All Cafes are open daily


Autumn Antics

Autumn Antics

We have a serious seasonal crush: on writer Colin Nissan, whose wit seems to peak with the rituals of fall.

Our swooning began with his incendiary ode to decorative gourds, originally published five falls ago on McSweeney’s, but only recently discovered by us thanks to a referral from Jacksonite Ned Rosenman. Nissan’s bleep-riddled romp – warning: all of his work contains “Adult Content” – captured the absurdity of autumn so succinctly, it inspired Rosenman to host a “decorative gourd get together” in November 2010, to which he invited the author. With the party in full swing and scenes from When Harry Met Sally playing on repeat, the guest of honor arrived – to everyone’s amazement. Rosenman recalled the apparition’s entrance: “When he walked in, we locked eyes and he somehow knew and pointed at me and shouted, ‘Ned!’ It was glorious.”

Still basking in the glory, Rosenman shared the McSweeney’s ditty with us, recognizing our penchant for pumpkin piles and seasonal spoofs.  Soon after, we gleefully stumbled upon Nissan’s newest piece for The New Yorker. It was like he had walked into Persephone, locked eyes with us, and shouted: “Corn maze!” Because for weeks now, we’ve been plotting a scheme to drive west in search of some field-borne fun. And here he goes and beats us to the parody punch. In “Corn Maze F.A.Q.,” the rural attraction takes on a Hunger Games urgency, replete with handmade weapons, makeshift shelters and patrolling warlords. By Nissan’s dark humor, wholesome pastime becomes modern dystopia. As the maze manager reveals in the Q&A, “We’ve found that some folks, after spending prolonged periods of time in the maze, do in fact experience the overwhelming sensation that they belong there. Life inside the maze begins to make more sense to them in a way that their previous lives outside never did. It doesn’t take long for awareness of their former selves to completely fade away, at which point they submit fully to the maze and are, in a sense, reborn.” Life inside Nissan’s droll world makes such sense to us.