Monday, October 31, 2011

The Rise and Fall of the Perfect Pumpkin

Happy Halloween!

I don't know if it was because I was somewhat deprived of Halloween festivities as a child, but I am into this holiday in a big way now that I'm almost 25. I'm embracing pretty much every Halloween tradition I can get my hands on, including dressing up and watching scary festive movies (because someone informed me that "The Craft", "Practical Magic"  and "Hocus Pocus"  don't actually count as scary films). By far, my favorite Halloween activity is pumpkin carving, though. I like it so much, that I actually went to two different pumpkin carving parties, two nights in a row.

 I spent pumpkin carving night #1 fretting over my pumpkin, turning it over in my hands, trying to get inspired, and mostly just watching other people carve theirs.

I was also watching Game 6 of the World Series, so I wasn't super invested in my pumpkin. It turned out out okay, but let's face it, it wasn't the most show-stopping of the bunch: It had my name on it. What my pumpkin lacked in creativity, it made up for in clear identification...

I don't like to admit failure, but the above was definitely my 'starter pumpkin'. Sort of like when Kim Kardashian married Kris Humphries (too soon?). The following night, I had a much clearer picture of the direction I wanted my pumpkin carving to go. I sketched out a design, and went to town carving the world's  most adorable pumpkin.

Okay, more accurately, I spaced out while watching a movie, and then this cute pumpkin idea just came to me. I didn't have any sort of plan. Which is exactly why my pumpkin turned out awesome. Because I let it happen naturally (and because I'm a gifted pumpkin carver).

  My pumpkin was a thing of beauty. Really. I developed a serious case of Pumpkin Pride. I probably don't have to explain what that is, but basically, I thought my pumpkin was the best. I didn't say it. But I was definitely thinking it.

 To be fair, I really did like the other pumpkins at the party, because they were diverse: Gaga Pumpkin, Kitty Pumpkin, and Little Ghost Pumpkin were also very good... but I was blinded by the aforementioned Pumpkin Superiority Complex (commonly known as PSC).

So I admired my pumpkin, and went to sleep that night, satisfied that I had done a fantastical job and had dreams of winning awards for my pumpkin carving skills... Unfortunately, strange things happen on the nights leading up to Halloween, and when I awoke, I was greeted by the following horror:

My precious pumpkin had been vandalized. And this is hard to talk about, but not by naughty children as you might assume, but rather, it had been brutalized by rabid squirrels

I didn't see the squirrels do it, but there were tiny bite marks and nibbles everywhere, and there was a pile of crumbs nearby.

The evidence is pretty damning. I spent an absurd amount of time being upset about my pumpkin the next day.  I considered borrowing my brothers' airsoft gun, and camping outside next to the pumpkin to wait for the culprits to return, but eventually I decided that wasn't the most effective use of my time this weekend. In the end, I learned a valuable lesson:

"Pumpkin Pride cometh before the fall. Thou shalt not think thy pumpkin is fairer than thy neighbor's, lest the woodland rodents (or squirrels in Santa Monica) devour your pumpkin."

That said, my pumpkin was pretty darn cool before it got ruined. Seriously though. Why else would the squirrels ONLY eat mine?

R.I.P. Pretty Pumpkin.


  1. Update: I've been informed that my pumpkin is looking worse and worse by the day. I'm guessing by November 4th, animals will have devoured it entirely.

  2. Yeah, it's pretty rough looking.
    ...As am I in those pictures. Please take them down.