FALL IN NEW ENGLAND versus AUTUMN IN WEST OF SCOTLAND. (A humorous essay of comparison.)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: CLOG

It's not exactly seasonal, I know (posted here in June 2017) but this piece was written some months ago for my author blog at ceeteejackson.com

This is a light-hearted, hopefully funny short essay, comparing Fall in the east of USA with autumn in the West of Scotland.


Fall in New England versus Autumn in West of Scotland. 

I’ve never witnessed it first hand, but I believe New England is absolutely glorious in the Fall. It would certainly be hard to argue otherwise, given the images we here in Scotland see via television movies and the like.

Glasgow is some 13 degrees further north than Boston. It sits on roughly the same latitude as Novosibirsk Oblast (Russia) so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised by the contrasting perceptions of the year’s third season.

But it doesn’t stop me feeling a tad jealous.

Here’s how I see it:

New England: couples walk romantically hand in hand through the woods. They scatter the dry, brightly coloured leaves as they walk, kicking them into the air for the gentle autumnal breeze to cushion their fall back to earth.

West of Scotland: couples walk hand in hand through the woods. The word ‘romantically’ is omitted, for they are merely providing ballast to prevent the other from slipping on the soggy, rain-soaked leaves.

New England: on a bright, sunny day, a happy, smiling middle-aged man contentedly blows the brittle leaves into neat, uniform piles on his manicured, picket fence surrounded lawn. He then effortlessly lifts them into the appropriate refuse bin, which he places on the sidewalk for collection by the local waste collection agency.

West of Scotland: on a dreicht, overcast and damp day, a miserable, brow-beaten middle-aged man loses the coin toss / argument / will to live, and his wife sends him into the overgrown garden. He accidentally bends the leaf-rake on the second sweep of the heavy, sodden leaves. For the next hour he pushes the leaves into little manageable bundles with his feet, which he then stoops to lift into the appropriate refuse bin. He finally risks a hernia by dragging the bin to the pavement for (eventual) collection by the local council.

New England: little mammals take advantage of the new, insulated and warm sanctuary created by the recent fall of leaves. They are pictured in various wildlife journals, all curled up, cute and comfortable.

West of Scotland: little hedgehogs and other small mammals form an orderly queue at the local housing offices, citing the damp, cold and drab conditions they are expected to live in. They are pictured in various daily newspapers brandishing placards and threatening legal action.

New England: having served notices of eviction to the adorable little mammalian tenants, happy and excited families from the street gather round the residual piles on Bonfire Night. A match is placed under the leaves. They ignite almost instantly, spreading a cozy glow across the garden that warms the feet of those attending the fireworks display, and now busy toasting marshmallows in the fire’s periphery.

West of Scotland: a boxful of spent matches lie strewn on the ground beside the slimy, wet pile of leaves. That brow-beaten, middle-aged man again loses the coin toss / argument / will to live, and is supervised by his impatient, irksome neighbour as he siphons a litre of petrol from his car into an empty bottle. Having splashed this over the sodden leaves, he flicks the flame of a disposable lighter onto the musty mound. It ignites. Eventually. But there is no immediate, spreading warmth.

There is smoke. Lots of smoke. It brings tears to the eyes of those trying to quickly retrieve their still cold potatoes from the base of the supposed fire, before the litre of ‘unleaded’ permeates the skin.

The kids from the street have lost interest and are now indoors playing Xbox. The wives are now in the kitchen and on their third bottle of red. One of the husbands has gone home to check on the dog. Another excuses himself on the feeble excuse of having office work he should be doing.

The brow-beaten husband waits with the irksome neighbour for the smoking stack to extinguish. There is silence in the garden. A heavy, damp silence.

 

And the winner is …………



Submitted: June 11, 2017

© Copyright 2021 Cee Tee Jackson. All rights reserved.

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Comments

ArthurD7000

This was funny. Thank you.

Sun, June 11th, 2017 5:46pm

Author
Reply

Thanks Arthur - glad you liked it. Cheers for taking time to comment, too. :)

Mon, June 12th, 2017 8:31am

Cee Tee Jackson

No - thank YOU for reading and ten taking time to comment. Appreciated. :-D

Sun, June 11th, 2017 6:43pm

Crowefoot

Funny. I enjoyed this. There are no hedgehogs in America though.

Sun, June 11th, 2017 7:31pm

Author
Reply

Cheers Crowefoot.
Yeah - I feel so stupid. And me a Pet Professional too!

You know, I never gave it a thought. I see there WAS a genus, Amphechinus, now extinct that was present in North America. Perhaps they didn't get out the piles of leaves in time?

Thanks - I'll edit the text. Glad you found it amusing apart from that.

Thanks for taking time to comment. :)

Mon, June 12th, 2017 8:39am

Cee Tee Jackson

Which just make this little piece even more fantastical. ;)
Cute little flea ridden things. You'd love 'em. :-D

Thanks for taking time to comment .. and more so for saying you enjoyed it.
Cheers

Sun, June 11th, 2017 7:49pm

hullabaloo22

Ha! Brilliant, especially that ending. I can really relate to those wet leaf piles, living in the rain-drenched west of Ireland.

Mon, June 12th, 2017 3:22pm

Author
Reply

Glad you like it. Humor can be such a personal thing, and trying to convey it through written word, especially to readers from other countries, is sometimes asking for trouble.

Thanks for taking the time to comment. :)

Mon, June 12th, 2017 8:46am

Jane Atkinson

This essay is great! So funny and well-written.
I do hate to burst your bubble about bonfires, though. Most areas in the larger cities forbid burning leaves.
Also, since I live in Indiana, I think our falls are prettiest here!

Mon, June 19th, 2017 8:01pm

Cee Tee Jackson

Thanks Jane,
Glad you found it funny - if a little inaccurate from the USA side. But, who knows, now that Mr T has opted out of the Paris Agreement, maybe you'll be able to start burning leaves again. ;)
If you reckon Indiana is more spectacular than the images I've seen of New England ... then, WOW! (Actually, if you head to the Perthshire area off Scotland, then it actually is very beautiful. But not much use for writing a wee amusing piece.)

Cheers for commenting.
:)

Tue, June 20th, 2017 8:14am

Amy F. Turner

This comparison sounds awfully familiar. My husband complains every year about nasty leaves but I ignore him while sipping my wine. So must be the same the world over! Very amusing account! My husband has a kindred spirit! LOL!

Tue, June 20th, 2017 1:07pm

Author
Reply

Thank you, Amy.. And thanks for taking time out to comment.
(Sounds like you've got it all sussed.) ;)

Tue, June 20th, 2017 10:09am

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