Thursday, November 17, 2011

An Open Letter to Those Who Smashed My Pumpkins

Dear you,

The night before Halloween, I gushed to my wife about how much I was looking forward to smashing pumpkins after the Halloween and Autumn festivities were over. 

I told her how I wanted to take a pumpkin, put it in one of my large hands, rear back, and throw it in a high arc, like they do to the shot put in the Olympics.  I imagined watching that orange round ball of hard shell and soft flesh fly through the air, soaring in a smooth round arc toward the midnight moon.  Then, as the arced descent began, I saw my heart begin to race faster and faster.  In vivid color, I watched as the gourd hit the middle of the asphalt intersection and burst into hundreds of pieces, some large, some small.  I even saw the point of contact - the stem of the pumpkin lodged deeply in the tar.

Then I imagined the cursing street sweeper.  I read his thoughts.  He was yelling at young men who were obsessed with destruction.  My evil side laughed.  Little would he know that it was a 31 year-old gentleman who secretly wanted to be a kid again.

You see, I hadn't ever been able to do that as a young boy.  We were too straight-laced.  Other kids got to carry pillowcases that they filled to the brim with candy.  We had teacups.  Others were able to beat up little children and take away their pillowcases.  We had to give them hugs.  Those others were also able to throw every pumpkin they came across, into the street, smashing it to bits.  We had to re-light the candles inside and walk away with a smile.

A few years ago, I worked up enough courage to try this stunt with a large green gourd we had purchased at a pumpkin farm.  The thing was half the size of a winning pumpkin at the Minnesota State Fair.  I was able to throw my arm back and loft it halfway down the street.  The arc was perfect and the thing headed toward the ground at a destructive speed.  Then it hit - and bounced.  It bounced half a block into the path of a car that swerved just in time to miss an insurance bill. 

I never tried again.

Then, this year came around.  We purchased eight pumpkins.  One for each one of us in the family.  We carved them carefully and put a tea-candle in each one.  I watched as the days progressed and the pumpkins looked progressively more sad - rotten.  Tonight was going to be the night.

And then I woke up this morning.  I wiped the frost off of one of my windows to see the rising sun and was greeted with the view of scattered pumpkin pieces all over the road. 

My autumn - and winter - for that matter, is ruined.

Of course, I am grateful, nonetheless.  More than likely, with my luck, I would have been caught and arrested on the spot.  At least this way, I am able to live vicariously through you.

I guess I thank you.  But, next year....,

Incongruous Circumspection


  1. See I might be a prude, but I don't understand what it is that makes people think that because it is a certain time of year that they can smash up things that belong to other people. Any other time of the year that's called vandalism, and it is vandalism now too but they think they they have a reason.

  2. Awww, I'm sorry... Cheer up bro, all's not lost! Go buy a watermelon. They make a bigger splash.

  3. Hehe. Joy, you might be right. She WAS extra tired the next morning. Hmmmm....

  4. Erika, some of my neighbors have a few left. Maybe I can do theirs.

  5. Katy-Anne, in light of your comment, disregard what I said to Erika. I didn't mean it, unless you're Erika.

  6. Allabouttheheart...thanks! Watermelon!!! Great idea!