O, Autumnal Splendor

Hey there li’l dooggies. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but we have entered the belle saison of the year. In New Mexico anyway, early fall is the bees knees–you know that li’l sweet spot in the crease of the legs where the bees carry their pollen load. Thaz what I’m talkin bout.

Perfect weather, crisp air, blissful blue skies, aspen and cottonwoods breakin’ it on down to glittering, incandescent yellows. It’s the best time of year for hiking, bike rides, butternut squash and gathering in the sheaves.

What else is fall good for? I made a very short list. Feel free to add your own in the comments section.

1) Lawrence of Arabia:

Fall evenings are the perfect time to watch three-hour epic movies about self-loathing megalomaniacs hell bent on defeating the Ottoman Empire with a pan-Arab army. My friend Dave and I have spent the last couple of weeks watching the film in installments.

It’s a slow-moving monochromatic movie. There’s a lot of sand and billowing white robes. There’s a lot of breathy and effete English bluster (mostly from Lawrence’s mouth, played by icy-blond Peter O’Toole). There’s a preponderance of awful accents and psychological intrigue abounds in such lines as “Why do you like the desert, Lawrence?

“Because it’s clean.”

People are thirsty a lot, what with all the sneaky desert crossings (though in my opinion not thirsty enough). Somebody is slowly swallowed by quicksand. Alec Guinness plays Prince Faisal I. It’s not the sort of thing you could stomach in summer and it’s too dreary for winter. I recommend watching in installments whilst sipping tall glasses of water or licking ice cream cones.

2) Thinking About Peat Bogs:

I would rather think about peat bogs in fall than any other time of the year. I feel most emotionally equipped to think about peat bogs in Indian summer/early fall. In winter it would be too horrifying and in spring it would be too funny. Peat bogs are both horrifying and funny–a mix best suited for fall, I think.

Peat bogs. Some crazy crap happens in peat bogs. How could it not with the rampant sphagnum moss, tannic acids, low temperatures and oxygen deprivation?

Nothing decomposes in peat bogs. All manner of stuff and things have been extracted from the mires of Northern Europe–wooden wagon wheels, ancient kegs of butter, and human bodies with intact  hair, organs (with their last meal still in them) and skin. Bog bodies, they’re called, and hundreds of them have been dug up by archeologists and regular people just poking around. Here’s a picture of one.

I couldn’t find any pictures of bog butter or bog sandwiches or little bog doggies. Question dear readers, if you could drop anything into a bog so it would last practically forever, what would it be? For me it would be a double cream chocolate cake. Oh hey, that reminds me of:

3)  Whoopie pies:

Available in Albuquerque on Wednesdays at Mean Bao in the former Ecco Gelato shop. When I was in they were offering pumpkin, old-school chocolate with cream filling and chocolate with orange filling. The owner also tells me she has a green tea version up her sleeve. At which point I almost screamed “Empty your sleeves, lady!” But I did not. I could not. Because my mouth was full of whoopie pies. And because I’m shy.

4) Voting:

Yes, fall is the only legal time to vote for president. I don’t know bout you, but when the leaves hit the pavement, I’m suddenly jonesing to have my civic say. So, that’s what I did today over lunch. I didn’t really get it out of my system…I just want to vote again and again and again. They don’t let you though, so you have to savor it.

What is your perfect autumnal past time? Do tell. I already voted, finished Lawrence of Arabia, am getting fat on whoopie pies and have mentally exhausted the peat bogs of the world. And it’s only October 9th!

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