America used to look exactly like this.
GateHouse — As is generally the case with most critical holidays, the important negotiations regarding my Halloween took place in a Target — specifically, in the throughway between the G.I. Joe toy aisle and, if I am not mistaken, Dish Soap, categories that pretty well illustrate my own journey through life thus far, come to think of it.
Over the previous weeks, the Little Man had whittled his list of costume ideas from approximately 3 million down to two: Spider-Man, which had been his costume for the previous two years (one that allowed him to save a great many neighborhood children from harm, despite bumping into all manner of wagons and mailboxes due to an unfortunate incompatibility between mask size and his face), and Train Engineer, which, as anyone who knows the Little Man will attest, is a costume of crucial importance, because the Little Man has very literally not discussed anything other than trains since April 2006.
. • Toasters – Night Train
Island Packet/The Guide — No one needs a 2,000-pound pumpkin. No one. Such massive pumpkins are absurd and unnatural and freaky-looking, and good news only if you’re part of the powerful international lobby Big Pie.
Regular pumpkins are weird enough looking, and that’s before you decapitate them and use your filthy, guilty hands to scoop out their gloppy insides, which — and I don’t care how old you are — never feels not like you’re removing parts of valuable, delicious brain from the corpse of an evil woodland creature of some kind (unless that’s just me, in which case, stop looking at me like that). I have never liked that part of pumpkin carving, even when I learned that you could achieve the same effect with a spoon and not get that slithery pumpkin schmutz under your fingernails.
If those straps break I am not cleaning this up.
GateHouse — If you are like me, you are about two glasses of wine away from sweet sleep right now, but you very likely did not realize the considerable amount of care, detail and — dare I say it, love — that goes into growing unnervingly large pumpkins for our Halloween enjoyment.
You did not know, for instance, that although it’s been a horrible year for a lot of Illinois, mostly Jay Cutler, it’s been a good year for the world of Giant Pumpkin Growing. According to a recent newspaper article I found online for free, 90 percent of pumpkins used for cooking in the United States are grown in Illinois, and we don’t fare too badly when it comes to jack-o’-lanterns neither. With these inarguable Facts on our side, I believe we can safely christen Illinois the Pumpkin Capital Of The Universe, and I challenge any pretenders to a full-on no-mercy pumpkin fight, which will probably be brief, as these pumpkins are heavy and hard to lift, and I have this weird twinge in my back that keeps making my left arm tingle. Also I bruise easily. Otherwise, it’s on, suckas.