My sweetie is the pumpkin carver in our family. It’s his contribution to Halloween. I like to play dress up and answer the door to all the decked-out cuties who start resting on the doorbell as soon as the day grows dark. They’ve already paraded through the neighborhood earlier in the day with their schoolmates, and they’re ready to ghoul and troll.
But, I digress. Back to Pumpkin Man. A couple of weeks prior to Halloween each year, we trek to our local pumpkin farm in search of three beauties just begging to be carved. We’ve always hunted fairly largish pumpkins — the big guy needs a big canvas — or so I thought. Now, I’m thinking that it’s Elen who needs the big canvas. It’s a writer thing.
On the hunt for some cornstalk and straw, I spread my arms wide gesturing to heap after heap of pumpkins and say, “Go to it, Pumpkin Man,” and wander off. Now, I’m in the PF mercantile standing next to stacks of baled straw with a big sign overhead telling me that this is highly flammable and PLEASE…DO NOT SMOKE. Do I really want to use a bale of highly flammable material as part of my Halloween tableau? Snug it right up against the front of my house? Set illuminated Jacks on it? I don’t think so. Nada. Nyet. Nein. Guess that rules out the cornstalk, too. 15 minutes later, I’m pacing up and down in front of the cash register waiting for Pumpkin Man to stroll up with his wares. He does stroll up, but with no wares.
“Where are the pumpkins?” I ask.
“Bought and paid for and in the trunk. Where’s the straw…the stalk?”
“Forget that,” I said. “I don’t think our insurance covers All Hallows’ Eve.”
He looked at the two giant iron sunflowers I was toting and raised his eyebrows. “Fire retardant tableau,” I said. “We just have to bang these suckers into the ground.” I paid for my purchases and headed for the car practically bouncing on my feet. I couldn’t wait to see all that Jack-O-Lantern potential.
A hike across one parking lot later, Pumpkin Man opens the trunk with a Ta-da! I looked into the trunk and clutched my windbreaker to my chest. Pumpkin Man had picked out the AA cup of pumpkins (twice, and don’t we usually get three!), when I had always thought of him as at least a C, if not a D, man.
“Where are you going to put their faces?” I cried. I can do the shock/horror thing with the best of them. Pumpkin Man flipped me an eye-roll. His equivalent of babe…chill. Nothing rocks Pumpkin Man.
Yesterday was carving day. I haven’t been out to the garage to see our Jacks, yet. Our third-grade neighbor pronounced the first one scary. I’m sure they’re pretty darn fantastic…just slightly vertically challenged.
How about you? Have you got a Pumpkin Man at your place?