Christmas in September

November 2003 - September 15th. Or maybe it was the 16th. I'm almost positive it was a Monday. The temperature was mild, and I'm 90 percent sure that there wasn't a cloud in the sky. In any case, it's a day I remember well because, on this particular day, September 15th (or 16th), the L. L. Bean Christmas 2003 catalog arrived in my mailbox. And just in the St. Nick of time, too. I hadn't even started thinking about the holidays! Just what was I thinking? With only 100 (or 99) shopping days left until Christmas, time was running out!

But, then, after a deep breath, common sense took over. 100 shopping days left. There's no need to start thinking about holiday shopping now. So, the catalog, and all thoughts of Christmas, promptly went into the bag where all the other unwanted catalogs – holiday or otherwise – wait for their trip to the recycling center.

About a week later, I found myself at one of the local malls. If I remember correctly, I was on my way to work and stopped by to pick up a household item. (Oh, all right. If you must know. It was a toilet seat.) I had looked for one previously at a couple of other stores, but they didn't have what I was looking for. I mean, when it comes to toilet seats, you can't just settle for the first available, right? So, off to the mall I went.

When I got there, I still didn't find what I was looking for. It's possible that they didn't have one. But, what the mall did have was plenty of holiday spirit. There it was, late September, and someone had already decked the halls of just about every store. I even spied some elves wrapping up loose ends. The toilet seat I wanted must have been disguised as a wreath or something, hidden among all the holly jolly decorations. Pretty spooky, considering that Halloween was still a month away.

Speaking of Halloween, here’s a scary story. I heard it from a friend who heard it from a friend who heard it straight from the mouth of her 10-year-old grandson. The woman asked the boy what he was going to dress up as for Halloween. "A pimp," the boy answered. "My friends and I are all going to be pimps."

"A pimp!" exclaimed the woman in her best grandmother voice. "Do you even know what a pimp is?" At which point the boy assured her that of course he knew because they talk about pimps in all the rap songs.

My response to the story? I said, "What’s he going to do on Halloween? Instead of 'Trick or treat!' maybe he'll say, 'Yo, ho! Give me some candy!'"

Honestly, I don't know what’s sadder – kids going gaga over gangstas or the way Christmas seems to come earlier and earlier each year. Who's the pimp? You tell me.