Combat Zone

Pumpkin Spice overdoes it

Pumpkin Spice Lattes: like autumn, if autumn came way too early, ended way too late, and came with whipped cream

“Are you really selling Pumpkin Spice Lattes?” I asked.

I looked outside the Starbucks window. There was a crisp October breeze, children happily walking out of a strip-mall Halloween store, superhero costumes in hand. There were girls in knit scarves and Forever 21 peacoats. A jack-o’-lantern sat on a nearby doorstep, its toothy grin carved through flesh with the expert hand of a father who has taken personal artistic liberty in ignoring his children’s magic marker outlines and gone for the classic look.

No. It was Aug. 26. This was not fall. It was 105 degrees.

The ordinarily droll season of late summer, formerly characterized by the start of the semester system and the unbearable weeks between summer and fall TV, is now positively marked by the return of spiced beverages.

The Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL, #PSL), a coffee/dessert hybrid, now comes back earlier and earlier each year, requiring more and more suspension of disbelief on behalf of the American public.

We are expected to believe that even in this age of globalization and mass production of agriculture that the Pumpkin Spice Latte, a product that includes only chemicals and artificial flavorings that are always available because they are grown (made) organically (synthetically) year-round, has to be strictly “seasonal.”

Publications more acclaimed and well known than this one, ABC News,, The Huffington Post and Twitter, just to name a few, have already tackled this topic and beaten the proverbial dead horse to the ground.

I, however, must express my feelings on pumpkin spice products through the largest outlet I have outside of social media.

And, in spite of my feelings on the timing of Pumpkin Spice Season (PSS), I’m a fan of sugar. Here are a few pumpkin spice products that matter to me and should matter to you.

Pumpkin Spice Latte: A classic since 2003, this beverage sucks unless you buy it at Starbucks and I don’t care if that comment damages my image as an alternative freethinker. A Pumpkin Spice Latte comes with the same amount of sugar as a Salted-Caramel Mocha, but without the “that’s not even coffee” connotation. Why is PSL an acceptable non-girly drink to get at Starbucks? I don’t know, “BECAUSE IT’S SEASONAL.”

Pumpkin Spice Pringles®: “Once I pop, I can’t stop!” For those who pop and want to stop because their sodium intake is too high and their holistic doctor aka an Australian Tumblr fitblog says that salt gives you cancer. Also, Pringles® are gluten free.

EDIT: Pringles® are not gluten free. Do not eat Pringles® or any Pringles® brand Pumpkin Spice products.

Pumpkin Spice Extra® Gum: Isn’t it annoying when you take out your packet of 5™ Gum in class and everyone wants a piece? With this new SEASONAL EDITION gum, you won’t have to give a thing to those halitosis-ridden vultures! EXAMPLE:

Freeloader: “Hey is that gum?”

Me: “Yeah, do you want a piece?”

Freeloader: “What kind is it?”

Me: “Extra.”

Freeloader: “Yeah, but like what flavor?”

Me: “Pumpkin Spice.”

Freeloader: “Nevermind.”

Pumpkin Spice Scented Candles: I want my bedroom to smell like a Bath and Body Works Black Friday Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off sale.

Do you want your bedroom to smell like a Bath and Body Works Black Friday Buy One, Get One 50 Percent Off Sale?