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being nessasary

a quirky look into being

Look at them.  So sweetly cradled in their vines.  So bathed in warm morning light.  Doomed. DOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMED!These faceless fruits are ripe and ready for their destinies.  It’s time for some fall-fashioned love – whether they be pureed and baked into a delicious pie, ground up into some sort of spice for Starbucks, or, you guessed it, carved in a festive manner for the naughtiest night of the year:  Halloween!

I am going to provide the low-down on carving, not like you need it.  You’re already an expert.

Step One

Most people prefer to begin by making a circular incision around the stem of their pumpkin or jab peaks around it.  This was standard protocol for years, that is until my lovely mom discovered the elusive, pumpkin butt method.  Instead of going at the pumpkin from the top, one must slice open the bottom of the pumpkin in whichever shape desired, thus allowing the pumpkin’s crown to remain happily intact (having endured a rather scarring skull fracture, I do not wish such an affliction upon even the most inanimate of objects).  In having your pumpkin’s derriere bare, you needn’t fear the sad scenario of your candle tipping over because of the unstable insides of a hollow pumpkin.

Ah, the goop, the slime, the sweetly pear-shaped seeds! My favorite part is reaching into the guts of a chilly pumpkin, and tangling my fingers in the orange webby veins.  How satisfying it is to pull out a handful of copper colored glop and smacking it into a bowl or paper bag!

After your slightly disturbing affinity for goo removal comes the scraping.  Nothing too exciting to give you there.

Step Two

After one has successfully disemboweled and prepped his pumpkin for carving (animation?), a plan is typically devised.  Most often, unless a pattern is used, the scheme never works accordingly.  I was raised believing that mistakes can often be miracles.  My pumpkin creations usually start big, have a tumble, get up, and brush off their shirts and smile.

This year, I used the ol’ butt incision method.  Once I gleefully disposed of the pumpkin’s guts, I sketched a prototype in a notebook I have been carrying around a few years (save paper, friends!).  I wanted a face that would so perfectly capture a laugh that the entire neighborhood would envy the happy pumpkin and the happy lady that resides just inside the door.  I used a gray Sharpie to mark where I must guide my knife, and began to breathe life back into my innardly-challenged subject.

Miraculous Mistakes

  1. The squinted eyes were too small for my limited tool selection thus causing a fracture in eyebrow region.

    Happy Pumpkin!

  2. The pumpkin was very thick, making its gaping smile tough to push out.  Said pumpkin lost its first tooth before it had a chance to decay.
  3. He (the pumpkin now has a face, thus a gender) wasn’t supposed to have a nose, but my muse was calling, so he has a gaping scalene triangle in the middle of his face.

Step Three

Admiration.  Glory.  Hot Happy Mess. No matter what happens, a carved pumpkin is always perfect.  You do not have to be ridiculous, making glorified, yet very cool looking “masterpieces.”

Cool, but is your hand boiling with blisters?

Cool, but is your hand boiling with blisters?

The way to be a pumpkin carving expert is to have fun and smile a bit  for the sake of tradition and silliness.  I had a blast carving my pumpkin.  I am sure that I looked hilarious sitting on my porch steps digging elbow deep for slime and seeds; not to mention I’m 25, was completely alone, and smiling into my pumpkin’s butt.

I sat the jack-o-lantern next to my purple and yellow mums.  Eureka!  Wait until the neighbors see!  Wait until Trick-or-Treaters are too captivated by its happy three-toothed smile to even ask for candy!

Or maybe they’ll see my cat’s pumpkin and think, “A cat lady lives here.  She’s going to chuck cats at us.”







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