Musings of a Maltese November Grinch
There's no "Yes!" in November.
November. The very word sounds like what it is. Dark. Gloomy. You can utter its three dismal syllables whilst barely parting your lips, letting it rumble out in a growling sneer. It’s the month dedicated to the dead, and rightly so, because when it comes along, something dies inside of me. For I am the November Grinch.
Autumn is so pretty!
No it’s not. Autumn evokes images of golden, orange and crimson leaves, shimmying down onto the ground from the trees that are shedding their summer clothes to stand in their stark autumnal splendour. Please. Autumn in Malta is the season of soggy warm afternoons. There are no actual trees, so there are no fallen leaves. Every few days, the weather gods give us some grey warm water which we derisively call “rain”, which turns the dust on the roads into a leaden soup that transfers itself onto our trouser legs and ruins our carpets and moods.
Turning the clock back an hour makes so much sense!
If you’re a complete skid mark. Just when you’ve gotten used to getting up in the dark, but enjoying the tattered remains of daylight in the evening, General Convention decrees that you’re going to be woken up by the glaring morning light, which you’ll appreciate as you drive to work, and which will die an ignominious death whilst you’re inhaling Dave’s ageing cologne at work, to leave you with an evening of dark dismay as the sun sets sometime around lunchtime.
There are so many fun activities!
Like watching mould infest your bathroom walls as you court haemorrhoids by spending way too much time on the loo willing yourself to get up, get washed and get out of the house. To do what, exactly? Exactly. There’s nothing to do in November. The weather is crap, people are fat because they’ve eaten their weight in pizza and pink sausages all summer long and everything is on hold because…
Christmas is coming!
Yes. In a month and a half. For one day. Get over it already. It seems like “celebrations” begin the day after Santa Marija. Cue the annoying adverts exhorting you to spend all your savings on some Z-list celebrity-endorsed fragrance made from the cold tears of some assassinated bloom. The imminent birth of Jesus seems to give licence to every bronze-aluminiumed dive on the islands to proclaim itself open for business and promote its grim gravy-doused offerings to the gullible public. And, just when you thought that gouging your eyes out with a rusty spoon was not something you wished to embark on today, they start coming out…
Like flaccid scarlet clambering zombies, the chief offenders are, without a shadow of a doubt, the ho-ho-horrific Krismiss Faders that burgle the borders of many a beleaguered balcony. It must be admitted that their presence serves a purpose. To remind us that all is not well with the world. And don’t get me started on the cut-out presepji that litter our proud nation’s roundabouts and centre strips. A fibreboard Joseph, Mary, donkey and cow peer despondently at a beige plastic Jesus who, more often than not, is chained and padlocked to the ground, presumably to discourage any budding Christ-abductors.
There’s time to relax!
Only if you’re unemployed. There are no public holidays in November. Not one. I know. I shudder at the sheer audacity of a month without a sofa and pizza day. And so should you. Maybe I should take a sickie.
Everyone is so healthy!
Indeed. With weather more temperamental than a parliamentarian with an OTC MAP up his backside, and children acting as living Petri dishes for the swarms of microbes which they harvest from school, everyone is sniffling and sneezing on your sandwich. I’m glad you’ve decided to share your nasal flora with me, Sarah. Green suits my breakfast anyway.
Fashion makes so much sense!
It’s 26 degrees and humid. Do the Burberry scarf, the North Face parka and the Prada wellies really need to come out? Is spontaneous human combustion a thing this autumn? Why don’t you do my nose a favour and rest your sweat glands awhile? As far as I know, Dave, you’re not homeless, meaning you don’t have to wear all the clothes you own on Dress-Down Doomsday.
We can all donate to charity!
Finally, a sensible idea. But shit, let’s mix it up a bit. Let’s not give a tarnished cent to science and research and instead try and emulate 80s porn extras by sprouting a few wispy hairs on our upper lips. And, for the love of Tom Selleck, let’s not grow a proper moustache! Let’s only stop shaving on the first day of the month and swipe off the brown smudge 30 days later, when our colleagues have had to endure more than four weeks of the forlorn failure of our foray into facial follicular farming. Movember, I love you, said no girlfriend ever.