The weather has thrown a bit of a wrench in my post.
As I write this, we are experiencing the heaviest first-snow-of-the-season on record.
Naturally, the local media is treating snowfall in Chicago–located 2,882 miles north of the equator with an average annual snow accumulation of 50+ inches–as a 9/11, Paris, Pearl Harbor, Hotel Rwanda, Crusades-type emergency.
So it’s occurring a little early. BFD.
The foot of snow and counting notwithstanding, here are five signs it’s Thanksgiving time:
1) My Neighbors Have Replaced Halloween Decorations With Giant Inflatable Turkeys and Pilgrims
I can pinpoint the exact moment we lost our minds as a nation: when the first American pumped air into one of these and pitched it on his lawn:
And it continued when he realized there was more unmolested grass and added this:
Since then the preponderance of Thanksgiving inflatables has spread like kindergarten lice, and the largest population outside of their factories of origin resides in my neighborhood.
Though I have some issues with the fall, I love Thanksgiving. I just feel that Andre The Giant Turkey and the two-for-one Amish Assassin Couple are a little over the top.
We’ve done just fine all these years without them.
They don’t provide additional holiday excitement.
However, that could change if all my neighbors cut them loose at once, and they bounced around into each other. From the air it would look like an epic battle from Clash of Clans.
2) Alternative Pumpkins on Front Porches
Chicagoans love their pumpkins, even more than using the remedial terms pop, sucker and teeter-totter to identify what the rest of the nation–who don’t speak like we’re reading from a children’s book–correctly call soda, lollipop and seesaw.
The death and ensuing rotting and molding of jack-o-lanterns has given rise to their greener, whiter, more purple and misshapen cousins because we can’t get enough cucurbita pepo madness around here.
I have to admit that I find them cool, and we actually have one in our front yard that resembles a colossal booger with a stem.
3) My Fantasy Football Season is in Free-Fall Mode
The annual November bed-shitting of my fantasy football team has become an unfortunate tradition for me.
I stormed out to a 5-2 record before dropping three games in a row because:
1) “Elite” wide receiver Randall Cob made a pact with himself to drop every ball that touches his hands.
2) Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger has the durability of cotton candy.
3) Running back Justin Forsett sucks at life.
4) Every defense/special team squad I acquire doesn’t defend or have anything special to write home about.
Thus the four-day weekend, beginning with the Thanksgiving games, signals the demise of my season.
I do not give thanks for fantasy football.
4) Halloween Candy is on Clearance
Recently I wrote about how to regulate your kids’ Halloween candy intake.
I wanted to help, but the stores aren’t making things easy because they are essentially giving away their full Halloween candy inventory for free.
Walgreens, Target, CVS, etc. aren’t discreet about it. They position pallets stacked with candy everywhere with advertisements of Buy 1 Get 17 Free.
And what a pleasurable experience it is trying to navigate these establishments for deodorant and fish oil capsules with hyper-vigilant children in tow.
Why not just create signage that says, “HEY PARENTS! STOP BEING DICKS AND BUY YOUR KIDS MORE CANDY. WE’RE PRACTICALLY THROWING IT A YOU.”
This inevitable exchange happens:
“Dad! Kit Kat and Starburst are on sale! It’s so cheap.”
“Awesome! You know what’s not?”
“Dentist appointments, premiums, copays, my time.”
5) Students Are Complaining that It’s Not Thanksgiving Already.
I overheard the following dialogue while in line at Potbelly:
Brat 1: “Eww. Why can’t it be Thanksgiving already?”
Brat 2: “I know-ah. Like why can’t it be right now-ah.”
Brat 1: “Ugh. How long does it take to make a stupid salad?”
Brat 2: “They always take forever-ah.”
Brat 1: “My mom’s such a bitch.”
I tuned them out after that because I didn’t want to throw up in my mouth.
First of all, whether your mother is the biggest bitch or the coolest person has no bearing on the expedience of an upcoming holiday or the speed at which someone assembles a salad. Unless the Potbelly employee was Brat 1’s mom, but she looked too young. Next, this was the day after Veteran’s Day, which means there was no school the day before, just like there was no school on Columbus Day before that, Labor Day, summer break, teacher work days or the two weeks of winter break following Thanksgiving.
The future is bleak, and Generation Asshole deserves the path it is creating for itself.
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