It’s the Great Pumpkin Spice Outbreak, Charlie Brown!

Taking the media temperature of the past month, one thing is clear: we need to stem this massive pumpkin spice outbreak before it gets out of control. Already, cases of pumpkin spice are popping up in restaurants and grocery stores across the nation, seemingly at random and in foods that have never experienced it before.

The first known case of pumpkin spice was isolated in Starbucks locations about five years ago, as part of a dastardly campaign to capitalize on seasonality. [Heretofore, the retail and food service industries would never stoop to capitalize on something so opportunistic as the time of the year to market their wares. Consumers can’t help what time of the year it is; preying on the one thing they can’t control is beyond the pale of business ethics.]

Since that original case, an isolated outbreak occurred among the thousands of Starbucks stores across the US. In the past two years, though, it has spread at an alarming rate among other businesses. The flavor, as part of its epidemiology, has mutated and skipped over into other foods that were not previously susceptible. As part of this mutation, the media, in coverage of the development, has highlighted three notable side effects:

  • Trendiness. An inevitable result of being so widely dispersed, pumpkin spice is in the awful position of being trendy. This means that people who ordered lattes purely because of the cool factor of their flavor selection have little reason to purchase the beverage. Even more discouraging, those who actually like the flavor (a full 98% by most estimates) are forced into this category, as well.
  • Flavor disintegration. The most mysterious side effect is that pumpkin spice presumably no longer tastes good. Although Thanksgiving aficionados have quietly relished their pumpkin pies in peace for decades, this outbreak has rendered the distinctive pumpkin spice flavor not only tasteless but flavorless. Although no direct evidence has been able to corroborate these findings, the tide of media revulsion regarding the proliferation of this trend can only lead to this conclusion.
  • Loss of choice. Also an indirectly observed side effect, it lastly appears that victims, who could once actively choose what flavor muffin they want at the bakery, are now forced to eat pumpkin spice at every respite. This is perhaps the most dangerous side effect, because those afflicted with pumpkin spice in earlier iterations of the flavor could just shut the hell up and eat something else if they didn’t like it.

With the scope, damage, and risks of this outbreak now assessed, it’s time for all concerned citizens to place pen to paper, or cursor to computer screen, and write the FDA, the CDC, or any of the other numerous government agencies and affiliated organizations that are all conspiring to kill us anyway, and demand that they take action to neutralize this threat.

Otherwise, we will be left with no choice but to mind our own damn business and drink unflavored coffee. For a true American, there is no more tragic fate than this.


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