Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Carved pumpkins on front porch steps are the neighborhood Rorschach

Since it’s relatively safe here in Wonder Bread Estates, we don’t have to worry too much about smashed pumpkins in the nighttime and the inhabitants haven’t yet gotten so full of themselves that they buy fancy fake pre-carved decorator ones. So the pierced and glowing vegetables, dotting front lawn and driveway, are the real goods.
Here is a simple chart you can carry with you to help determine the host family’s innermost thoughts:

1.) (Simple traditional triangles, smiley face)
There is no hope for these poor feckless souls. You get the feeling that watching the test pattern on the TV would over-excite them.

2.) (Deliriously Joyful)
Whatever these people are on- cut the dose. No one should be this cheerful. These people are either completely doped up or remorseless homicidal maniacs. (In either case, it’s probably not a good idea to let them play with knives.)

3.) (Pumpkin facing backwards)
The “I’m actively ignoring you” pumpkin. Might lull you into thinking they’re as giddy about uninvited guests as Howard Hughes, but chances are, anyone who creates a pumpkin this cloyingly self-aware is probably head of the Welcome Wagon in your neighborhood.

4.) (Suicide pumpkin)
We did this pumpkin several years running. While we expected a petition banning us from the school or neighborhood playgrounds, what we received was, in fact, compliments on it year after year. Unfortunately, that speaks more to what it means to live in our sub-division than anything else.

5.) (The larger demonic pumpkin eating a smaller helpless one)
I happen to know that the child that carved this one has a bedroom decorated with flowers and unicorns, and saves butterflies from spider webs. There are some seriously deep waters going on here. Perhaps we should be wondering what she is doing with all those butterflies she saved.

6.) (Obsessively over-carved pumpkin)
Now this is just sad. Anyone whose sum total of self-esteem rests, at the end of the day, on what people think of their ability to carve a piece of produce, has an ego just begging to be squashed. (Bad pun.) Seriously, it’s clear time weighs heavily on these people’s hands.

7.) (Pac-man eating dots)
Awww. There’s no school like the old school. These are pumpkins carved solely to fulfill one’s obligations, when, in reality, the mind is elsewhere.

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