Columnist

Mike Buzzelli is a stand-up comedian and published author. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

I am preparing for a great fall. I need to specify: I am a known klutz, but – this time – I mean autumn. I have never really embraced the season before. For too long, I think of the fall as a precursor to winter, and winter is definitely not my thing.

The pools close. The kids go back to school (and traffic through any town with a university in it gets uglier). The weather starts to cool off.

I’m not a fan of any of it.

I start taking a different route to work because I don’t like to drive down Banksville Road past the Dormont pool now that it’s been drained of all of its water. It just sits there – a big empty lump of cement – reminding me that summer is over, mocking me.

It’s especially galling because the weather has been in the 80s. It’s outdoor swimming weather with nowhere to swim outdoors. While in August, it was in the 70s. The pool was open but it was too chilly to dip into the water. Alanis Morissette and I have a special word for that.

This year, I decided to embrace the season. I’m going to give autumn a big giant hug – instead of whining about it.

P.S. I might whine a little.

It’s an especially difficult season for me because I don’t like pumpkin. Gasp! I know. It’s almost un-American. I like the shape of the gourd. I just don’t want to eat any of it. Not in a pie, not in a mousse. Not in a tree. Not with a goose.

There are a lot of fall activities out there. I need to find one I like. I’m going to be one with nature – without getting too dirty.

Here are some fun fall activities that I don’t plan on doing.

A friend suggested I go to an orchard and pick apples. What am I? A farmer? You know I can get apples at the store by my house, right? I don’t want to have to throw on a festive fall flannel and do day labor.

That same friend thought it would be fun to go and get lost in a corn maze (a maize maze?). Um. Why do I want to get lost in the corn? That sounds like the beginning of a horror movie? If I hear a chainsaw, I will pee my pants.

Later, he suggested a hay ride. I like a roll in the hay as much as the next guy, but I don’t want actual straw to be involved.

I do enjoy watching the leaves change.

Side note: I will not call it leaf peeping. That makes it sound creepy; like I’m sneaking up on a maple tree right before it gets in the shower.

But I digress, like I do. I’m going to make the best of this autumnal period. If I can love all the seasons, I’ll be much happier.

Don’t worry. I’ll find something else to be miserable about.

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