Hey-yo, it’s my favorite time of year, fall!

As we welcome in the crisp smell of leaves, death and decay, let’s revisit some autumn-appropriate satire from Election 2020!

(Originally published in Greener Pastures Comedy, November 2020.)

Wines that Pair Perfectly with the Fall… of Democracy

Rosé-Colored Glasses —

This lovely rosé combines elderflower and plum to help frame the collapse of civilization into something poetic. Best enjoyed by candlelight, around a campfire, or while reading the news. Pairs well with pears and puppies.

Nasty Woman —

A throaty chardonnay with a full body, this tart grape stands up against overbearing cream dishes and mansplaining when other white wines might fall flat. Despite its round, supple body, it still has great acidity, making it perfect for cutting through systemic patriarchy.

Resting Bitch Face —

The perfect pinot noir for when you get a friend request from a hot stranger just to realize that he is a Russian troll. With its impressive array of bitter cherry and singed iron, this wine will replace your bitch face with a nice rosy-red pink nose and blood-shot eyes. Side effects include a hangover that may or may not leave you even more bitch-faced than the day before.

d’Nile (de.ni.al) —

A white blend of lemon, chicken stock, salt spray, and small shards of glass, recommended for when people tell you that Covid will all “blow over” after the election. This pinot grigio pairs perfectly with chicken and mask-less hugs. Take a sip every time Trump holds a boat rally or tells the truth. Because let’s be honest, if you drink for every lie he tells, you will wake up next to a toilet with a face tattoo. Also known as weddings during a pandemic and Florida.

Sext Machine —

This titillating red wine helps you get it on safely during a pandemic when quality meat is in short supply. Its aroma of low tide can reduce the awkwardness of text message foreplay while loosening up the fingers for a smooth, lubricated sexting experience. A satisfying, buttery finish and delightful smoky aftertaste helps you forget that Mars is in retrograde for the next two months. Pairs well with stick shifts and masturbation.

Cowboy —

For those who say “I will not live my life in fear” when asked to don a mask yet continue to buy guns in preparation for the zombie apocalypse. This dense and unpretentious cabernet sauvignon with a vanilla nose is gaining popularity in the U.S. and around the world. Some crave its lack of subtlety and strong-arm, America-first tannins. This wine also has a softer side and pairs well with some cheeses, white women, and Jesus.

The “W” —

Named after George W. Bush, this merlot may have gotten flack in the past but has recently witnessed a resurgence in popularity. What once may have seemed downright unpalatable now seems quaint in comparison to the more recent Cowboy cabs.

Democratic Socialism —

This well-aged grape is very popular in Europe but about as elusive in the United States as Trump’s tax returns and the female clitoris. Sort of like a nose-pap Covid test, this wine can be painful at first, but in the long-run is more effective. Europeans claim that its acidic nose juxtaposes well with its sweet aftertaste, making it a perfect accompaniment to food, water, education, healthcare, and other staples.

Idiacryse (i.di.o.cra.cy) —

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Best left in the cellar for maximum noble rot, this pungent and dense cabernet sauvignon is a perfect accompaniment to heavy red meat dishes such as the hoarding of semi-automatic weapons and random expressions like “the whites are under attack”. With its ability to diminish the part of the brain that produces critical thinking, it stands up well to spicier dishes such as science and truth. The mouthwatering finish will make certain areas of your anatomy feel longer and bolder. Now with electrolytes!

 Wind’s hands reach
with fingers of amber leaves,
grasping for the deer that
disappears into the night

When does a deer become a pet? When you start to feed him apples? When he comes around regularly enough to earn a name?

It’s deer-hunting season, so I’m surprised he still comes back.

“He looks tasty.” My husband licks his lips.

Don’t even think about it, my eyes shoot back.

The deer and I are kindred spirits – solitary, quiet, we prefer leaves to meat. We both have widely spaced eyes. (The better to watch out for predators, they say.)

My spirit animal comes to visit us nightly, undeterred by the hostile wind that spits leaves like popcorn and men toting rifles. The mechanical monsters with headlights for eyes that occasionally snake down our dirt road have not scared him off.

I ask the children what we should call him. They have already named the resident seal at Nana’s house “No” and the porcupine “Yes”. Recently No brought by a friend to visit; they called her “Not”. I’m wondering if this deer will be called “Maybe”.

Fall gusts snatch the coffee right out of my cup, splattering it all over my coat. My ghost-like reflection spooks me in the mirror. The wind that promises me a bad hair day slams the door back in my face, telling me to stay home. It smells of snow. Yet the buck comes back to steal leaves off trees and fatten up for winter, knowing that the bright white will soon blanket all in its peaceful slumber.

With luck he’ll live to see it.