Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Open letter

Dear October,

You are my favorite month. The best things that ever happened to me happened in October. Back in my high-school days, I got my first kiss after an afternoon of walking through leaves, hand-in-hand with a beautiful blue-eyed tenor from choir. I once won $75 on a Halloween scratch ticket. I got hired for my first (read:only) full-time job in October 1992--the job didn't start 'til mid-November, but I knew it was coming.

You're also the best-looking month. The snappiest dresser, by far -- who else could get away with wearing brown, green, red, orange, yellow, cream, burgundy, and pink all at the same time? And what about that sky? It's never quite that same shade of blue any other time of the year. Seriously, no one else has your style. Okay, May is pretty too, but between you and me? She goes just a leetle heavy on the perfume.

And then there's all that harvest-type stuff you've got! Indian corn, pumpkins, corn stalks, apples, scarecrows (all right, I don't understand the scarecrows. What use is a scarecrow during harvest time? Who is there to scare away in an empty field? Not a criticism, October, just a request for clarification). Hayrides! Every hayride I've ever been on was in October, usually followed by a bonfire where we toasted marshmallows, made s'mores, and drank hot cider.

To top it all off, you have a fun holiday. No other month lets people get all dressed up like pirates and ghosts and vampires and demand candy from the neighbors. Friend of mine came to work dressed as a worker bee this year, complete with boots, tool belt, and yellow yarn pompoms tied to her calves (as pollen). But you know that, you were there.

Here's the thing that's bugging me, October. For the past seven or eight years now, I can't make it from the end of September to the beginning of November without getting a sinus infection and bronchitis. It comes on very suddenly: one day I'm out playing in the leaves, relishing the taste of the air, admiring the color of the sky; the next day I'm in bed coughing, hacking, sneezing, wheezing, and needing antibiotics.

My doctor says I'm allergic to leaf mold, and she gave me stuff to combat that. Last year, it kind of worked. I had some sort of creeping crud, but it didn't develop into anything dire. This year, however, on your last Friday I got a sore throat that rapidly morphed into a bunch of other things. By the 31st I was diagnosed with...yep. Sinus infection and bronchitis. Trick or treat! Ah, boo, I got a trick.

October, I'm starting to take this personally. It's really getting me down. Did I do something to piss you off? Can I fix it? Come on, call me. We'll go out for a mug of hot cider and some s'mores, and see if we can't work this out.

Vee (The girl in the glasses, cavorting in the leaves she's probably allergic to.)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Alternate song lyrics, or, the curse of the creative mind.

I'm minding my own business in the supermarket, looking for dried apples and finding only dried berries and prunes -- or, as they're labeled now, "dried plums." Do they really think they're fooling anyone? The radio I've got my earphones plugged into starts to play "Wild Thing," by the Troggs (I think), and suddenly I'm giggling. Why? 'Cause in my head, to the tune of "Wild Thing, this little ditty just composed itself:

"Prune juice! You make my bowels loose! You send everything....through me. Oh, prune juice..." and then the bit that really cracks me up: "Prune juice, you move me."

Sigh. As Rosie O'Donnell once said of her own brain (back before she went all weird and political): "It's a high-powered machine, but all it does is doodle." Well it keeps me amused, anyway. So what if strangers look at me oddly as they pass?