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Fall is upon us, and it's a perfect time for romancing the bejesus out of your boo. Show her that you're more than just some dude who watches football and loves watching football and also football. You're more than that. You're a man of taste, culture and style. For instance, maybe you like wearing sweaters and making leaf collages. Possibly you enjoy a warm slab of artisanal bread from time to time.
If there's a new woman in your life, it's your duty to show her a different side of yourself, and now's the perfect season to do so. Just be careful to take her out on the right kind of date, because some autumn favorites can lead to disaster. Here are some contingency plans in case you encounter one of these fall date pitfalls.
1. Corn Maze
Nothing good ever happens in a maze, especially a maze of maize. Sure, it's fun at first, but you never know when you're going to get attacked by knife-wielding children or the aliens that made that crop circle in the first place.
Solution: Find a bar that has a popcorn machine, pour a bowl for the two of you, and enjoy a couple of beers and good conversation. This way, you're experiencing the magic of agriculture and nobody gets lost.
2. Hot Air Balloon Ride
They look like adorable gum drops in the sky, but hot air balloons can quickly become your own personal Hindenburg disaster. It's a balloon, with a wicker coffin at the bottom that you stand in, and it breathes fire. It's a complete wild card. Don't take the risk.
Solution: Take a ride in a Ferris wheel. You'll experience the same high-flying excitement afforded by the hot air balloon ride, but at a way cheaper price and without the risk of plummeting to the earth in a blazing fireball.
Getting together on a brisk day to watch trees go bald is a bad idea. You'll have too many opportunities to embarrass yourself by misnaming a leaf or stepping on a rake. Also, anything that involves "peeping" is way too creepy for a date. You never want to flex your peeping skills for a woman. "You should have seen Tom. He was so good at peeping! It's almost as if he has tons of peeping practice!"
Solution: Watch a scary movie together. It's a romantic, cozy situation, and you can say something like, "Look at Michael Myers. What a creep! Just standing in Jamie Lee Curtis's yard and peeping at her through the window. Disgusting. What kind of a sick bastard would do such a thing?!"
We know that antique stores look festive and quaint during the holiday season, but they're filled with musty furniture and spooky mirrors. Do not enter one of these stores, no matter how much your date takes an interest. It's all too easy to walk out of there owning a Gremlin.
Solution: Go to the bowling alley. Much like the antique store, bowling alleys have a jukebox, senior citizens and furniture from 1972, but they also offer mozzarella sticks, candy machines and beer -- perfect for your date! Knock back some brewskis and get to know each other while you laugh at how horrible both of you are at the sport of bowling.
5. Haunted Hayride
Hayrides are innately boring, because they involve slow-moving tractors and adult supervision. It's like when Wayne and Garth take that green-screen trip to Delaware in "Wayne's World." "Hi, I'm in Delaware." Same thing. Total snooze-fest.
Solution: Jump off the hay wagon, get into your car and drive to a part of town that is notoriously cursed. Every town has at least one street that harbors evil spirits, devil worshipers or some weird guy in a shack. Drive down that street really slow, turn off the headlights, maybe walk into the shack and scare each other half to hell. If done correctly, you can heroically whisk her to safety and steal her heart, just in time for winter.