Friday, November 5, 2010

Over Seasoned

Saturday night we shall set the clocks back in observance of the end (for 2010 anyway) of Daylight Savings Time. We shall usher in a period of several months where I for one will be among the humans who at least five days out of seven every week shall not see my home in the daylight. I am Mole Man. Not a unique identity I know. There are countless others who will be donning the same costume from now until March.

I find this particular time of year to be a bit soul-sucking. I love baseball - in part I think because I associate it with good weather. The season starts in the spring and wraps up in the throes of autumn. Most games are played during the summertime when the living is, after all, easy. How easy? Several times a summer most big-league teams play afternoon matinee games.....during the week. Think long and hard the last time it was you played hooky from work on a Wednesday afternoon to take in a pro basketball or hockey game. It does not happen. Most of the games contested in those two leagues are so contested at or after dark. And indoors. No sitting in the sun-soaked bleachers chomping on a Ball Park frank at an NBA or NHL game wearing your tie around your head like some of soldier's silk bandanna. I love baseball. In the immediate aftermath of the season's end, I always feel a little down.

And I feel compelled to point out to the good folks on Madison Avenue who have already trotted out their "Holiday" commercials that we are still three weeks away from Thanksgiving for crying out loud. You remember Thanksgiving; right? Once upon a time it was an actual, honest to goodness American holiday commemorating the humble beginnings of our great nation and the brave men and women who came here to build it. It was doomed I suppose once Sarah Palin got her hands on it. But what has happened to Thanksgiving is simply unconscionable. Its free fall has taken it past the low-hanging branches occupied by other "minor" holidays in the American mindset and off of the tree completely. It is now just a speed bump on the sugar-fueled expressway that links Halloween to Christmas.

My kids are grown and although Suz is still chilling in her room at the top of the stairs, there has been no trick-or-treating done by the residents of our home in too many years to count. Hell, having spent the entire weekend in Washington DC in non-Halloween related activities none of us remembered to have candy in the house when we arrived home on Sunday night. Margaret and I made like Eva and Adolf hiding in the bunker as we cowered in our dimly-lit den afraid to move any time the doorbell rang. We decided that opting out completely would be greeted less violently by the kids in our neighborhood than trying to win their hearts and minds with the "goodies" we had on hand. Objectively speaking I know not whether a seven-year-old hobgoblin considers a stick of Land O' Lakes butter in his goody bag to be a trick or a treat and was not in the mood on Sunday night to find out.

Is it possible that the trick-or-treaters had already consumed all of their confectionery delicacies by Monday night? I suppose it is. Still, I wanted Halloween to be further in the rear-view mirror than eighteen hours behind me before I was bombarded with "Holiday" commercials from retailers ranging from Best Buy to K-Mart. Speaking of K-Mart, I know not whether it is a sign of the apocalypse but according to their commercials, K-Mart now has a lay-away plan. Really? K-Mart? Someone better alert Raymond. They might just win him back as a fan. And can one of these stores have the stones to make a commercial that actually identifies the holiday(s) by name. It is as if everyone in the advertisement business keeps one eye on the bottom line to see what sells and one eye on the front door of the local chapter of the ACLU to see what offends. They really, really want you to buy it. They just do not want to risk alienating you by identifying the purpose of the sales pitch by name. Maybe the next step will be mass produced, utterly impersonal greeting cards. Something catchy like, "Hey You - Nondescript Fellow Human of Indeterminate Religious, Ethnic & Sexual Background! Have A Happy Holiday!" ought to fit the bill just fine.

After all, 'tis the season......

.....only six more shopping days until Veterans Day.

-AK

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