t's late September and fall has just arrived in America. The leaves are green and yellow and red and other hues that they were never meant to assume outside a Fauvist painting.
The sun is bright, the breeze is cool, the day is calm and the yard signs read "Obama/Biden" or "Romney/Ryan".
I stretch my neck in a pointless attempt to spot a "Lennon/McCartney" or "Dravid/Laxman" board, but then, this is America, not the Commonwealth.
The temperature may be in the low twenties, or mid-seventies, as the diabolical system of measuring temperature on these shores informs us, but the political climate resembles that of an Indian summer.
Switch on television and choose whatever programme you may, election season is inescapable.
Between reality shows and dance-offs and bake-offs and the endless stream of pills and potions that promise to cure everything from piles to penury, you can't miss the candidates and their messages.
Their ideologies may differ, but Barack Obama and Mitt Romney (or their advertising agencies, at any rate) seem most comfortable when attacking each other. The message isn't so much "Vote for me and prosper" as it is "Vote for the other guy and hell and damnation shall follow".
Image: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney smiles as he speaks to a U.S. Secret Service agent before boarding his plane in Bedford Mass., for Cleveland, Ohio, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012.