Monday, October 31, 2011


Several weeks ago, I convinced Andrew to carve pumpkins with me. The 80 degree "fall" weather was beginning to depress me, and I wanted an excuse to make pumpkin cookies and roast pumpkin seeds. He agreed, and after our festivities, I readily set the pumpkins on our front porch so that all could see what a merry and festive family we were. I even lit some tea candles in the pumpkins so that our neighbors could behold our glee, even at night.

The next day, however, I took a walk around our neighborhood and noticed that no other house on our whole block had any carved pumpkins out front. Suddenly, I began to question my squash sculptures: do people here still carve pumpkins? Because the South is ultra religious, are they going to think I'm a pagan of sorts? Not backing down, I left my pumpkins on the porch.

Then, one week later, I had my answer.


Though I have been in Georgia for a year and a half, I still manage to underestimate the power of humidity. I had essentially placed rotting vegetables on my porch, in 80 degree weather, and assumed that the outcome would be jolly and spirited. I wanted to tell people that in Oregon, you can carve pumpkins and set them on your porch and the cold weather will preserve them, not devour them. But it was too late. The mold had eaten the pumpkins alive, from the inside out. The cute beady-eyed little pumpkin was now a fuzzy-eyed little pumpkin and their mouths were no longer housing little tea candles, but large dark clouds of things I would rather not describe.

I'm sure my neighbors did think I was crazy, and I have since learned that southerners do in fact carve pumpkins, they just typically set their pumpkins out the day before Halloween.

While this story is mildly embarrassing and disgusting, I believe it can still work to my advantage.

Last year, I grossly underestimated the amount of children who would be trick-or-treating in my neighborhood. I bought 1 bag of candy, and anxiously waited for the small people to arrive (I grew up on a farm-like orchard, and hence have never had the opportunity to give candy out on Halloween...I think I've romanticized it a bit). When the children finally began to arrive, I opened my door, went outside to greet them, and was immediately alarmed. Swarms, I tell you, swarms of children were crawling down the street. Obviously, within minutes, I was out of candy (to be fair, I was a little too lenient last year with my candy rules. This year, "No, you may not have two," and "I don't care if you don't like Whoppers" will become my new mantras).

Seeing that I live on a quiet and idyllic street, I thought the masked children would understand why I was out of candy. But when the next set arrived and I displayed my empty candy bowl, an uproar began. The group began shouting in all different directions: "She's out candy! She's out! She doesn't have any candy!" Suddenly, an echo of sorts picked up down the streets and everyone began repeating the shameful news and pointing at my house. Trying to hide my embarrassment, I gave a few half-hearted waves and head nods and tried to slowly walk backwards into my house. At the same time, I caught sight of a mom whose children were just relaying the news of my candy failures: "She's out!?" she cried. "Already? Well....then...Take her pumpkins! We deserve something!" With swift movements, her little minion ran onto my porch and started trying to carry off my (uncarved) pumpkins. As he began to pick them up, the mom laughed and called him off. And he hung his head and slowly stomped off my porch. I stood in disbelief, not five-feet from the kid, unsure of what sort of place I had moved to. They all laughed about the little escapade and the mom passive-aggressively joked that although she had been kidding, maybe I shouldn't run out of candy next year.

This year, I'm fully stocked up and supplied for tonight.

But I may run out on purpose, just to see what happens.


Happy Halloween!


Carmen said...

Oh, too funny! I was sure that story would be one of the "and then the mom hopped the fence as I tried to get away, grabbed my leg and started pulling it-- just like I'm pulling yours" variety. But no!

I like the moldy pumpkin. He looks like a wizened old man, the kind who would give out pennies on Halloween.

Karyn said...

It looks like an old grandpa pumpkin now hahaha. Precious little wrinkle face pumpkin man!

Sarah Officer said...

I love your old man pumpkin! I miss you and can't wait to see you in January!

Amanda B said...

Haha best story ever. I couldn't stop laughing. I hope you had enough this year, and btw, kids are brats.

Kendra said...

Someone actually stole our uncarved pumpkins off of our porch while we were out. They did us the favor of disposing of them so I can't really complain. But still... who steals others pumpkins?

lyndsey said...

I feel the need to confess that I still managed to run out of candy.

I didn't wait to see what would happen. I turned off all the house lights and fled into the streets.

Maybe next year...