Halloween is over, and the dead pumpkin parade has begun. I disposed of ours yesterday, dumping the still firm husk of spent Halloween glory unceremoniously into the dumpster, where it landed atop a growing pile of burned and bruised gourds in varying stages of decomposition.
On the walk back to our door, I noticed that our neighbors in the next apartment over are still proudly displaying their jack-o-lanterns, or what’s left of them. Perhaps they wanted to extend the ghoulishness a few days longer; their four pumpkins certainly grow more macabre as the hours pass. Two of them have collapsed upon themselves and all are sporting a creeping white-grey veil of mold.
The neighbors themselves are quite lovely (though clearly overachievers–I mean, come on! Four jack-o-lanterns for two people?) , but the pumpkins are obviously past their prime and not getting any fresher.
The question is this: What should I do about it?
Having experienced firsthand the awesome grossness of disposing of a mushy, overripe pumpkin that explodes when you touch it, I feel a humanitarian duty to protect my neighbors from such a fate. But if I throw them away, will they see it as the well-meaning gesture of a caring neighbor, or as an implied criticism of their pumpkin-related managerial skills?
Should I just drop them a note? Maybe something like:
“Dear nice and generally clean neighbors to whom we enjoy saying hello on the communal sidewalk and whom we would never purposely slight in any way,
Please throw away your disease-ridden, malodorous squash before their rotting carcasses eat holes in your concrete step, creating poor footing for you in the icy, snowy months ahead.
With only your best interests at heart,
The Napkins anonymous, concerned neighbors”
That should do it, don’t you think?