adventures in pumpkin carving


Yesterday was a nice day. My sister and I carved our pumpkins, which was fun. This is the first time we have carved pumpkins together since she got back from China. The last time we carved pumpkins together, we shared a pumpkin and she almost stabbed me in the head with her carving knife. It was a Kodak moment, as they say.

If you are anything like us Summerses, pumpkin carving is an event! First we printed off our specially selected patterns from zombie pumpkins. Then I put on a pumpkin carving playlist. Then we covered the kitchen floor in garbage bags. Then we gutted our pumpkins. Then we stabbed the pattern into the pumpkin with nails. Then our thumbs started to hurt so we stabbed the pattern in with our knives. Then we proceeded to carve. I like carving pumpkins. Here are some of my pumpkins from years past:

From left to right: Shaun (from Shaun of the Dead), Nosferatu climbin’the stairs TO EAT YOU and zombies from the Dawn of the Dead remake.

My mom took pictures of our pumpkin carving party, but I am not going to show them to you because I am wearing Hello Kitty pajama pants and a Winnie-the-Pooh nightshirt. I would pretend I wore those clothes specifically for the purpose of carving pumpkins and not getting a good outfit dirty, but the truth of the matter is I actually went outside wearing that outfit earlier in the day, before I knew I was spending the evening carving my pumpkin. I am only semi-ashamed about this because wearing my PJs out in the daytime in public is how I let the world know I am a writer. OTHERWISE HOW WOULD THEY KNOW?


We started pumpkin carving at ten. My sister chose a complicated pattern. This means I was done 500 hours before her. I carved my pumpkin, tested it, picked all the seeds from the guts AND cleaned the seeds by the time she was done, which was after midnight, which means it took TWO DAYS to carve her pumpkin. We made fun of her the entire time. Here is my pumpkin:

I decided to get back to my classical zombie roots and chose Karen Cooper from Night of the Living Dead. She graces 99% of the DVD covers and stuff and also she turned into a zombie and ate her parents. That’s why I might never become a parent myself, to be honest. Anyway, pumpkin carving proved to be a character building experience and highlighted my delicate constitution. My wrist STILL hurts.

My sister’s pumpkin looked really BAD with the lights on. And she stabbed herself TWICE while she was carving it. And when she was carving it the knife squeaked a lot and then she’d say alarming things that didn’t bode well, so it sounded like this: “[squeak squeak squeak] OOPS! [squeak squeak squeak] DAMMIT! [squeak squeak squeak] OH NOES!”

So we were pretty convinced we’d have to lie and tell her that her pumpkin looked nice when it didn’t. Like, “Oh yeah, that’s excellent, Meg! Snicker snicker.” But I guess it’s true what they say–you have to suffer for your art. Her pumpkin looks better than mine! Travesty!:

She did The Joker from Batman. So now we have a pumpkin that will eat you if you are a parent, and a pumpkin that will mock you whenever you step in front of it. I’m worried they’ll both rot before Halloween, so we’re going to smear Vaseline all over them. Just like the pageant pumpkins! They’ll be so pretty.