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Jack-O-Lantern - Nicole VanPutten

Jack-O-Lantern

As I was contemplating the merits of spreading newspaper across my kitchen floor and pulling out the large spoons, sharp knives and garbage bags, my brain thankfully, was multitasking. It’s not that I didn’t want to carve my pumpkins, but my strong dislike for slimy pumpkin guts and my daily enjoyment of all ten fingers gave me pause. There had to be a better way to enjoy the Halloween Jack-O-Lantern tradition without wrestling with an over-sized orange fruit. Just as the top was about to come off good ole’ Jack I had an epiphany – maybe Al Gore can help! Now, my national political connections end with my annual White House Christmas ornament, but Mr. Gore’s kind contribution of the World Wide Web could eliminate even, well, the pumpkin.

I moved to the sofa, turned on my laptop and Googled “pumpkin carving” with results that were nothing short of a miracle – virtual pumpkin carving. Before I allowed my touch-pad to slide over the link, I made a silent promise to myself that my seed scraping, pulp pulling, and circle cutting days had finally come to an end and then I left clicked. I was instantly taken to a level of excitement that I remembered following an entire evening of candy collecting as a child and the high was immediately addictive. I skillfully carved triangle noses, toothy grins and mismatched square eyes. I absentmindedly cut round gaping holes that, instead of collapsing my beautiful orange fruit, were erased with a click of the undo button. I was in Jack-O-Lantern heaven and I had the e-cards to prove it.

Nearly thirty minutes and 17 pumpkins later I was thrown back into reality by a roaring school bus turning our corner. In my haste to find the easy way out of a typically formidable task I had eliminated a vital component of this odd Halloween tradition, kids. Jack-O-Lanterns are for kids. Kids pick the shape of the eyes, the size of the nose and the scariness of the mouth. Kids put the candle in the bottom and kids remind the adults to light it every night. Kids are the reason why we haul out the newspaper, the big spoons and the garbage bags. I forgot the kids. Don’t forget the kids. Borrow one if you have to. Print templates, order pizza and buy extra candles. Jack-O-Lantern heaven was a temporary fix to an adult apathy and regardless of the number of seeds you find lodged under your cupboard a week later, don’t forget the kids.

One Response
  1. Avatar October 16, 2006

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