Board of Directors
Mississippi Department of Seasons
To Whom It My Concern:
I need to file a complaint. According to Google, the Today Show, and my Farmer’s Almanac calendar, the first day of fall 2014 occurred on September 23rd. I beg to differ. You people up there in the Mississippi Department of Seasons have no clue. It was 90 degrees today.
This is not fall. This is summer. I have seen fall. It was pictured in my elementary school textbooks. There were colorful leaves on the ground and people were walking around in sweaters. I wore shorts today. All the leaves are green. Correction: All of the pine straw is green and still up in the pine trees. We have no leaves (but that’s a letter for the forestry department on another day).
While I’m at it— and while it’s still as hot as Indian curry— I need to file a supplementary complaint about summer. It’s the worst season. The number of days of this supposed “season” keep getting shorter, but the temperature stays the same— hot, miserably hot. When I was a kid “summer” started on Memorial Day and ended after Labor Day. Now school starts in early August. There is no summer from a “vacation” standpoint. My kids had already been in school so long that they were about to receive their first report card by the time Labor Day rolled around.
Back to fall. Here is my main beef: The problem with fall in South Mississippi is that the food calendar is all screwed up. Summer gives us blackberries, sweet corn, lady peas, and peaches. Lets pause and have a moment of silence in remembrance of peaches. Fall is filled with pumpkins. I hate pumpkin. Sure apples are a fall fruit, but we have access to apples year round (and it’s too hot down here to grow apples in large quantities because it always feels like summer). Besides, peaches trump apples every day of the week. Who in their right mind eats homemade apple ice cream?
While we’re at it, I will admit that you guys “got me” once again. One would think that after 53 years I would be immune to the seasonal tease, but— just as in every previous fall I can remember— you fooled me again. Last week I woke up and it was cool and crisp. I stepped outside and thought, “This must be what it feels like to wake up in Vermont. Fall is here.” By noon the temperature was in the low 70s. I felt like this was finally going to be the year when the calendar and the thermometer will be in agreement. Not so fast, my friend. Two days later it was 93 and humid.
I fall (no pun intended) for that one every year. I feel the first hint of brisk air and get suckered in. Then, when it’s 78 and raining on Christmas day and I’m still wondering when fall is going to get here, you folks up there in the Mississippi Department of Seasons tell me to get ready for winter. You can call it “fall” all you want, but we all know better.
So, as of this correspondence, I am serving notice that I plan to contact my local state legislators and encourage them to draft legislation officially striking the word “fall” from all calendars and televised weather broadcasts. Mississippi needs four— all-new— seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
Robert St. John