Tuesday, October 31, 2006

We Carved Pumpkins

One Sunday night I went over to the GreatDane's for a pumpkin carving party and I brought DerMan with me because he had only heard about carving pumpkins in children's story books and wanted to see what it was all about. He had also taken a trip to Boston recently and seen some jack-o-lanterns sitting on stoops and became obsessed with photographing them, thinking them to be quite rare. The Great Dane knew how to throw a great pumpkin carving party: she offered hot mulled cider spiked with rum, snacks heavy on the sugar, plenty of candles to light up all the pumkins, prizes for the best designs and she let us make a mess of her apartment. It was lovely.

Some of the party guests asked DerMan questions of dubious intelligence such as, "Do you have Halloween in Germany?", "Do you have pumpkins in Germany?" and "If you have pumpkins in Germany, but you don't carve pumpkins, what do you do with them?" But DerMan got in a few beauties of his own. One girl brought a white pumpkin which she carved like a mummy (awesome). DerMan wanted to know how she got the pumpkin white, asking if she peeled it.

I attack the pumpkin with my usual finesse.

I didn't bring a pumpkin to carve, since I just figured I would assist with DerMan's. Also, I am terrible at carving pumpkins. Real crap. We didn't carve pumpkins growing up because knives are sharp and the cupcake children were spazzes and also my father was never crazy about getting his hands dirty. We did a lot of decorating pumpkins by other means, paint, glitter, glueing shit on, etc... Then my mom would usually make my dad carve one jack-o-lantern for the porch but we weren't allowed to help with the carving. Knives are sharp. Then some punk kid from another neighborhood would smash the pumpkin. If we were young enough, we would cry. Good times, good times.

I am skeptical, but resigned.
So I basically handed a knife to DerMan and appraised him of the steps of carving a jack-o-lantern. First, you cut off the top of the pumpkin so you can reach in and clean out the insides. DerMan surveyed the pumpkin from all sides, made his typical "hmm mmm" noises then asked if f there was a ruler so he could measure an even circle. I told him to "stop being so fucking German and get cutting."

DerMan loved his jack-o-lantern and he photographed it the way a proud father would photograph a todler in the snow. The other party guests said it was very good for a first attempt. We won the prize for best carved basketball. DerMan schlepped his pumpkin all the way back to midtown along with the candy the GreatDane gave him that he was supposed to bring into the office to share. Then he sent his photos to everyone he knew in Germany. All in all, it was a Festivus miracle.


Janet said...

Awesome! Happy Halloween cupcake.

And making a mummy out of a white pumpkin is about the coolest thing I've ever heard of.

MMmmm..cider. Cheers!

Aimee said...

i love that he asked for a ruler. and that your response was to tell him to stop being so german.

my question is this: why does every german person have such great eyeglasses? its like a rule for sight impaired people in germany. no one is allowed to wear ugly or stupid looking eyeglasses. and why don't we have that rule here in the US?

lebrookski said...

the neighbor child who lives downstairs just came by my apartment dressed like what i'm guessing was a zombie, rang the bell and said "süsses, sonst was saueres!" which i take to be the german equivalent of trick or treat.

this caught me very off guard so i raced through my apartment trying to find my roommate's candy stash, which she apparently finished off...

anyway, i contemplated giving the little lad a package of cheese....but settled on the lone red bull in the fridge.

i asked him if he was allowed to drink energy drinks, he said yes...it was probably a lie...i apologized for not having any candy and let him wrap some toilet paper around me.

re: germans and glasses...

trust me...there's some butt-ass ugly eyewear in germany. in fact i had a conversation with my best friend a few days ago about how only in germany can you find people wearing the most hideous glasses...ever...

Anonymous said...

I don't remember who started this, but in my family we cut the hole into the bottom of the pumpkin - then you can throw that piece away and only have to worry about setting your pumpkin on top of a candle and not burning your self trying to drop a candle inside from the top ( besides, it seems like those top cuts never fit very well )

Cupcake said...

I've never heard of anyone trick-or-treating in Germany. I think you got punk'd, Brooks.

Once you learn to embrace the German eyewear aesthetic, it becomes a very easy way to pick out a German, or Northern European, in a crowd. It comes in very handy. I don't know how they do it.

Joshua said...

Yeah, as far as I know-and I know pretty far-Halloween as the trick or treat costume thing is a purely American invention. There are these articles this year about how the Brits fucked it up and the French have already lost interest. So that was a fine question for those Yanks to ask the German fellow.