Do You Have Compulsive Fall Disorder?

It's an annual mid-September debate. Is it fall yet? If so, how much should we talk about it?

There is an annual mid-September debate captivating the internet these days: Is it fall yet? And if so, how much should we talk about it? All the time, right? Isn’t fall the best? #PumpkinBeer?

On the side of all things good and pure are those who have felt the crisp autumn air dancing upon their cheeks, pulled the sweaters from their cedar chests, and started shotgunning pumpkin brews. Let’s call them the “Mr. Autumn Men,” in honor of the excellent Onion article that ran last year. You know the one that began:

BOSTON—The twigs and acorns crunching pleasurably beneath his boots, Mr. Autumn Man Dennis Clemons, 32, reportedly strolled down Massachusetts Avenue on Wednesday wearing a gray sweater over a plaid collared shirt as he cradled a cup of pumpkin-spiced coffee and relished the crisp October morning.

Sure, sure, it says “October” morning, but the temperature dipped into the 40s this week! That means it’s time to start quoting from it.

You could accuse the Mr. Autumn Men of being too earnest by speaking of their love for the greatest season with a bit too much ardor, and a few too many hashtags about seasonal harvests. But we are not above more knowing humor. Just this week, the Mr. Autumn Men of the world began passing around an old 2009 article from McSweeney’s entitled, “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers.” (It’s second on the site’s “Popular list” as of this writing.) There, writer Colin Nissan found more R-rated ways to celebrate this most flawless of seasonal moments:

When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is—fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

Damn right, it’s fall. Why else would people be tweeting out this four year old humor essay?

On the other side of this debate are those who are evil and sad who declare that it is too early to start embracing this most glorious of weatherly phenomena. Indeed, there are divisions among the staff of this very publication—grinches who see other members of the staff drinking apple cider and shout vulgarities about how it’s 75 degrees outside or whatever. It is in this curmudgeonly spirit that a comedy group in New York put together a parody of the Mr. Autumn Men entitled, “PSA: #DontFallforFall.”

In the tone of a benevolent public service announcement, a host says, “Do you or a loved one have a constant need to express your love for fall across all social media platforms? Have you or a loved one recently bought a pumpkin spice latte at Starbucks just to Instagram it? If you answered yes to any of the above, then you or a loved one may suffer from CFD, compulsive fall disorder.” It then features the sob stories of women who got too excited about pumpkin-flavored treats and borrowing their boyfriends’ pullovers.

They can try to pathologize us all they want. But they know the Autumnal Equinox is coming this weekend. So break out your shellacked vegetables. Fire up your Instagram filters. This is what New England was made for, baby. It’s (basically, sort of) fall!