I can totally relate to Sally Brown. She trusted her friend Linus Van Pelt and spent the entire night in the Pumpkin Patch only to be disappointed.
Pumpkins have been disappointing me since I was a young child. The first time was on Thanksgiving in 1981. We went to visit my mother’s friends and they offered us some dessert. I saw a beautifully crafted orange pie and asked if I could have a slice. As a young man raised in the South, I expected to taste some delicious sweet potato pie. Instead, my tastebuds were assaulted by a stringy, foul-tasting facsimile which I later discovered was pumpkin pie.
Later in life, when I started working, I was again tormented by pumpkins. I had a coworker who would bring toasted pumpkin seeds to the office year round (I’m convinced she must have been a pumpkin Sorceress). She enter my cubicle with her tray and would not leave until she witnessed my swallowing a few seeds. After she was gone, I’d thumb through the employee manual to see if I could report this pumpkin harassment to HR.
Each fall, my social media streams are littered with some variation of this message, “OMG! I can’t wait to get a Pumpkin Spice Latte.” To me, this message translates to, “I hate you, Fred.” Throughout the season, I’m bombarded with images of pumpkin bread, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin soup, pumpkin beer, and pumpkin meatloaf with pumpkin BBQ sauce (I did not make this up. Here’s the recipe).
The final straw came when I had to make a Jack-O-Lantern for my kids. I tried to talk them out of it, but I made the mistake of looking at their cute little faces and I couldn’t resist. So, I bought a pumpkin, outlined a face with a Sharpie, and found my sharpest knife. I attacked the pumpkin like Jason on Friday the 13th. That part actually felt good, but it was all downhill from there. Have you ever looked inside of a pumpkin? It’s disgusting. I was sickened by the entrails and putrid pumpkin odor. Thankfully, I was able to hold down my lunch and complete the task.
I placed the Jack-O-Lantern on the front step and hoped that some teenager would steal it as a prank. No such luck. Each day that pumpkin mocked me as I came home from work. It’s creepy face was smug with the knowledge that thousands of Pumpkin Spice Lattes had been sold that day.
But I prevailed in the end. The elements slowly deformed its face until it was a hideous mass of orange pulp. I took great joy in tossing it’s carcass in the garbage can. Since then, I have banned pumpkins from my house. If only I could ban them from baked goods, then the world would be a better place.