweet and bad for you.
But I don’t care about how bad they are for people, we all have out vices. What I care about is how ubiquitous something without talent has become. Like a Kardashian, pick one...it doesn’t matter which. OK in small doses. Stupidly amusing but not threatening. But when left unchecked, it becomes an empire that that every Northface, Ugg booted girl and flip-flop, tank-top, plaid short wearing dude will be wasting their money on. Essentially The Foo Fighters of flavor choices. OK, but not really deserving of their hype.
You want to know what pumpkin flavor is? That completely average person, who is neither pretty, nor ugly. Neither big nor small. Pleasant, if mundane. But once you slap an English, Australian or Italian accent on them...an object of desire. Exotic. Something different than baseline products.
And just before you get sick of it, Big Pumpkin takes it away from you. They wait nine months and craps about another “exotic” kid for you to claim as your own. Because absence makes the heart grow fonder.
Pumpkin pie? Like I said, it’s pretty good. But it barely cracks the top 10 of pies. And without Cool Whip, it’s barely in the bottom 20. An apple pie, key lime or cheesecake will kick the piss out of pumpkin any day of the week. Pumpkin bread? Again OK, but a banana bread makes it their bitch. And to the people who sprinkle pumpkin into their cookies (ugh...snickerdoodles), there isn’t a pumpkin cookie on the planet which trumps a classic chocolate chip.
But I know this all falls on deaf ears. To most people I’m just another “hater”, trendily hating on their beloved fall flavor. With cries of “it’s festive!”, no one will listen.
That’s fine. Big Pumpkin knows it as well. I’ll sit knowing that pumpkins are for the occasional pie or baked good, jack-o-lantern carving, and for those sworn to kill Ichabod Crane.