Autumn’s drunken uncle strikes again

By: Matthew Worsham – Opinions Editor

When I stepped outside Tuesday morning, one thing was clear: autumn as we knew it was over. The ground, previously mottled with the picturesque colors of fallen leaves, was awash with Dayton’s first snow.

For us to get our first snow, it has to actually stick. I call B.S. on the flurries and “wintry mixes” that we get from time to time in October. That’s not snow, that’s snow’s lame kid brother, who’s too busy shooting under-achieving spit wads in the back of the classroom to study and actually make something of himself. Heck, we can get ice storms in the summertime, but nobody counts those as the first snows of the year, do they?

I digress. With this in mind, I’ve always considered the first real snow to be the beginning of winter, as it’s the thing winter is traditionally known for. Astronomically speaking, fall ends more than a month from now, so I guess autumn really hasn’t ended, but once we get our first snow, it changes my mind about the season.

Snow is autumn’s wet blanket. It’s the drunken uncle at Thanksgiving dinner. It shows up every year, and each year you think things won’t be so bad, but by the middle of the day it’s a complete mess, and it leaves your place totally trashed. If you’re really unlucky, nobody cleans it up overnight and it sticks around, passed out in the front yard until morning.

Snow in the fall is the buzzkill of the season. It steals attention from the undeniably beautiful rotting tree appendages – I mean leaves – lying all over the ground, and makes a mockery of the thing that the season is traditionally celebrated for most. Fall has leaves, winter has snow, spring has flowers and summer has sweltering droughts. So when we get our first snow, fall gets shafted as winter steals the show. What if the winter snow got shoved out of the way early by those greedy spring flowers? I bet you wouldn’t like that, would you winter?

You can probably tell I’m bitter about an early winter. I don’t dislike the season by any means, as there are plenty of things that I look forward to in wintertime – Christmas and Christmas break, the new year, the Super Bowl, um … Presidents’ Day? Regardless, besides the holidays, there is plenty of fun to be had with the real snow that comes around that time of year, from skiing to sledding to snowball fights to driving – wait, not that last one.

The problem I have with an early winter is that it prematurely kills all of the good parts of autumn. Those great times you had gazing at the aforementioned leaf appendages, celebrating Oktoberfest or attending the last outdoor concerts or squeezing in a few more rounds of golf? Time to move on buddy, because Old Man Winter says the fall is done for. Pack up your light fleece jackets and get used to trudging around in your snow boots a little earlier this year.

So yes, I’m disappointed to see the fall go. I knew it would happen, but I had hoped it wouldn’t be so soon.
Who knows, maybe this early freeze will give Jack Frost a chance to step up his game from recent years – a little preseason training never hurt anybody. In the meantime, I’ll be hunkered down hiding from autumn’s drunken uncle, waiting for Dec. 21 when the real wintertime fun can start.

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