Alas, My Pumpkin; or, Halloween is Cancelled

Perhaps it is the fact that this wave of 80 plus degree weather and rain has turned my jack o’lantern into so much goo.  Perhaps it is the lack of sunlight.  Perhaps it is the tedium that is my life - day after day of crushing

Neal's Jack o'Lantern on the left. Born Sunday, died Wednesday

 boredom -  but I’ve decided that I need to make myself less accessible.  Which is a nice way of saying that I have no patience for anyone.  You’re lucky I’m even writing this, because I really don’t have to.

I suppose it is mostly that my pumpkin is gone.  It’s a stage of grief I’m in.  ANGER.  I invested time and energy into selecting that pumpkin from a whole field.  I carried it like a baby back to the car.  I admired its shape and color and texture.  When the time came, I scooped out its guts, roasted its seeds and oh so tenderly carved its chipper little dead guy face. 

Where did I go wrong?  The flies came immediately.  Little gnats swarming in a cloud, doing God knows what to it.  With a makeshift hairspray flame thrower I could kill and kill and kill, but they always came back.  But I don’t think it was the flies, really.

But this sudden jungle atmosphere we have – humid, hot and sticky – in OCTOBER.  Tomorrow, it’s supposed to drop down to a somewhat more seasonal temperature.  But the damage has been done.  My pumpkin lies rotting in the garbage can.  By the end, his crooked mouth had drooped upon itself and his once firm flesh gave way at the merest touch.  Rachel’s pumpkin, a nearly perfect specimen, has maintained structural integrity but is blighted with white mold growing in fuzzy spots all over it.

I am in a frightful mood.  As it is unlikely to abate by Sunday, I have decided that  Halloween is cancelled at my house.  We’re going to watch a scary movie and turn off the outside lights.  Halloween used to be my favorite fun holiday, but now I have become one of those people.  I’m not even going to put on a costume.  I’m not even going to break out my fake blood.  What’s the point?  I’ll just go to bed early so I can get up for All Saints Day and have done with it. 

Oh yeah, it’s a Holy Day of Obligation right after Halloween.  Sort of the whole point of All Hallows Eve.  Sorry, party-time Catholics.  Hie thee to Church, hangover or no. 

I could go on and on with my complaints, but you don’t want to read them.  If you did, I’d seriously question your worth as a human being.  Because I’m already sort of doing that, let’s not push it.


  1. Allison says:

    Yeah, when things go wrong with Halloween, it’s pretty much ruined. It’s never like Christmas when you have an entire 24 hours to get something right- Halloween is only an evening/night which quickly passes.

    If it’s any consolation, I never even had any plans to start with, and I live in an apartment building on the second floor, so pumpkin carving is out. Instead, I’m watching “Hocus Pocus” at my parents’ house.

    [Neal Replies: Hocus Pocus is awesome. Too bad we didn't get it on the Netflix in time...got wait-listed! Yet another reason to lament this Halloween...]

  2. Allison says:

    Well . . . you might be able to find it cheap at Best Buy. I think that’s where I got my copy. I figure if I watch it a couple times a year it’s worth the purchase. :-)

  3. Pam says:

    Haha…hope your mood has lifted a day later! I found myself slowly becoming one of “those people” as well, but 2 days before the 31st, I actually find myself getting excited!! Will the excitement last or will I just get lazy and not bother with festivities at all? It’ll be a last minute decision I’m sure.

    And – sorry about the dead pumpkin!

    [Neal Replies: My mood, as I suspected it would, continued to plummet. Once I set upon a course of action I am rarely dissuaded, even if I have decided to be miserable.]

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