So I’m beeping groceries at the self-checkout lane, the name of which makes some people think it’s a place for admiring yourself in the mirror. Suddenly, ALERT: NEED APPROVAL TO SKIP BAGGING. Hey, if I want to skip bagging, it’s none of your business. If I want to heap everything on the floor and push it out with a shovel, then that’s what I want to do.

The manager comes over, wearing the expression of a carnival dunk-tank guy on the day the fast-pitch league came to the fair, and he beeps in some numbers. (Wish his nametag had said Skip Bagink, because that would be perfect.) He looks at what I’m buying, and I feel shame. It was Pumpkin Spice Something.

I bought it for my daughter! Honest. Now, the only thing more tiresome than Pumpkin Spice is complaining about Pumpkin Spice, so that’s not why I bring it up. I’ve noticed that boxes don’t always picture pumpkins. See, orange gourds = Halloween, and Pumpkin Spice (hereafter called PS, as in “what a load of PS”) can drift into November if you like. It’s a fine signal of fall, and the idea could be extended beyond breakfast bars and coffee. For example:

Pumpkin Spice Parking Tickets. You’ll be less irritated if you knew you could snap the ticket from under your windshield and give it a lick. Mmm. Seasonal!

Pumpkin Spice roofing nails. Sometimes those guys put them in their mouths before hammering them down. Why not lend a festive note of nutmeg to their job?

PS-dusted U.S. Bank Stadium Downtown Park. I think we could solve all the funding issues by spraying the turf with PS and charging admission. What? I thought parks were free! Normally, yes, but we’ve plussed up the park experience with Pumpkin Spice. Oh well then, here’s $16.

PS newspapers. Yes, this Sunday edition is printed with Pumpkin Spice flavored ink. Go on, rip out this column and chew it. Doesn’t the taste say “the period between Labor Day and the onset of Nog”? No? Then you’re reading online. Sorry. Lean forward and give the screen a sniff.