By G.D. Maxwell
The National Enquirer!!?!
Whatever. One must look on the bright side of being compared to the all-bold-all-the-time supermarket tab. Now I feel free to commit crimes of punctuation note the double slammers, question mark, single slammer above I would never before have been so bold as to spring on an unsuspecting public used to more genteel syntax. And finally, we can start running all those pictures of two-headed babies and walking Elvises weve always been too thoughtful to print.
Alas, well have to leave the delusional musings of frustrated mayoral candidates for another column because Mickeys little hand is coming up on October and his big hand is pointing west and we all know what that means, dont we?
Thats right; Autumn. (Oh Lord; doesnt it just cry out for another exclamation mark?)
Autumn began earlier today if youre reading this on Thursday; if not, youve probably heard about it already, and since you read Pique later in the week, you might have missed the garage sales as well. Get with the program.
Autumn is one of my four favourite seasons of the year, possibly my most favourite. For starters, it has the ever-confusing mn ending. Whats that silent n doing after the m, youve probably found yourself wondering since you first misspelled autumn back in second grade? Im not certain what the official explanation for this aberration might be but Ive always comforted myself thinking its just another cruel English trick to trip up immigrants from places blessed with a simpler language, Urdu for example.
Whatever the etymological roots of the word may be, autumn fall, if you cant remember the sequence of the m and n is a great season in the parts of the world where coconut palms dont grow. The reasons for this are manifold but let us just consider two of them: shorter days and colder days.
Unless youre a farmer see discussion on colder days shorter days are a blessing. Just so theres no confusion, the days arent actually shorter in autumn, its just one of those figures of speech, like, "The suns getting lower on the horizon." Those of us who still believe in science, an admittedly dwindling number in the Age of Unreason, know the days are just as long in autumn as they are the rest of the year and the sun is relatively fixed in the centre of our solar system, although with the Catholic church backtracking on so many things one might be wise to keep the hemlock handy.
But the days seem shorter in autumn. Thats because summer days are so much longer, which is to say they are chockfull of so many more hours of sunlight except in British Columbia where it seems weve really pissed off the sun god this year and autumns ever-diminishing doses of sunlight give one the feeling of slowly going blind. But thats a good thing in the case of autumn.