Last week I was filling out an insurance form and when it asked for my age, I couldn’t remember if I am 27 or 28. Luckily, my feeble mind still remembers the year I was born, so I subtracted that from 2012 to find that I am, indeed, 28, and maybe also legally brain dead. I’ve been worrying about getting old ever since, so last night I decided to recapture some of the magic of my youth by carving a pumpkin.
Spoiler alert: Carving that goddamn pumpkin did not help me recapture the magic of my youth. It did recapture the magic of a stiff drink and reaffirm my life decision to not have children, so I guess that’s good.
If I were to recap my pumpkin carving experience, it would look like this:
5:15 p.m. – Go to Walmart to buy pumpkin carving tools. Feel my blood pressure rise as we walk into the Halloween section, which is packed to the gills with unruly kids picking out costumes. Cackle when one trips and falls on the ground.
5:18 p.m. – Complain to Walmart employee that I can’t find the pumpkin carving tools. He sends me right back to the aisle I just escaped from.
5:19 p.m. Unruly kid stomps on my expensive boots with his muddy shoes. Consider putting on nearby Hulk costume and body slamming him into the pumpkin-scented candle display.
5:20 p.m. – Procure carving tools. Stand in Express Lane for 20 minutes while elderly man in front of us pays for each item with a different credit card.
5:50 p.m. – Finally home. Pour 100-proof peppermint Schnapps into hot chocolate.
6:00 p.m. – Scooping out seeds. Breathe in the smell of fresh pumpkin and feel the delightfully slimy texture of the flesh slipping through my fingers. Plan to roast the seeds later. This is great! Wonder why it’s been so long since I’ve carved a pumpkin.
6:01 p.m. – Remember why it’s been so long since I’ve carved a pumpkin.The template won’t lie flat; the crow outline I carefully poked through the paper looks like a Rorschach test; the tiny saw is freezing my hand into Ross Gellar’s misshapen claw.
7:00 p.m. – Pour whiskey into empty hot chocolate mug.
After an hour and several broken carving tools, this is what I have to show for it:
I think next year I’ll stick to fake gourds.