Pumpkin Predicament

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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?

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14 responses »

  1. So as not to be a blog stalker… I decided I should comment. I stumbled upon your blog a few weeks ago doing a random Blog search on Harding University links. My husband and I graduated from HU and are now missionaries with our one year old son in Bolivia. Just wanted to encourage you mommy to mommy that your words, wit and sense of humor with this our daily life and blessing is so much fun for me to read. It brings many much needed laughs to the culture shock craziness of living across the miles. So thank you for your words and your thoughts.

  2. Haha! That’s crazy. I suggest dropping by with some muffins (very Bree Van de Kamp) and while talking, casually say something like “I noticed the pumpkins are still there. You know, its really better to dispose it immediately. I had this awful experience once ……)

    That should work. =)

  3. We did a bunch this year for some reason. Crazy-talk…but that’s what we got this year with two kids at two pumpkins per week for three weeks.

  4. Laura, what a wonderful warmth came over me as I read your sweet comment! Thank you so much for the encouragement! Now let me shine it back on you and say that I am so thankful for people like you and your husband who stretch out in faith to take the Gospel to far off places and people who are hungry to hear the truth. May God bless you and yours every day! Welcome! 🙂

  5. Kay–That’s actually a great idea! How offended can anyone get by a person who brings them muffins?

    Jules–Wow! Six pumpkins! That’s definitely the way to stretch out the Halloween fun! I’d love to see pictures of those (so I can start working on next year’s design…)

    Hillary–Thank you! And I am in awe of your teacher-y knack for improvising and inspiring. How is school going? I love reading about your adventures and storing your collective bits of wisdom away for the day I re-enter the work force and have my own classroom. 😀

  6. Kay is my hero.

    Katrina, your letter is very nice and all but it’s so subtle, I think there is a better than average chance that your neighbours will not get the hint.

    *snert*

  7. we had to remove our pumpkin with a shovel once. in february. but in all fairness, it was in nebraska, a blizzard hit on halloween and the snow stayed until february, so at least it was hidden, and frozen..hey! maybe i should have tried to make a pumpkin pie!

  8. I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to dispose of the 2 small pumpkins sitting outside of the front door, and the 4 even smaller pumpkins sitting on my kitchen bar. My kiddos will notice they are gone and the waterworks & whining & sobbing will inevitably begin. So, until I can get rid of them without anyone noticing, they’ll sit & rot and gross out my neighbors too. Maybe that’s why your neighbors haven’t gotten rid of their’s yet?!? It’s a self-preservation thing.

  9. We carved a pumpkin on the 30th and left it on our butcher block in the kitchen… on the 31st, I woke up to a pugnant smell and couldn’t figure out where ti was coming from. Mid-afternoon, I realized it was the pumpkin! So Jack has lived outside ever since. Speaking of which, it appears as if all his teeth have fallen out and he has nothing but gums left. I guess I should put him in the trash this week. He ought to be nice and fresh-smelling by the end of the week since we’re expecting highs in the 70’s this week.

  10. Send it. Then let us know what happens next!

    Why would overachievers let something so foul remain on their doorstep? It doesn’t make much sense.

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