The Twist: The inevitable return of pumpkin spice


Maya Palavali

Every fall, companies integrate pumpkin spice products into their marketing campaigns. The Sidekick staff cartoonist Maya Palavali delves into the inherent problem behind this tactic.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist

As the clock struck midnight, indicating the beginning of October, a terrible feeling settled in my gut. Dreams plagued my consciousness of what was in store for me in the morn’: pumpkin spice latte season had begun.

Pumpkin spice in of itself is harmless: a nice blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and cloves added to a pumpkin puree. It is my deepest regret to acknowledge the unfortunate truth; we as a society have failed the flavor, leaving the fall season ruined in its wake.

Instead of simply enjoying the season with a pumpkin spice latte, the exponential rise of related products have assaulted our senses. I cannot walk outside without being hit by the scent from one place or another. Every store window boasts its new addition of the spice blend – even clothing and beauty products!

And trust me, it gets worse. If you make a simple google search, you can find disgraceful products such as pumpkin pudding toothpaste, pumpkin spice beard oil, pumpkin spice fish bait, pumpkin spice cat litter and pumpkin spice spam. If you can withstand and indulge in these monstrosities, you disgust me.

And the scent itself! My tender heart cannot bear it. The pungent aroma causes bouts of migraines and other physical ailments. Going near a Bath and Body Works gives me flashbacks to spicy tears and a pumpkin tinted brain fog. I turn into a poor Victorian child bed ridden with a whooping cough.

Heaven forbid I am made to eat anything in the realm. My gag reflex spikes when I am in the vicinity of a Starbucks during PSL season. I actively avoid going in that direction. If you hang out with me and want to go? Sorry, but no thanks. If you need to go to work and need me to drop you? You are going to just have to walk.

My stomach churns at the thought of ever bowing down to the psychological mind games of PSL.

A man named Pavlov did an experiment years ago where he conditioned dogs to salivate at the sound of the bell. He did so by repetitively ringing that bell whenever the dogs ate. The companies of the world view us the same way Pavlov viewed his dogs, a simple pawn in their game of domination.

The companies of the world have failed us. I have become conditioned to associate pumpkin spice with anything fall related. I do not have the mental capacity to attribute characteristics I love to the season. It pains me to sacrifice space in my mind with the wretched flavor rather than thinking about my favorite holiday (Halloween, obviously) or the crisp fall air. Nothing. But. Pumpkin. Spice.

I do not hate the concept in or of itself. Having a sweet flavor to welcome the transition to the best season is a perfect idea. My anger is directed towards the misuse of pumpkin spice. I have grown to hate it because of what society has done. I am upset at humanity and I will take it out on pumpkin spice.

Sue me.

I dare you.

Follow Maya (@mvpalovalley) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.