Pumpkins: The Devil's Vegetable

I work in a state-sponsored large-scale student assessment program. All that means is, the State of Florida got a bunch of teachers together and said, “We’re going to test the kids on stuff they’re s’posed to know. Since you’re the teachers, why don’t you pick out what we should test?”

Bottom line: I work with a bunch of teachers and editors (who do what I do – make sure the teachers know where to put their commas. And you’d be shocked at how many don’t. Shocked, I tell you.)

Anyway, the director of this organization, a former math teacher, approached me this morning to ask me about something else. I interrupted to inform her that I was thinking of buying a pumpkin and getting out my Dremel tool this weekend to carve the sucker up. And then I’ll roast the seeds and possibly make muffins out of part of the “meat.” Who knows? I might just trash a pumpkin for kicks and giggles. Pumpkins are cheap. At least I’ll have something to enter in the annual Pumpkin Chuckin’ contest after Halloween. I might get all Wile E. Coyote about the project and carve up a whole pumpkin family and commit pumpkin genocide. And that’s what happens when you give me two days off work with no real chores on my agenda. I become violent toward vegetables.

So the director interrupts me to tell me a story of this woman she knows who was the Newspaper in Education lady for the Pensacola News Journal. She got the bright idea, during the Bush-Dukakis debates, to bring the kiddies pumpkins and have them decorate them like either Bush or Dukakis. The results, evidently, were hysterical. Then the school board found out about it and chucked all the pumpkins (this being Pensacola, of course) because the fundamentalist parents who have kids in the school system believe that the pumpkin is the Devil’s Vegetable. And now there are no pumpkins or jack o’ lanterns in Pensacola schools any more. Presumably, none of those people will be eating pumpkin pie on Thanksgiving either, but we will noodle over that one in a few weeks.

She told me this story at roughly 8:00 a.m. and I’m still chuckling over it periodically as the image of a pumpkin with a pointy tail, horns, pointy ears and a goatee pops into my head. What do you s’pose my jack o’ lantern is going to turn out looking like? The Devil Incarnate, of course.

It also occurred to me that The Devil’s Vegetable would make a great band name.

Then, for fun, (because I don’t have enough to do at work today), I googled “The Devil’s Vegetable.” Turns out, according to Google, that Brussels sprouts and eggplant are called this more frequently than pumpkins.

I just thought you should know.

::scampers off to search for jack o’ lantern patterns online::

Homestar Runner Pumpkin Stencils

A-make-a one for da Cheat.

And have you seen ExtremePumpkins.com? Now those are some Devil’s vegetables!

[minor hijack]Aren’t pumpkins fruits, not vegetables? They grow from the pollinated blossom and have their seeds inside, which I thought were two of the indicia of a fruit?[/minor hijack]

Well, if you mean ‘vegetable’ as in ‘animal, vegetable, and mineral’…

Like tomatoes, they are a fruit you use like a vegetable, Piper. Just don’t get caught using a pumpkin in public. There could be jail time.

What is the fundamentalist parents (another band name: The Fundamentalist Parents) stance on the lowly turnip? It is the Old World’s Jack O’Lantern after all. (Really. Look it up.)

That’s just want the homosexual jew-run media want you to think!

What the …? I would never commit genocide. That’s not what I’m about at all. Just goes to show that if you carry out a vendetta against one snotty bird for years people get the wrong idea.

Unless you’re implying that I could use the pumpkins by dropping them on that stupid roadrunner? Hmm … well, that’s different, that’s just collateral damage then. runs off to check ACME catalog for a turbo pumpkin launcher

Halloween isn’t complete without a little HAW! HAW! HAW!

My friend got told she was going to hell for eating a pomegranante. haha. She works with idiots.

Well, there was, ya’know, that chick who had to stay in hell because she ate some of the seeds.

No, no, you misunderstand. Obviously, you wouldn’t commit genocide, having only one target that I’ve seen. I just meant I’d get as creative as Wile E. Coyote in my punkin carving frenzy.

Didn’t happen of course.

First, I found a lot of great patterns, but inexplicably chose a squashy looking pumpkin (pun totally intended) on which the only pattern that would really work was a cute looking owl sitting on a branch.

And, I’d forgotten what a mess the Dremel tool makes!

Hey, Wile, did that turbo pumpkin launcher come in yet? This bad boy is starting to stink. (Of course that could be from the WD-40 that one web site said to spray on The Devil’s Vegetable to preserve it. Now, of course, I’m afraid to light the candle! :eek: )