In the Peanuts classic, Linus never really was sure if the Great Pumpkin existed or not. But this year, I seem to have the opposite problem with you. You're everywhere.
Just as the department stores start rolling out the Christmas decor a week before the Halloween witches, ghosts and ghouls have made it to the clearance racks, it seems clear that you, the mighty pumpkin, are headed down the same path.
The food blogs started getting clogged with pumpkin recipes in mid-August. Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin donuts, bagels, and smoothies were all over menus before Labor Day. And perhaps worst of all, the first keg of highly anticipated Arizona beer of the season -- Four Peaks Pumpkin Porter -- was tapped September 19th.
What the fuck? Why are you back so soon?
Maybe cities like Denver or spots back East are happy to see you, pumpkin, but here in AZ, you're just a squashy slap in the face, a reminder of the fact that I can't wear a sweater for another month or two.
On September 19th, the high in Phoenix was 103 degrees; weather.com even had an extreme heat warning attached to the forecast. That doesn't sound like pumpkin season to me. Not to mention it was still actually summer; the first day of fall was September 23rd.
I'm not crazy. I did my homework. The pumpkin thing really is starting earlier every year.
In 2008, Four Peaks rolled out the first pint of Pumpkin Porter on October 20th. The following year , Pumpkin Porter was tapped on October 10th and last year, October 4th. See a pattern? At this rate we're going to start seeing the pumpkin brew on the shelves of local liquor stores in July. (Currently it is only available at Four Peaks locations, we're just assuming that one day this will happen).
Why the rush? Did you really think we were ready for you to return so early?
I remember the days when I looked forward to your arrival. I would count down the last days of September, waiting anxiously for that first taste of your sweet yet spicy flavors to cross my lips. And when it was time for you to go, dear pumpkin, I would have my last slice of pie and say farewell -- knowing you would be back the following October.
Well, not this year.
Last year you overstayed your welcome. Hanging around donut shops and loitering in front of the local Starbucks well into January, then returning well before we were ready for you was not cool. Not cool at all.
This year I am not even slightly interested in you. I am completely burnt out on your spiced goodness -- and it's not even October. In fact, I barely even noticed that you'd made your first appearance since here in Phoenix it is still blazing hot and we have other things on our minds, like swimming and drinking lemonade. And sweating.
So maybe this year, pumpkin, you can think about bailing before the New Year arrives. And please, don't think about coming back until at least October First, so we have some time to notice you're gone. As they say, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."
P.S. Peppermint and gingerbread, take note. You better not show your faces till Thanksgiving and we want you gone by January 2. Or else.