Pumpkin spice season is here

This is not a drill! Pumpkin spice season is here.

I finally dipped my toe into the flavor pool of pumpkin spice.

Before I took the plunge I sought friends' opinions on Facebook regarding the pumpkin spice craze. Was it made up or real?
Had I missed something all these years? Who determines when Pumpkin Spice Season begins, because nothing pumpkin-related should be discussed in August? September? Maybe.
"She was the one who married David Beckham, right?'' joked Craig DeVrieze, a longtime pal and former ink-stained comrade, referencing Victoria "Posh Spice'' Beckham.
My friend Jean Johnson, not a fan of pumpkin spice, shared this little ditty:
"Oh pumpkin spice, oh pumpkin spice
I do not like you pumpkin spice.
Don’t like your taste, don’t like your smell,
I don’t like how you make me feel.
Your presence signifies the end
Of swimming parties with my friends.
You’re in the coffee and pop tarts too,
There’s probably even pumpkin chew.
Oh pumpkin spice, oh pumpkin spice.
Let me give you some advice.
It’s early September, summer is still here
Please don’t get your flavor in my beer.''
Maybe, if Posh Spice came with my $5.83 pumpkin spice latte ($7 with tip), my first attempt to spice up my life it might have been a 'love thing'. Sadly, no Posh.
It must be noted, I am a cold caffeine guy. After chugging my morning 20-ounce bottle of water (with 2 Advil and 1 Claritin), I stop for a fountain diet soda, opting for the mess that is $1.59 rather than dropping the power of five on some fancy-schmancy coffee-thing served in a paper cup with my name on it.
It should also be noted, I adore pumpkin pie, but don't do the crust, and usually don't have pumpkin pie unless it is a holiday.  Hence my apprehension about jumping into the pumpkin spice pool.
I was recently notified recently 'Pumpkin Spice Season' (no official date) had opened, so I decided it was time to play along.
Friday past, I stopped into the Bettendorf Starbucks, a rather cold-looking place despite an area set aside for feet-up relaxation and the serving of warm drinks. 
I ordered a pumpkin spice latte and, well, blah.
No rockets, no fireworks, no marching band, nothing. I enjoyed the whipped cream and the pumpkin spice topping, but the latte was boring.
Warm boring. With boring, you have something but not warm boring.
At first, I blamed me. My taste buds had to be flawed, after years of fast food on the run. But I pressed on. For $5.83 ($7 with tip) I was determined to press onward and upward.
Still nothing. Maybe I should hold out for baked goods featuring pumpkin spice or maybe pumpkin spice lip balm. 

I would not, could not eat pumpkin spice Spam. Even if you put a slice of pumpkin spice Spam on an Alfano's pizza and I still wouldn't touch it.

"I bleed pumpkin spice,'' Heather Harvey wrote, one of the few positive responses I received.
Good for her and good for those who love pumpkin spice and its amorphous season.
As for me, I'll stick to pumpkin pie only - no crust.
End of experiment.

Columnist John Marx can be reached at 309 757 8388 or jmarx@qconline.com


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