Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Worst Time Of Year To Be A Pumpkin

Father: Son, why are you wearing a white bed sheet over your head?

Son: Because Halloween is almost here! I'm dressing as a ghost!

Father: Did you say "Halloween"?

Son: Yes, Halloween, October 31st!

Father: But how....

Son: I read a sign on the entrance to the farm, "Happy Halloween!" I had no idea what it meant, so I looked it up online. I can't believe I've been alive for one week and you didn't tell me there was a holiday for pumpkins! A holiday when I can wear a costume and accept free candy from strangers and eat it all in one night!

Father: Oh boy. I was hoping we wouldn't have to have this conversation until you were older. You better sit down for this.

Son: I am sitting down.

Father: Right. Sorry.

Son: Is something wrong, Dad?

Father: Son, there's no easy way to tell you this, but you won't be trick-or-treating. Halloween is not a holiday for pumpkins like us. The fact of the matter is, this is the worst time of year to be a pumpkin.

Son: Why?

Father: We are the most popular fruit of the fall season. Too popular.

Son: I don't understand.

Father: See, we live on this farm, right? With our family, our friends. Your friends.

Son: I love it here.

Father: So do I. But we can only live here until mid-October, at the latest.

Son: Will we be evicted?

Father: Worse: We will be picked. Humans will come here, by the hundreds. They will lift us, cuddle us, smother us with hugs and kisses, and take us to their homes.

Son: That doesn't sound too terrible.

Father: And they will eat us.

Son: What? But why?

Father: The honest answer: We are incredibly tasty. And versatile, too. We can be mixed or baked into virtually any kind of food you can think of. Bread, soup, cookies, pie, cider, and a whole lot more. You'd be horrified at the amount of pumpkin-flavored food Trader Joe's has stocked right now.

Son: But not all of us will be eaten, right?

Father: That is correct, son.

Son: Well, that's a relief.

Father: The rest of us will be carved.

Son: WHAT?!?!?

Father: Regrettably, humans enjoy carving faces into pumpkins for Halloween. They especially love putting smiles on those faces. Nice smiles, crooked smiles, jagged smiles. As if a pumpkin would have any reason to smile after being attacked by a knife.

Son: That's awful.

Father: I'm afraid that's not all. They'll also remove the top of our heads and scoop out all of our insides. The really mean humans place candles inside of us and rename us Jack. And they'll leave us outside their homes. In the middle of autumn! Like they don't know how windy it can get out there.

Son: I can't believe people would do this to us.

Father: Neither can I. It's sad. I'd cry, but I haven't had eyes carved into me yet.

Son: Halloween isn't at all what I thought it would be. It's a cruel, cruel holiday.

Father: It is. But you know what? I'd still rather be a pumpkin in October than a turkey in November or an evergreen tree in December. You don't want to know what happens to those guys later this year.