Summer of Impositions III: The Imposition of Summer and the Fading Glory of Pumpkin Spice

Dash it all, I am vexed. Vexed and perplexed and vomit-hexed. Terribly vexed, and at least part of it is because of Trevor.

It’s been a year but I’m still pissed off that Trevor’s imposition last year began with, “Put away your pumpkin spice lattes.” Then he went on to dwell on seasonal technicalities, i.e. the first week of September is not yet officially Autumn, the way a child you’ve told to wait a second after pausing for a breath’s duration will say, “It’s been a second now!” The gall, so cavalierly delivered, boiled my blood the nanosecond I read it. Every year I have to endure months of blistering heat and mosquitoes and people shouting at me, Isn’t this the best? No, it freaking isn’t. And honestly, if I can psychoanalyze him a bit, I think Trevor, who lives in the Hell that is Florida, wants to consign us all to the misery that is his all year round. 

“It’s not Autumn yet…” Get bent!

Every year I count down with anticipation the final day, hour, and minute of August so that I can praise God from whom all spookiness flows for the passage into the magic and mystery of… well, the hell of it is, with global warming it definitely doesn’t yet feel like Autumn. It wasn’t always this way and it is one of the more bitter aspects of growing older that I must bear witness to what seems like a summer that persists in zombie existence beyond its natural expiration date of September 1. But the invasive forces of summer have been crossing the moat and have taken a battering ram to the gates of Autumn.

More recently, this same twit has been using every opportunity he has—and even artificially creating them, such is his spleen—to broadcast his hatred of Halloween Kills with all the angry passion of a 17-year-old displaying before onlookers her newfound hatred of the Yes and Led Zeppelin she grew up with. Look, if you’re going to pontificate about how Halloween 4 and 5 are high-water marks for the franchise but then spew bile over Halloween Kills, I don’t think we’re talking about the same set of movies. That’s like some guy in his fifties telling me The Clash are a disappointment, but Good Charlotte? Now that’s punk. Get out of here.

“Put away your pumpkin spice lattes… Halloween Kills has no character development…” AGH! Is Trevor real? Or have I been assigned some kind of hallucinatory mirror image of myself by one of the princes of Hell? (Again, the Florida connection makes this seem plausible…)

But what I’m particularly pissed off about right now is how monstrously late my imposition is. Summer is over—which, in itself, is perfectly fine with me, keep it—and I am only now, on the eve of the eve of Halloween, presenting the fruits of my labor. And I know I could just say, “Well, my wife and I had a baby this summer, and our two-year-old broke his leg after we brought her home,” and be exonerated, but I prefer to blame Trevor yet again. Though in truth, I need to heap at least some blame on Ryan Ellington, as he imposed these three crates of manure upon me. 

Reader, I tried to find a common thread conceptually linking my impositions, I really did, but aside from the fact that all of them were unforgivably stupid, there was none. Blood Gnome, Woman of Mud, and Thankskilling 3 all inadvertently advertise the grace of God in allowing the human race to survive as long as it has.

Blood Gnome and Woman of Mud both make powerful implicit cases for celibacy by demonstrating how stupid the average drive for sex is as well as rendering visible the shackles of manipulation and control which sex erects around our lives. The most terrifying thing about Blood Gnome, though, was being reminded of how I rented it when I was an injudicious young man for whom “Starring Julie Strain” promised release for my carnal cravings. Woman of Mud was a howler, and its depiction of a young man’s acquiescence to the sex-focused dominance of one woman and then another triggered cavernous guilt within myself, invoking times in which I, also, gave in to others and watched my agency erode over long years. Be like Jesus: just say no.

Thankskilling 3 offered something different, and I thought I might be grateful. But I was wrong. I wanted to like Thankskilling 3. But because I have a soul, I couldn’t. If you’re aiming to make a horror-comedy, you’re likely going to lampoon horror conventions and accordingly not be very dread-inducing, spooky, or frightening. And if this is the case then you better deliver on the humor! But Thankskilling 3 is pretty much dead on arrival the moment you press play. Whatever was charming about Thankskilling is utterly absent, yet exerts a soul-sucking pull via that absence, like a black hole beyond the field of vision, distorting spacetime and concealing its own voided presence. Or like a summer that won’t stop and instead persists into freaking October. For frick’s sake! Just let Autumn be!

Now I’m even more agitated as Thankskilling reminds me that November is practically here and Halloween and Spooky Season are all but spectrally spent. The sun is rising on The Most Wonderful Time of the Year and its brightness is unbearable. Nothing spooky can stay. And not a single one of these flicks sent a shiver of delight through the cavity where a heart normally is for a human being. For I am but a shell: an absence where Autumn and jack-o-lanterns and imaginative chills and thrills ought to be. Did you get what you wanted, Ryan? Are you happy, Trevor? My impositions have been fulfilled but now, like Frodo, I cannot enjoy the outcome: the Morgul blade is still too near my heart, and my joy in completing the quest dissipated. I feel a dark power seizing me, taking me captive—WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS, WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW—

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