October 29, 2006

A Squash is a Squash is a Squash

My 2nd son had been tasked to bring in a mini-pumpkin to school. He brought home this information on a sheet of paper that listed an assortment of other things to also bring in for the 4th grade Halloween Party.

But with all the papers I look at, I quickly scanned it and set it aside, never fully reading it in its entirety.

Today he said “MOOOM. I need that mini-pumpkin for school! I’m supposed to take it in tomorrow!”

And I replied, “What mini-pumpkin?”

As good fortune would have it, we were set to go to the pumpkin patch tonight anyway, as one does not buy their pumpkins too early in South Florida. And, for the record, should one decide to buy the pumpkin early, one definitely DOES NOT carve it any more than one day in advance.

The weather is too hot and humid down here. Every single one of us has a story of buying a pumpkin two weeks in advance, setting it on our front porch, only to lift it up to carve it and the bottom breaking off and sticking to the porch, whilst we are left standing with rotten pumpkin in our hands and gooey nasty black rotten mess oozing out of it. Cut it too early? Within days the face is caved in and black with mold.

Our newspaper even has a pumpkin cam on-line, where you can watch this carved pumpkin as it starts to decay. Last I checked, the face was caving in like one of those old lady apple dolls. Hey, the joys of living in South Florida. Can’t beat ‘em with a stick.

(For the pumpkin cam go HERE and then scroll down to web extras. I’m sure it won’t be up much longer, so look while you can.)

Anyway, my husband is home (the pumpkin event is a WHOLE family event) so we went to the patch which is sponsored by our local United Methodist Church. We’ve been taking pictures in that patch for 11 years.

As we walked up, I quickly surmised there were no more mini pumpkins left. On our way home I had my husband stop at a grocery store near the patch, where I also found… no mini pumpkins.

Finally I looked at Mr. T and said, “Son, its not looking good. Everyone is out. You need to start wrapping your mind around an alternative. How about a BIG navel orange?”

His eyes widened and he said, “MOM! NO! She said a PUMPKIN. I can’t walk in there with… AN ORANGE!”


Back in the car, I had my husband stop at the Publix nearest our home for one last ditch effort to find this mini pumpkin. We walked in and… it was obvious. There were no mini pumpkins.

Mr. T picked up a largish pumpkin and said, “Well Mom, I guess this will just have to do.”

It was my turn to raise my eyebrows and widen my eyes, “Dude, that won’t even fit in your backpack. There is nothing MINI about THAT pumpkin. We need to think of an alternative.”

And as we walked around the produce aisle… we stumbled… upon… some Butternut Squash.


Holy crap. We both stood there looking at them. I held it in my hand and felt its smooth texture and I looked at my son and said, “Wow. Look at this. It looks like a frickin’ squash in Veggie Tales (Jerry the Gourd). You could dress it like Larry…”

Keep in mind this is the kid who wanted to play Tuba because of a damn talking cartoon cucumber. (Larry)
He looked at it and said excitedly, “MOM! This is it! I’m taking a SQUASH! NOBODY else will have a squash! I’ll make it a super hero. Like Larry. This is GREAT!”

And the two of us got to laughing so hard while holding this daggum squash, I thought I’d pee.

As we walked around the store, he holding his squash, I said to him, ‘You are the coolest of cool cats, Mr. T. I want to be JUST LIKE YOU when I grow up.’

He said, ‘Mom, you’re already grown up...” and I replied, “Yeah, but I still learn things from you.”

To be 9 and to not give a crap what anyone else thinks. Most 9 year olds are already in the conformity stage. Gotta look the same, gotta be the same, can’t be different, must be a round peg in that round hole. He’s never really been that way, but you never know. My biggest fear was that he would feel like a dork taking in something other than a mini-pumpkin.

But not Mr. T.

He’s got his squash and he’s a happy man. He cannot WAIT for school tomorrow where he can show all his buddies. “Look at what *I* have! I got a squash!”

Heh heh heh. I can’t quit laughing. It cracks me up.

Posted by Boudicca at October 29, 2006 09:34 PM | TrackBack

A coconut would have worked. */;-)

Posted by: Angus of Islay at October 29, 2006 09:50 PM

Too fuzzy. They had to be able to glue things on it. He's taking in a magazine. I suspect some funky decopage. (Sp.)

Posted by: Bou at October 29, 2006 09:53 PM

Ah... but you could cut the coconut into halves, and Mr. T could be the Super Squash's faithful companion, following behind like Patsy.

And I'm glad you went with the squash, not giving your money to those Methodists. You know how I feel about them.


Posted by: That 1 Guy at October 29, 2006 10:35 PM

Come to think of it, The Methodists sell pumpkins every Halloween here in the Panhandle, too. Is this just a Florida Methodist thing, or is it a Calvinist thingy?

Posted by: Angus of Jura at October 29, 2006 10:46 PM

T1G- LMAO! And Mr. T had such a good role model after this summer when he played King Arthur and TN was Patsy. TGOO cut that coconut in half and cleand it out for them. I've got pictures somewhere. It was hysterical.

Dad- I think its a United Methodist thing all over, not just Florida. Their big fundraiser for their youth groups... but I don't know... may be it is just Florida.

Posted by: Bou at October 30, 2006 06:32 AM

... "whoso would be a man must also be a nonconformist".... Emerson, I think.....

... but did you at least EAT that butternut squash's innards?....

Posted by: Eric at October 30, 2006 08:11 AM

Well it has to be decorated first. I don't think they're going to hollow it out. I think they're just going to 'paint it' and glue all over it. I hope paint sticks to squash skin.

As for eating the innards... you know, I have NEVER cooked a squash before. I guess I should try it. Army Wife had a recipe up, I should look for it and cook one.

Posted by: Bou at October 30, 2006 09:11 AM

Someone tp'd the carved pumpkin on the cam. Oklahoma Methodist Churches have the pumpkin patches, too.

Posted by: Tina at October 30, 2006 11:41 PM

ROFLOL! OMG that is so funny. I can picture a ny kid in the ame dilemma. 'what? an orange? &re you kidding me!!! Now a squash... that's a manly vegetable.'

BTW, the Episcopalians are the pumpkin peddlers in NYC.

Posted by: michele at October 30, 2006 11:51 PM