Halloween is over, and November is in full swing. That means trick-or-treating is done, the leftover candy is all yours, and all activities will start to move indoors. You might think that November is pretty much just like October, only with fewer zombies and a lot more turkey. But November comes with its own rules here in Denver, many that have nothing to do with cranberries, stuffing or flightless birds. The responsibilities of November are more than just Thanksgiving — especially in these ten ways.
10. Throw Away Your Jack-o-Lanterns
Just because pumpkins are still in season doesn’t mean you get to let those suckers rot on your front porch. Don’t kid yourself: You’re not “feeding the squirrels,” despite what you may tell your spouse. It’s not a long walk from your front porch to your dumpster in the alley, but it’s going to feel a lot longer when those caved-in ghosts of Halloween past are frozen and weigh about six times what they normally would. If you still have produce on your porch by the Saturday after Halloween (that’s a generous five days this year), you’re not doing November right.
9. Jackets Required
Sorry, Phil Collins: I hate to correct you and your 1985 album, but November in Denver demands some outerwear. Put away the flip-flops and get out the galoshes. November isn’t always wet and rainy, but it can be — and the only way to prepare for the weather in Colorado is to over-prepare.
Street sweeping: the perfect example of a mixed blessing.
8. Last Month for Street Sweeping
Those signs along the road that you often forget — you know, the ones that tell you that you need to move your car once a month by 8 a.m. or else it’ll fuck up your day? This is the last time you need to remember that until street-sweeping resumes in April. Which is great, except this short break is exactly why your brain again won’t remember to move your car next spring.
7. Football + Chili = Sunday
This is Broncos country; other than Sunday, November 20, which is the Denver bye, it’s actually a city ordinance that you’re either present at Mile High or watching the game at a bar or at home. It’s also part of the ordinance that some chili is made either during or prior to the game, whether it be green chile or the more traditional version. The ordinance is pretty lenient: Chili/e can be prepared in any manner, made with beans or without, and served with either tortillas or oyster crackers. I believe this law was passed during the Elway administration.
6. Start Watching Local News
No, you don’t want to schedule time for the latest 10 p.m. local murder parade, but starting in November, you need to tune in, if only to watch the weather for snow totals in the mountains. As a side benefit, these newscasts will remind you to blow out your sprinklers, disconnect your hoses and complain about snowy patio pictures. So being reminded about all the citywide violence is a small price to pay.
5. Stop Tanning
If Donald Trump has taught us anything, it’s that you can indeed be too tan. Or at least orange. By November, there’s not enough sun or warmth to pretend that anyone’s getting a natural shade. Besides, you have to get pale enough to make that goggle-shaped ski-burn really stand out once you hit the slopes and want people to notice.
4. Raise the Flag
Remember: Flying the flag is a start, not a substitute. Veterans Day honors the sacrifice of our military men and women now and through history, and you can participate in any number of ways. Don’t just spend your day off watching Dr. Phil and Judge Judy. Devote that time to something of substance. If recognizing Veterans Day was as easy as eating Cap’n Crunch with Gomer Pyle USMC on the TV as you play with your army of GI Joe action figures, then every day would be Veterans Day, you know? And knowing is half the battle.
3. Clean Out Your Garage
Because a) summertime is over and the livin’ is no longer easy, and b) you’ll want to get your car in there before the snows really hit. You’ll thank me on that cold morning in the deep of winter as you pull out of your garage, nice and toasty warm, and wave generously to your neighbor, who waves back forlornly while digging his car out from under the icy snow. He'll politely wait until you happily drive off, then flip you the frozen bird.
2. Abide the Facial Hair and Novel Writers
Movember. NaNoWriMo. Chances are about 100 percent that you know someone who shouldn’t be attempting facial hair suddenly refusing to shave, or someone who has to get home directly after work to “get their pages in.” Fortunately, both are good for something: Movember benefits research and prevention of prostate and testicular cancers as well as mental-health issues and suicide; NaNoWriMo primarily supports a renewed appreciation for actual novelists.
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Because this year, that line about “this might be the most important election of our lifetime”? No shit.