Monday, October 31, 2011

Next year, I'm coating our jack o'lantern with cayenne

This past Saturday, we went to a local farm market to pick out this year's pumpkin.

We came home and Kiddo and Hubby promptly got to work carving said pumpkin into this year's chosen design.  As we've long since established around this here blog, Heather does not do pumpkin guts.  This was the first year that Kiddo did the majority of the carving work herself (under Hubby's supervision, while I popped in and out every so often for a quick picture but otherwise kept well out of arm and nose's reach of the goings-on).

Kiddo was well pleased with her kitty jack o'lantern when we set it out on the front porch and lit it up for a test run Saturday night.

Yesterday afternoon, Kiddo and I attended a Fall Fun event for our local Girl Scout troops.  As we pulled into the driveway upon our return, I noticed something a bit off with her pumpkin......

Closer inspection revealed that some critter or critters had zombie-fied Kiddo's jack o'lantern by snacking on it quite thoroughly (they also removed and chewed on the tea light I'd left inside it overnight).  I didn't catch any such critter redhanded (or orange-mouthed), but my strongest suspicion points in the direction of our multitude of neighborhood squirrels.

Kiddo was upset, naturally, and immediately clamoring for a return trip to the farm market to get a second pumpkin.  This request was denied as we were now less than 6 hours away from Halloween (and last night was a school night to boot), the market was closed and, frankly, we weren't overly eager to drop some more green on another delectable squirrel treat.  By this morning, the other parts of Halloween (costumes! parade! party! Trick or Treating with friends!) had mitigated her disappointment at the jack o'lantern mutilation somewhat, and off she went to school.  I went out to clean up the pumpkin detritus around midmorning, and decided that there was, in fact, enough unspoiled pumpkin on the back half that technically someone could carve a second kitty face onto the other side.

I promptly looked around.  Turns out the only someone who was home and available for such a project around 11 on a Monday was me.  (Well, I mean, I could've asked the cat, but she lacks both the attention span and the opposable thumbs for such an undertaking, and then there's the extensive list of things she's managed to damage with her own sharp bits over the years - do I really want to be arming her with a pumpkin carver?)

Have I mentioned how much I detest pumpkin guts?  I am not kidding when I say I have a pathological aversion to them.  The smell and/or feel of the inside of a pumpkin can induce the urge to vomit in me more than actually being vomited upon by another human being.  Seriously.  (Pumpkin seeds, on the other hand - delish! So long as someone else has cleaned them off and toasted them up.  Also, I love pumpkin bread, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins - as long as I don't have to touch or smell the raw ingredient in its most primal form.)

I feel that it is a pretty remarkable testament to my overwhelming love for my child that I sucked it up and did this:

 and a pretty remarkable testament to my willpower that I neither threw up nor fainted at any point while doing it.  (I kinda wanted to do both at a few points along the way.)  (And as to Hubby's reply text when I sent him the above picture, yes, they had scooped out most of the pumpkin guts before the first carving.  Most of them.  The pumpkin was a far cry from pristine inside, and being out on the porch in the cold made it extra-clammy.  Unless some of the clamminess came from squirrel spit, but really, does that make it better?)

That isn't to say that next year, I won't be sprinkling our jack o'lantern quite liberally with cayenne pepper before I set it on the porch.  I may love the kid enough to suffer the trauma of raw pumpkin meeting my hands and nose once, but I have no intentions of there being a sequel.  I'd rather have to deal with actual zombies on my front porch then try to repair a zombie-fied jack o'lantern again, thankyouverymuch.

(Oh, and I am tired and punchy enough right now to point out that when lit with the slightly-gnawed tea light tonight, in the pitch black darkness that is 7pm in our parts this time of year, the kitty cat was glowing mightily in its newly carved facial area, but also casting light out of the rather gaping hole in its backside.  I believe there's an expression about blowing sunshine and one's posterior regions........)

Happy Halloween from me and mine to you and yours!  (Kiddo, for the record, was one of several Hermione Grangers tromping the grounds of school in today's Halloween parade.  She was the only one with a Crookshanks with her, however.)


Givinya De Elba said...

I was so intrigued by WHY you would possibly want to coat it in cayenne next year ... did somebody LICK your JackO'Lantern, I wondered? Now I see it was critters. Pile on the cayenne I say!

My name is Andy. said...

You're a rockin' Mama who went above and beyond!! Great looking Kitty!!

Crazy Sister said...

Douse it with something flammable. Heh heh heh.