Thursday, October 12, 2006

Why Does This Pumpkin Patch Smell So Bad?

Something’s rotten in the state of Indiana and the Midwest and New England, according to a recent report by the AP. Unfortunately for us Halloween lovers, the things that are rotting are pumpkins and lots of them. It seems that the heavy rains of summer followed by high temperatures have led to a growth of fungus, or fungi or fungoo. When attacked by the fungus, the entire pumpkin begins to rot. I kid you not.

All of this rotten science, so to speak, means that pumpkins won’t be as ample in most parts of the country this year. I’m sure that will translate into higher pumpkin costs and with it higher prices for pumpkin pie, pumpkin candles and roasted pumpkin seeds. As Halloween gets closer, will we be asked to pay $3.50 a pound for our pumpkins? Oh wait, that’s gas. Because it “never rains in California,” our crop appears to be strong and of no concern. At least that’s the impression I got entering my local Sam’s Club the other day. They had nothing but crates and crates of huge gourds at low wholesale club prices. Of course, the California harvest will be shipped to other parts of the country to make up for their depleted crop, so we’ll all feel the pumpkin patch pinch.

The key is to take the lessons learned by pumpkin growers this year to prevent the ruin of pumpkin crops for years to come. More research needs to be done to learn about this fungus and where it came from. I have a few ideas, but hope none of them are true (although I doubt any of them are). My first guess is that it’s chemical warfare from an unnamed anti-Halloween terrorist group. They disguise themselves as scarecrows and slip into pumpkin patches after dark, unleashing their laboratory-engineered fungus so that we are all robbed of the fine Halloween tradition of pumpkin carving. Or perhaps it’s the result of our destruction of the environment. Toxic fumes and acid rain have resulted in mutant pumpkins that wither and rot. Maybe the fungus is due to the North Koreans testing their nuclear program. What if the Great Pumpkin was angered by all the insincerity of our pumpkin patches and he created the fungus? Ok, probably not. Hopefully as next year’s elections approach, the fungus will abate and pumpkin availability will increase, driving prices lower. Oh wait, that’s gas again, sorry.

This is all just downright unfortunate. Of all the things to be susceptible to fungus after rain and heat, why did it have to be pumpkins? Couldn’t it have been some of the other gourds related to pumpkins? Why not zucchini or butternut squash? Have you ever tried to carve zucchini and place it on your front porch? Exactly! Which is why it’s such a shame that this fungus decided to destroy pumpkins. Also, why did the government wait until October to inform us of the fungus? Had we known sooner, we could all have planted our own pumpkins in plenty of time or bought the fake plastic plug in jack-o-lanterns that Target seems to coincidentally have an over abundance of.

I’m worried about being consumed by a sickening guilt when I purchase my usual lot of five pumpkins, carve them and roast their seeds as my little girls look on with smiles on their faces that only the magic of transforming an orange gourd into a jack-o-lantern can bring. Will I feel sick to my stomach as I light the candle that will illuminate them because I bought more than my share when people in other parts of the country had to go pumpkin-less this year? Oh no, I just thought of something…what if they start pumpkin rationing?


Awesome Mom said...

Well you could always go to a craft store and get a fake one to carve. Of course they do not have seeds to roast but they would not make you feel bad that you are causing a pumpkin shortage.

Ra Ra Ra Bunggio said...

take solice in the fact that there's now pumpkin pie flavored yogurt. I discovered this earlier today... and yes, it is delicious.

Pickled Olives said...

Ah ha ha, angered the great pumpkin! I bet it's a left or right wing conspiracy and somehow it'll be used to benifit the appropriate side at the election. I can hear the ads now.

Me, I am going to the pumpkin patch Saturday to go to the corn maze, get a homemade pumpkin pie and carve pumpkins with the kids.

To Qoute Marky Mark: I'ma get mine, so get yours...

Odat said...

Fungoo??? damn I could have used that for my "F" word, instead of the one I did
Or where did the "fungoo" on Mondays??
Wait, it's pumpkins we're talking about isn't it? or fungus? geeze it's late for me to up so I have no idea what i'm saying...

ps. and since i'm so tired i just got an eight letter word verification!!!! - aoinofnqv - or is that nine....and i think it means
"Kill all pumpkins" in Korean!!! Oh noooooooooooooo..... ;-)

mist1 said...

That's why I steal my pumpkins from the local church youth group after dark. Saves a lot of cash.

Michael C said...

Awesome: It would sure be cleaner carving a fake one.

Ra Ra: Are you serious, pumpkin yogurt? I was actually thinking this morning on the way to get my pumpkin coffee creamer how cool pumpkin yogurt would be!

Pickled: We're going to the pumpkin patch tomorrow. I hear it's the most sincere patch around ;-)

Odat: fungoo on Mondays? That's classic. You should make late night comments more often ;-)

Mist: I won't tell anyone

ChiefMommy Owl said...

Will I feel sick to my stomach as I light the candle that will illuminate them because I bought more than my share when people in other parts of the country had to go pumpkin-less this year?

You may feel sick to your stomach after consuming pumpkin seeds from pumpkins infected by the fungoo.

If you don't mind me saying so, you are displaying a little pumpkin paranoia. Step away from the MSNBC.

Sara :)

Michael C said...

Chief Mommy:
Whew, lost my cool there. Thanks for bringing me back to reality!

Josie said...

Come to British Columbia. The pumpkin fields are filled with huge pumpkins, as far as the eye can see.

If there is a shortage in the rest of the world, our pumpkins will be as valuable as "BC bud", our main export that keeps our economy going... :-)

ShadowFalcon said...

Pumpkin ration? nah they'll never do it.

We had a big halloween back in uni, pumpkins and bats everywhere. It took months before anyone cleaned it up, the fake cobweb had tonnes of real cobweb on top of it and five rotting pumpkins can really really stink.

Meloncutter said...

I found a way around the great pumpkin shortage. I just spray paint the kid's butts orange and then paint the traditional pumpkin face on them. Then they stand in the traditional mooning position on the porch every night till 11. I feed them lots of beans too. You get the spooky fog effect and scary sounds.

To think all these years how much money I could have saved if I had just thought of the kids.

Later Yall.....

Lee said...

I vote for a fungus on eggplant. Those things are so pretty on the outside and like gooey slugs on the inside!

Just D said...

I posted my own personal solution to the problem.

Thanks for the inspiration.


Crankster said...

Thanks for the alert--clearly, the U.S. needs to develop a strategic pumpkin reserve. In times of pumpkin crisis, we could whip out our buried crates of Libby's canned pumpkin and keep the price artificially low.


Wow. Good thing I bought that plastic one at Target before they ran out. I mean, they only had about 5000 on the shelf when I was there last week. I am sure are completely depleted now.