Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pumpkins and More

I have been indulging in way too much retail therapy lately. Both the kids needed new clothes and so I worked out a deal whereby I would pay for half their clothes (the left half) and thus there was a flurry of ordering stuff online last week (my son, never having known life without the internets, is shocked and horrified at the thought of actually going to a, gasp, store and, oh god, trying things on.) This would be not particularly noteworthy except that of course I had to order myself stuff too - otherwise it's just no fun - and thus I ended up with a flame orange lace trimmed camisole and a pair of plaid ballet flats that would have brought my mother to tears of preppy joy. I'm returning the shoes - fortunately for my self respect they don't fit - and I have convinced myself that if perchance I am ever down to my lingerie in the woods again (a girl can dream) then at least I won't be shot by hunters.

However, buying all these things was simple and painless compared to the problem of purchasing pumpkins. You can't order pumpkins online unless you're way more organized than I am. The one pumpkin I grew turned to mush about ten days ago, alas, and I somehow managed to volunteer to bring jack o' lanterns to the unpronounceable blog party on Friday, therefore, I needed pumpkins. I have arranged for my friends to come over tonight to carve said pumpkins (you can come too, if you want, email me) and thus I really needed pumpkins and soon. So, I went to Sam's Club on Monday (and got a bunch of large size prints done from photos that turned out really well - cheap! Cheapcheap! Now my daughter's house has groovy art!) and discovered that they were out of pumpkins. Okay, no pumpkins; I left there and went to K-Mart to get frames for the aforementioned photos. The Patton Avenue K-Mart has reinvented itself as a downscale Target, by the way, and everything has been moved around, but somehow it's still depressing. They really need to burn that place to the ground; I think it's over a Native American burial site or maybe a portal to hell. Could be, though, that the faint screams of the damned that always echo through the air there are just employees or maybe it's a corporate provided soundtrack, who knows? Anyway, they didn't have pumpkins but then I didn't really expect them to so I left with my frames and as I sat in traffic on Louisiana Avenue I noticed people with signs on the corner.

I couldn't read the signs but I wondered what they were doing, muzzily assuming that perhaps it was a carwash, although 6 pm on an October Monday seems like a weird time for a charity carwash, but, you know, whatever. They looked like they were having fun, though, handing each other their signs and clowning around so I was predisposed to view them fondly until I actually drove into the intersection and realized that they were protesting Halloween on the grounds that it leads people to devil worship. I flipped them off. I have never flipped anyone off before in a car - seriously. Never before. - but I did it this time. Fuck you, insane Christians. I am tired of your stupid antics. You don't get to take my Halloween away or even try, lameasses. What would Jesus do? He sure as hell wouldn't be out there holding an anti Halloween sign.

Well that was Monday and then yesterday I went to Ingles because I have a teenage son and thus I must shop for junk food almost daily. Ingles too was out of pumpkins. This was getting serious. Also, it was raining.

The checkout clerk, my daughter via text message and my son via a phone call told me to go to the church across from the funeral home on Patton. I knew about this church, because I have bought pumpkins there many an October before. I got to the church in the rain and hopped out of the car in the rain and started wandering around in the mud looking at wet pumpkins.
"There's nobody here." said a young woman in black.
"You mean you aren't selling the pumpkins?" I asked,
"No, there's nobody here."
This proved to be true. There was a zipped up tent, but not a person around.
"Is there an honor system box?" I asked, "I really need pumpkins tonight."
"No," she reported dismally.
"Look," I said, "I'm going to steal some pumpkins. I know that's wrong and I'll come back by here in a couple days and pay them, whatever, but I'm having people over tomorrow to carve pumpkins and I have to get these pumpkins now."
'I'm having people over tonight," she said forlornly.
"Well then you have to steal pumpkins too." I said firmly. "It's a necessity; it's like stealing bread or something."

Several more people showed up at this point to slop around in the mud and heavy rain for pumpkins and a quick council was held. "I'm leaving money on this table in the tent," said one man decisively. He didn't want to spend any more time in the rain than he had to. We all decided to do just that and by the time I left with my pumpkins there was a considerable sum on that table in the tent. More, I think, than there would have been if there were people actually collecting payment. The church may be doing it on purpose.

I'm glad we went with the table compromise. Even though I hate the kind of Christians who protest Halloween (and everything else fun in the universe, as well as basic human rights; those kind of Christians can go straight to their own invented hell as far as I'm concerned) I still didn't want to steal from the church. That's one of those setups for bad karma that I refuse to get entangled with. Besides, I'm already half convinced that I'll be struck by lightning if I ever walk into a church and that's just for sinful thoughts (mostly thoughts, okay) imagine what our Lord God Jehovah would do to a confirmed and unrepentant pumpkin thief?

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