Friday, November 5, 2010

Pumpkins. Pumpkins? Pumpkins!

The secret to finding the perfect pumpkin begins with finding a sincere pumpkin patch. Any by "sincere," we of course mean the pumpkins say what they genuinely feel and/or believe. Take the above pumpkins, for example. They believe that the world sits atop a never-ending stack of turtles. But they are honest about their belief. They don't hem and haw, trying to determine where your spiritual and metaphysical underpinnings lie and then try to match or at least mirror such. The moment you drive up to this patch the pumpkins yell out in unison, "TURTLES! IT'S ALL TURTLES" which...well, which frankly scares the crap out of you. In fact, such was our shock at being not only addressed by but actually screamed at by gourds that we quickly grabbed a tire iron and killed at least 60 pumpkins before we eventually gathered our wits and simply started stabbing them unnoticed with a shiv we fashioned from some lovely Indian corn.

Some pumpkins are clearly to large for our needs and, to be blunt, their own good. Take these fellows, for example. They look like the B-roll for a news story on rising obesity. The important thing, though, is never to stop and stare. Simply smile politely and move on. But they know when they are being dismissed. Pumpkins always know. That's why they always huddle in little groups like above, for the camaraderie and confidence that sometimes can only be found in numbers. Plus, if you lean in, you can hear them whisper what a judgmental jackass you are.

On the other hand, some pumpkins are just far too wee to carve. Take these little fellows as presented by Kim and Remy. Only a small mouse could create a Jack O' Lantern from such pumpkins. And do you know how much a mouse artisan costs these days?! That's why next time there's a mouse in your house or apartment, don't kill it. Instead capture it, send it off to the Rhode Island School of Design, buy it a tiny X-acto blade and let it work wonders. Frankly, it's your only logical course of action.

However, if you do not have the necessary funds to send a mouse to RISD and the little bastard is far too busy getting stoned with his idiot bandmates--seriously a prog rock group in this day and age?-- to do well enough in class to score at least a partial scholarship, then you may have no other choice but to wear the tiny pumpkins as hats, just like Kim and Remy are doing in an all-too tragic moment of millinery faux pas. It makes the heart weep, it does...

Sometimes, though, you'll come across a wee pumpkin with so much character (read: startling ugly but in a "can't stop gaping" kind of way) that you just have to find it a home, like Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. And, alas, like that tree if you hang a large red ornament on this pumpkin you are just as likely to kill it. But, more importantly, you'll be killing your soul, because you will be the person sitting alone in their studio apartment festooning a small, pockmarked pumpkin with Christmas decorations in the middle of a weekday afternoon, forcing you to come to the conclusion that yes, getting a B.A. degree in English, no matter how good the university, nailed your professional and personal coffin shut before you ever really had a chance to live.

But the search for just the right pumpkin the direction of even smaller pumpkins, leading the corporations and academic institutions who funded our expedition to question not only our true intentions but also our ability to even identify a goodly-sized gourd. With each step on our journey their missives and telegrams displayed more concern, more vitriol and more unique ways we could shove said gourds up our "bumholes" (I should note many of these aforementioned institutions were British). But we ventured onward, certain in if not our mission than in the fact we had driven an hour upstate to get here and we were going to return to the city with something, even if it were just more medium amber maple syrup...

...Only to once more be occasionally waylaid by the apparently repetitive human instinct to sport round, fleshy fruit on one's head at a jaunty angle.

Our expedition did lead us to some very unique specimens, though, including this elongated goiter removed from the neck of a pumpkin so massive that the local villagers have forsaken all Judeo-Christian tenets and now worship a giant squash named "Steve." Can you believe it? "Steve." That would be so much more pathetic had it not been that the pumpkin had that very name written on a "Hello, My Name Is..." sticker on what one would presume would be its lapel. Word is it was on its way to a heating and plumbing convention but got lost and just became a god instead.

We also happened upon this little specimen which, yes, looks exactly like what you think it does--1928 Democratic Presidential candidate and supposed papist Al Smith.

And then there is this fellow, a sad reminder to sailors everywhere to always watch those "beware the clap" educational shorts before hitting port.

Now some of you may be asking, "Why are you looking for a pumpkin in November?" (You may also be asking, "Why are the cows so flat in upstate New York?") The answer is "We weren't. These photos were taken in mid-October." Then you may ask, "Then why didn't you post them in October?" To which I can only reply, "Because it's already November and I don't have a time machine! Do YOU have a time machine? Huh?! DO YOU?!?" To which you may very well state, "Yes, I do." Then we would talk a bit about the possibility of letting me use the device at a reasonable rate.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that online friendships can be hard.

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