[Readings] You Better Watch Out, Translated by Jennifer Szalai | Harper's Magazine

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You Better Watch Out


The following notice was sent in November 2000 by the group L’Anti Noel Avant L’Temps to merchants in Montreal whose stores were decorated far Christmas. Fourteen businesses that did not comply with the group’s request were vandalized. Translated from the French by Jennifer Szalai.

Halloween has ended. Before Halloween it was autumn, and after Halloween autumn continues. Do you agree?

The leaves lie scattered on the soil, the atmosphere is calm and romantic; it is the dead season and many are rejoicing. Right? It is part of a whole season, a beautiful season, and one that does not officially end until the twenty-first of December. Are you listening?

Winter is far off, and Christmas does not exist outside of winter. Christmas = winter. Autumn = tranquillity, peace of mind. You see what we want to say, no?

We are L’A.N.A.L.T. (L’Anti Noël Avant L’Temps)

We are a group of people who are saddened and frustrated by your ill breeding. We refuse to let you destroy autumn for a reason as pernicious and disgusting as making a little bit of money. Everybody knows that Christmas is coming. You’re going to make the same kind of cash! So, if you please, everything has its time.

We demand that you take down all of your Christmas decorations without delay, and not put them back up until the first of December. If not, we are going to strike again.

N.B. Do not take this lightly. We are SERIOUS.

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