(Prior posting from my old webspace)

Well, another summer has passed, and the crisp fall air is now gusting through my open window. Most mourn the loss of garden flowers and poolside festivities, but for me, it’s a time of invigorating walks and jubilation.

You see, I’m about as Canadian as your ever going to get. The cool mornings make me wanna jump out of bed and sing. I for one love God’s canvas in mid-October.

Being Libra’s child, it resonates within my soul to be in amongst the flame colored trees, that enormous harvest moon, the smell of the first frost not to mention the corpses of hapless jack-o-lanterns splayed upon the vinyl siding of those that felt cheap candy was an acceptable ‘treat’ for those children almost too old to ‘trick’.

Well, you economized, and your house got ‘Tricked Out’. Lesson learned for the event in twelve months, once it returns to a calendar near you!

But along with the autumn leaves tumbling to their final destination, the promise of mountainous glaciers overtaking our great country for some months to come, cold fingers and colder gas lines, there is the dreaded home invasion that faces all suburban dwellers.

The other morning, I woke up to find I was no longer alone in my bedroom. It was a creepy yet all too familiar feeling. About this time every year I become extremely aware of all the dark corners, the ceilings, my window wells and especially my closets.

Living in a suburban dwelling can be paradise, but it can also become an episode of  National Geographic and for those of us that shudder at the site of them, a nightmarish prelude to the first big frost.

I speak of all things small and horrifying. I speak of winged creatures. I speak of things with billions of segmented legs and bulbous eyes.

God’s creatures.

Well, when you happen upon their slumber, their furry corpses, and their nasty looking feelers you wonder if God had any part of their creation.

You see, horns and antennae look so much alike, and last time I checked, God didn’t have a forked tongue or tail! Snakes, salamanders, millipedes, centipedes, wasps, hornets, bees, beetles, spiders and all other varieties of unpleasant slimy fuzzy buzzing organisms make for tenement squatters and unpleasantly can momentarily stop the heart of their surprised landlord.

I awoke this morning and laid my orbs upon a large green and black disciple of Beelzebub’s making it’s lazy way across my line of sight, directly over my head on the ceiling. Minutes later, upon my stumbling back from the bathroom shaken by such a sight, I stepped upon a semi comatose wasp. It objected to the action of my foot and attempted to express itself in the only way it knew how.

Dumb assed bugger! Don’t wanna hand over my rent, pay with your life! Your futile attempt to impale my calluses with your mighty dagger failed. MUHOOHAAAHAAAHAAA!!!!

I then saw a cocoon nestled in the crook of my ceiling that can only have come from a scene straight out of ‘Dante’s Inferno’

This of course is not just restricted to me. My dear old Ma is having a battle with hornets seeking refuge from the cold. Unfortunately, she’s losing that battle, and trying to eradicate the nasty dive bombing shanty they’ve erected in her kitchen windows.

I often hear the scuttle of tiny feet overhead. I know something likened to ‘Edward Scissorhands’ in the form of a squirrel or bat colony is largely responsible for the surround sound in my ceiling, but every now and then, something more sinister captures my undivided attention. I darest not open ye olde trap door to the attic lest the forces of hell pervade my humble abode. See no evil…

There is a reason Halloween is in the fall. All things terrifying come home to roost, to torment, to startle and to raise your blood pressure.

I love the autumn. I sure do. It has so much to offer. For the live 3D, High Definition – so close you can feel it version of “….Wild.. ..Kingdom….” I now wake up to every morning is not my only reward.

No. There is the wonderfully unpredictable weather. I love waking up with a frost outside forming, thinking it’s a good day to bundle up.

So I put all manner of flannel, knits and denim on, complete the look with sneakers and socks, and venture out onto Terra Firma for my daily view of God’s handiwork.

Well, the tricky part of fall is that it warms up…quickly! Within an hour there is this miserable feeling of a wet back upon me as I suddenly see a sign advertising the temperature, which went from 5c to 24c in less than one hour. Too far from home to change, and unable to disrobe one single vestment due to lack of layering, I steam and turn all manner of red shades while I wished I wasn’t so careful as I eye some teenage skaterboy running around in shorts and a wife beater.

To be frank, if he was even close to my size, I’d have beaten him unconscious with his skate board and swapped out clothes in a minute. When you’re that overheated, your morals and the laws you normally obey tend to take a back seat!

However, I do love the autumn. It’s just a matter of adapting to Mother Nature’s constant and quicksilver-like changes.

I suffer from a skin condition. During seasonal changes, my face takes on the consistency of dried instant potato mix. I call this my “Shirrif Skin”. It takes tubes of hydrocortisone, a great deal of combing and bleeding, and weeks of recovery for my skin to once again return to a normal state. To be honest, when I see others with flakes hanging out of their eyebrows and moustaches, it gives me the willies, so I work very hard at making sure I never ever get caught with any telltale leper faced evidence hanging out on display. I’d rather suffer the pain than look like the unkempt. Just my hang-up.

Well, Ma Nature has a last laugh, every season change. Because during the times that she knows I need to be looking my best, she’ll sneak an eruption out there on me, front and centre.

It usually occurs during a date. You know the ones where the candlelight flickering in his dreamy brown eyes is in front of you? The ones where all the right moves have occurred. The ones where you know that kiss is coming and you feel the anticipation. Then, just as you almost feel it upon you, he backs off! He’s spotted what could only be described as a prop from “Death Becomes Her” when the mannequin paint peels off Meryl Streep at the end of the movie like corn flakes upon your face. You note the hesitation, the revulsion in his eyes, and you excuse yourself to head to the bathroom.

Your black jacket, once clean and free of any lint is now dusted with dead face flakes. Your moustache has large deposits of gross looking madness poking out of almost every hair. Same for your goatee, eyebrows and sideburns. Hell, it’s all over your head. You now could be a cast member of “Night of the Living Dead”. You shriek inside, want to peel off your face like a Fembot, brown bag the disaster and skulk out of the restaurant unnoticed.

Nothing you can do in that mirror is going to make a difference. You try to rub out the offending leavings, and your skin erupts into bleeding patches of ugliness. You’re slowly growing that hunchback for your debut on the ….London…. stage, boyo! Your clothes. You try to brush them off; some of the evidence won’t go without a fight. So you stupidly dampen a paper towel. Smooth. Now your jacket has EMBEDDED filth AND paper towel pulp ground into it. You think to yourself, play like you don’t notice, and see if you can just get through the night.

Funny thing is that the elephant in the middle of your table will NOT be denied. No matter how you try, your self conscious now, and feel this uncontrollable urge to bolt from the restaurant. You try not to fidget, but your face hurts, and is now scabbing, and is itchy. So you “touch” a little. Fresh bloodletting soon follows. All you’re missing is the leeches to complete the romance of the evening.

Finally, a few deaths later, the date thankfully ends. He promises to call (you secretly hope he won’t, thus sparing you any further embarrassment). You leave, go home, and scrub your face with a brillo pad and Lysol, and then cream it with axle grease in order to endure the layers and layers of dermis you’ve just exfoliated and sterilized have some sort of conditioning salve on top.

All and all. I do love the fall. Fall to me says what it says. Everything falls. From corpses on your ceiling to corpse skin on your face, gravity will as gravity does!

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