A bit delayed perhaps, but this story cracked me up this morning retelling it, and so I’m sharing it with the world.
This is a story from my childhood, when I was a teenager in the suburbs in Dallas-Fort Worth in North Texas. I lived in a stereotypical, super white, mc-mansion style suburban neighborhood. It was very tame most of the time, and a very safe place, if often a pretty boring one.
I love Halloween, and so does my whole family. So every year we decorated; we carved pumpkins; we did the whole bit.
But this is TEXAS.
It’s often not autumn weather in Texas until mid-November. (It’s November 11 right now and we’re getting our first real full week of fall weather THIS WEEK.) This is generally not a good combination with a cut up large gourd that sits outside, sometimes in the beating afternoon sun.
Accordingly, our Jack o’Lanterns lived inside until Halloween night, in an attempt to get as much enjoyment out of them as possible by keeping them in the air conditioning so they didn’t totally rot before we could use them on the 31st. Every year without fail though, my dad and my brother and I each carved at least one pumpkin. Usually fairly large ones. They got sprayed inside with vinegar or bleach, then set on a piece of board/plywood so they could be moved around easily.
One year, there was a bumbus group of older kids (probably teenagers) who were terrorizing all the pumpkins and other decor in the neighborhood – pulling them off people’s porches and smashing them in the street or running over them with cars. Lots of younger kids were pretty upset.
My dad did not like this.
So on about the 25th, our inside pumpkins went out on the back porch – safe and sound, but juuuuuust a little warm.
Then on Halloween night, they got moved – on their boards – to the brick retaining wall in our front yard. Our house was VERY visible too, at the top of a small hill, so you could see the pumpkins and their glowing candles in both directions from the street. Large and with awesome carved faces, they looked great. They were also quite… soft.
We did the trick or treating, and we went to bed.
About 1am, there was a massive ruckus in the front yard.
The next morning, there were the gooey bottom halves of four large pumpkins sitting on the board on the retaining wall, with CLEAR finger/handprints squooged into them from each side, and the top halves (sort of) of gooey, half-rotted pumpkin strewn all over our front yard.
They fucked around. They found out.