Why are my children so old? Why were they young when you had to actually carve the pumpkin? With a knife? After scooping the guts out and flinging them all over the kitchen. Things are easier now. So much easier.
Now you can cut the top off and just screw the pumpkin. Literally. Scooping of the guts is optional.
It used to be that the adult, or the one who could be trusted with the knife, would actually carve a creepy face on one side of the pumpkin. That was after scooping out the guts and flinging them all over the kitchen. And picking the seeds from the slimy pumpkin innards because “You can roast them mommy. My teacher said so.”
Simple scary faces evolved into 3D masterpieces. When those weren’t good enough, magazines began to print stencils, knives gave way to carving kits, pumpkins were seen after vomiting their innards all over the place, and life wasn’t the same anymore.
Every magazine offered ideas on how to carve the perfect pumpkin. They put stencils, and sample faces, and sold everything necessary to perfect your carving skills. Competitions became a place for ‘the artists out there’ to show off their masterpieces. And they were – masterpieces – pumpkins that could never be recreated or duplicated for your holiday enjoyment. They sold for thousands of dollars to fools who would toss them in the garbage can or mulch pile in a week or turn them into pies.
But today is today and today we say ‘screw the pumpkin.’ Today we chop off the top, fire up our drill, screw gun, or other power tool and randomly or in some orderly fashion, screw holes through the pumpkin. Removal of the gut is suggested but is optional. From top to bottom we screw. From side to side we screw. We screw in circles. We screw in squares. We screw in triangles. We screw up and down and all around. We screw to our children’s delight. When a sufficient number of holes have been screwed in to the pumpkin, a light or candle is inserted and voilà, a screwed pumpkin and a new tradition have been born. They actually look pretty cool – depending on the screwer and their imagination and prowess with power tools.
This Halloween you shall hear the cry of many delighted parents who put down their knives, who cast aside their carving instruments, who stand tall and say – Screw the pumpkin.
From the life and mind: Wanda M. Argersinger
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