November Madness


I blame it on the end of Daylight Saving Time. It now occurs on the first weekend in November and ever since that change – ten years ago under the presidency of George Bush (figgers!). Ever since then, November has meant some form of madness has descended on the world.

Let’s take the most obvious example – the Baseball playoffs now invariably stretch into November. They don’t call the World Series champs ‘the boys of OCTOBER’ for nothing. But no-more – this year it was November 1st before the crown was awarded.

But wait, there’s more. November has become the national month of male scruffiness. I refer to those hairy caterpillars so many men wear over their upper lips during Movember – a marathon of mustache growing to raise money and awareness for men’s health issues, notably prostate cancer. I did it once myself – the results were less than attractive (or impressive).

But of course the greatest madness of them all is NaNoWriMo, the national novel writing month when literally millions of people commit to writing an entire novel (well, a relatively short one) during the month of November. In my day, you wrote novels in three days but no more. Now it’s 2000 words a day, every day. If you know as many writers as I do it really cuts into your social life. In fact the only way you can get them to come to your house for supper is to let them write at the table between courses. By the end of the month it is hard to tell the NaNoWriMo participants from street people. I mean who has time for hygiene when you have an impending deadline.

And of course at the end of the month it all comes together: hordes of hairy, bedraggled and wild eyed people descending on stores on the Friday after American Thanksgiving for Black Friday.

All this November activity can be explained, perhaps, as a mechanism for avoiding the massive Christmas displays and endless Xmas tunes playing in the malls beginning the first week of November (despite earnest and appropriate pleas to delay it at least until after Remembrance Day). And of course, everyone knows, as George Martin, likes to say: Winter is Coming.

So, it is possible that all of this madness is nothing more than some traumatic case of denial. Or in the case of facial hair a desperate attempt to stay warm and avoid chapped lips.

Or, it could be preparation for the zombie apocalypse. It all fits now. The continuation of baseball when the sport should be dead; the frantic rummaging for words that come from where: BRAINS!!!!. The dishevelled appearance of mustache wearing men and boys. And finally the desperate shambling mass that is the Black Friday shopping crowd.

November isn’t a normal month. It’s the end times!

Time to stock up on canned goods and pick axes.

And that’s ten minutes.


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