Friday, November 06, 2009

Peter Peter Pumpkin Destroyer 2: The Inevitable Let Down

Hi there.

We’re going backwards this time.

Here is how this year’s squirrel pumpkin turned out.

I agree, it’s a little disappointing. Kinda sucks, in fact. I was even hesitant to post anything after last years astonishing debut. It found its way into the trash first thing Monday morning. Where it belongs, with the other garbage.

After action report:

First, the squirrels waited until Halloween afternoon before they even began working on their half of the project. Granted the weather was not ideal in the days leading up to Saturday but I presented the partially carved pumpkin to them on Tuesday. That means they dicked around for three entire days before getting their flea-bitten acts together. On Saturday morning, I resorted to throwing a handful of party nuts into the thing to entice them out of the trees and into my gourd. It’s why it looks rushed and careless.

Second, it’s obviously not as creative as last year. The asymmetry that made the 2008 version so fantastic was inflated to an excessive degree this year. The squirrels overstressed the right eye to the point of violating the sovereignty of the nose. And it nearly collapsed the entire face after dangerously swelling toward the mouth. And then there’s the other eye. Left untouched it leaves an imbalance too extreme to chalk up to anything except laziness. Once they were able to drag their fat carcasses through the eye and get their nuts they gave up. Very disappointing.

So who’s to blame here? Obviously, it’s the squirrels. Last year’s project seemingly garnered too much attention for their egos to handle. In the last 12 months, they’ve let themselves go and don’t even bother getting out of the way of cars. They just waddle around the streets with haute attitudes and musky odors. If our neighborhood dogs were still running free like they were before the overzealous animal control officers started patrolling they’d eaten all the squirrels by now or at least broken their necks.

Our collaboration may have come to an end. We are not enemies like we were 3 years ago but this relationship is on the brink of abandonment.


Where did this start? Like everything sciurine-related it was once enormously promising. I found a pumpkin at the local patch the seemed to fit all standard pre-carving conditions. A few taps returned a solid, reassuring echo. A small child sat on it to test out its fortitude. Its stem was comically large as a way to over-compensate it smallish height and fat gut. R2 is standing in to provide scale.

I was feeling optimistic from moment one. Some animal started to dig into my gourd the day the pumpkin stork brought this bundle home from the pumpkin hospital. And since the initial gnawing seemed like an ideal place for an eye, I took a potato peeler and punched the rest of the way through. Since we had great success last year with the small holes, I decided to do the same thing with the other eye and nose.

But, damn, did it look boring. We need something magical for the mouth. But what kitchen utensil could be enchanting enough to carve something magical into this beautiful pumpkin? I’ve got it! I’ll use our

(side note – sometime last spring, we were in one of those fancy suburban stores that sells nothing but very specific fancy kitchen supplies to mostly young white folks. Because it was spring, all their Christmas goods were 75% off. This included a GIANT gingerbread house that needed only a quick and easy assembly. Or so the box said. All supplies were included! But my beautiful wife would not let me buy it, put it together, leave it on Amanda’s doorstep and run away. Instead, all I was allowed to get was a)

unicorn cookie cutter!

So if worse comes to worse and the squirrels don’t get after the pumpkin, at least it will have an awesome unicorn shaped mouth. All it took was a little delicate beating with a rubber mallet and BAM. Halloween is a go.

Well, as we all know, worse came to worser. The squirrels mangled the eye hole and absolutely destroyed the mouth. There is nothing unicorny about it. Honestly, we would have been better off leaving the squirrels out of it.

So what’s the lesson? First, don’t trust squirrels any farther than you can throw them. And I could throw a squirrel pretty fucking far. At least over that fence. Second, a unicorn makes a pretty awesome pumpkin mouth. And finally, if you have the opportunity to buy a monster gingerbread house at 75% off its retail price you better buy that son of a bitch because come Halloween you’re gonna wish you had something you’re proud to put on your doorstep.

And not some bullshit squirrel pumpkin.

The end. See you next year.

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