This year's ration of Halloween hasn't seemed like the usual monthlong orange-orgy. Maybe I'm not paying attention, but the store displays seem somewhat underwhelming, and you almost expect a sign to say: "OK, it's the same junk we had last year. Bowl with a hand that grabs when you get near. Boo. Whatever."
But it's certainly fall, and that means beloved seasonal events you may miss because you're busy or down with the Hacking Fungoo that 47 percent of us seem to have. So get in the mid-late autumn mood with these suggestions:
• Visit a corn maze. You can wander around with an ax shouting DANNNNNYYYY like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining," but this is discouraged. Especially on Free Admission for Kids Named Danny Day.
If you're claustrophobic, carry a flare gun, or tie a string to your foot and give the other end to a friend. If you are that friend, it will be tempting to wait until the claustrophobe is all the way in, then tie the string to a car in the parking lot that's just pulling out, so your friend will think something horrible happened out there and you're running off in terror. Don't. It is not nice. Hilarious, but not nice.
• The timid may wish to try a soy maze, where the walls are about 7 inches high. (You can crawl on your belly if you want the corn maze effect.) Out-of-towners may enjoy the glass maze, where you can wander for days, mystified by the people who stream past, seemingly sure of their directions. Admission is free. Location: the Skyway system.
Others are just full of horrifying creatures like zombies and vampires and home-value assessors, who leap out and scream BRAIIINNS or I VANT YOUR BLOOOOD or YOU CAAAAN'T GET WHAT YOU PAAAAID IN 20000007, which can be terrifying if you bought at the top of the market, but if that's the case the threat to eat your brains can't be that horrifying.
• There's also something called "the outdoors" where you can walk around for free and see the subtle changes as the world sheds its garments and prepares for the depthless quilt of winter to descend, but I haven't got a press release, so I can't give you a location or admission fee. Nature has the worst PR.