I’ve been sick for several days now—since Thursday, I guess. And I know what to blame: autumn. I get sick about this time every year. Actually, I usually get sick a couple of weeks earlier, but autumn started out pretty warm this year in Philly. I’ve finally succumbed. I’ve got the congestion, the sore throat, the fever and chills, the all-out exhaustion. Egad.
So, no, I’m not a fan of autumn. You shouldn’t be, either.
My October illness isn’t my only tradition for early autumn. Another tradition is that I reprint the grumpy memo to autumn that I first wrote several years ago. It pretty much sums up what I’m thinking today.
TO: Autumn Lovers
RE: Getting (you) in touch with reality
DATE: October 30, 2007
It has come to my attention that many of you claim that autumn is the best time of year. Every day, it seems, I hear co-workers or fellow commuters saying that autumn is their favorite season. A common theme of your comments is that you thrilled to summer as a kid but that you love fall more and more as you get older. You go on and on about football, the new chill in the air, the yellows and the rusts in the leaves, and Thanksgiving.
I want to call your attention to some other things, though. There’s that tickle in the back of your throat. The way you’re so congested that you can only breathe through your open mouth. There’s that cough that makes you sound like Typhoid Mary. The way you can’t decide whether to turn the air conditioner or the heater on. I want to call your attention to the way you’re feeling right now. To the way you’re alternately chilled and feverish. I want to call your attention to your sudden need to have cough syrup right there on your desk.
Yes, friends, I want you to realize that the congestion and the horrible, unending hack-ack-acking cough (and, really, can you just keep that away from me, please?), well, they go right along with those rusty leaves and that chill in the air. The reason you feel so crappy right now is directly attributable to the change in the season. Your body is trying to figure out how to cope, but the weather just won’t cooperate. It’s warm one day, cold the next. It’s cool in the morning, almost downright hot in the afternoon.
Your so-called favorite season is making you sick.
P.S. If there’s any justice, I’ll win the lottery soon and move to New Orleans or Key West or San Diego or Honolulu. There, I’ll enjoy the sameness of all those warm days strung one against the other, from January to December. You’ll be welcome to visit, so long as you promise not to go on and on about how you enjoy that chill in the October air. Ugh.
Please send NyQuil.