Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Best Day of the Year

Well, another Halloween has come and gone. This might be my favorite holiday of the year. But I think most people are biased towards their birthdays like that. Suffice to say I’m technically a year older, but I still don’t feel it. The number doesn’t really matter to me if I don’t feel it. I can’t help but wonder when I’ll reach that threshold though… I’m sure it’s different for everyone, but I am curious when I’ll reach that point where I go from excitement to dread of my date of birth. Not there yet.

As it is Halloween, there are a few things I’d like to discuss. First, let’s look at the art of pumpkin carving. In the years past, I’ve stuck to the standard, eyes, nose, mouth format. This is all well and good, but then last year, I came home and my sister had gotten a pumpkin carving kit, and put forth a pretty formidable effort. That memory carried with me all the way to this year. Though never having attempted such a carving before, I decided to go with a pattern that the experts deemed “difficult.”

As you can see, I was equal to the task. But, as the following picture shows, the pumpkin didn’t have much longevity. I went to bed, but apparently, Darth stayed up late partying and had one hell of a hangover the next morning. I was able to patch him back together with some toothpicks, but he just hasn’t been the same since.
On the flip side to that, as pleased as I was with my pumpkin, I was put to shame by my girlfriend. I used a pattern. She saw a picture on the internet that she liked and wanted to try and carve it. She had never attempted such a carve before, nor did she have any experience with the carving tools provided in the kit I had purchased. I will admit, when I saw the picture she wanted to recreate, I thought she had bitten off a little more than she could chew. I was proven wrong and was humbled. I will never underestimate her again. She is amazingly creative and extremely talented. (did I mention she’s also gorgeous? Well, she is.)

Impressive, no? I was told by my sister’s sister-in-law (I don’t know what my relation is to her, but for now we’ll call her my SSIL) that my pumpkin sucked compared to hers. Then she heard how I made mine and how my girlfriend made hers and I was further told that I shouldn’t procreate… I thought that was a little harsh…

At any rate, that was the most fun I’ve had carving pumpkins in a long, long time. I’m looking forward to next year. And I can’t confirm anything right now, but I may try and convince my family that pumpkin carving is also a Thanksgiving and Christmas tradition.

Slightly related story/question for the ladies… begin story - I was driving to the pumpkin patch with my girlfriend the other day and we passed a house where there was a man and a woman out front doing some yard work. The man was sweeping some stuff up and the woman was mowing the lawn. I had to do a double take, but once I visually confirmed it, I asked my girlfriend, “Did you see that lady mowing the lawn?” and she replied, “No, why?” I said, “Look again, do you see what she’s wearing?” and she said, “Yeah, really short shorts.” To which I prodded, “No, look lower…” And my girlfriend said, “Oh my god, she’s wearing heels?!!?” - end story. Question for the ladies: At what point do those four inch heels get tossed out of the regular nice-outfit rotation and get relegated to yard work duties?

And lastly, it seems like every day I’m finding something new out about our youth and being more and more disappointed. Today’s kids have an unbelievable sense of entitlement. They believe they deserve everything and shouldn’t have to work for anything. They are becoming more aggressive about it as the days go by. I realized just how far things have gotten out of hand when the trick or treaters came around this evening. A little less than half of the kids were well mannered. They came and said, “trick or treat?” as is customary, and I gave them the treat because I’m all full of tricks for now. But the majority of the kids didn’t even speak to me, they just held out their sacks and expected me to fill it up. There was even one kid (probably 8 or 9 years old) that came up to the door with his mother. He had a pudding snack in one hand, a spoon in the other, and an unreasonable amount of chocolate pudding all over his face. His mother said trick or treat and held out the candy bucket while he continued to lick the spoon clean. I almost didn’t want to give up the candy, but if his mother spoils him that much, she’s probably very mean to people that aren’t nice to her son, so I figured I’d let this one slide. You have to pick your battles. (did I mention the kid was probably 8 or 9?) I was ok with most of this though because I remember what it was like when I was a kid. I got sick of people asking me who I was supposed to be (specially when I wore my care bear outfit. Who doesn’t know what a care bear is? Criminy!).

My mistake came when I ran out of candy. I did what anyone would do, I blew out the candles on the pumpkins and turned off the porch light, the universal Halloween sign for “I’m either out of candy, or I didn’t have any in the first place, please don’t knock on my door.” But undeterred, kids continued to walk up to the door and repeatedly knock until I answered. Now mind you, I didn’t have any fancy decoration set up to make the place look like it was supposed to be dark and haunted. All I had were the carved pumpkins. I told a few waves of trick or treaters that I was out of candy and that I was sorry, but I felt terrible doing so. I decided that for the next group, I wouldn’t answer the door at all. This is when I learned that today’s youth simply doesn’t take no for an answer. And they are bold. After four attempts at knocking, one of the kids just turned the knob and OPENED THE DOOR! I suppose I should have locked the door but seriously? Opening a stranger’s door? I do not know these kids, they do not live on my street. Who does that?? I’m baffled by this one… I can’t fathom this ever happening when I was a kid. Times have really changed… no word yet on if it’s for the better.


Edna B said...

I think that pumpkin is my father

omar said...

Wow. Those pumpkins are hardcore. Nice work, Jon and Jon's girlfriend.

I can't believe the kid opened the door! We did have one group show up after we turned off all the lights, but when we didn't answer, they just left. Then I went outside to make sure they didn't deface my property.

Radioactive Jam said...

I'm guessing the early arrivers sent text messages with your address to the follow-on waves. Takes a little time for "empties" to get flushed from the queue. So to speak.

As for the kid opening the door, well -- all I can say is, that's why many doors come equipped with locks. Consider upgrading.

And nice work on the pumpkins. I wouldn't even attempt, with or without a pattern. I know better; my "hacking" skills (or should I say 'skillz') aren't limited to software.

CC said...

Happy belated birthday! The pumpkins you and your girlfriend made are awesome, even if one did fall apart. I have to say, you're lucky that the trick-or-treaters didn't do what was customary in my day when people ran out of candy: Kids would egg the place and put shaving cream everywhere.

Jon said...

Edna B: Most likely he is your father. As I mentioned earlier, he was out late partying, and that usually leads to some fairly promiscuous activities.

Omar: That’s how we roll.

I’m not sure what the kid was thinking, but I was afraid to survey the possible damage until the next morning… luckily all was well.

Jam: I usually do lock the doors at night, I just underestimated the behavior of these youngins at 8:34 pm.

And the pumpkins aren’t as hard as you think, it just takes a lot of patience and dedication… at least for mine. My girlfriends took pure skill, I don’t have that, she does.

CC: Thanks :) yeah, I’m lucky I didn’t get the eggs… we got those several years back, but it’s been a long time since. I don’t recall ever running out of candy before though… oh well, lesson learned.