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The Pumpkin Revolution Was Televised

For several years, I have railed against the endless surge of that seasonal decoration, pumpkin, into our food supply. And though some of you have made your support clear, I imagine that you’d understand how I felt I was sort of pissing into the wind.

Let’s pause here and wonder about why “pissing into the wind” is an expression. Sure, it expresses the misery of an effort expended with frustrating results. But I think we can do better than that as a reference. In fact, I think less of someone who would lower himself to saying that phrase. We’ll end the pause here, before either of us consider that last sentence.

My Friend John, Bearer Of Bad News

Thanks, John. I could have lived forever without knowing about this. (photo of my left hand, taken with my right)

Thanks, John. I could have lived forever without knowing about this. (photo of my left hand, taken with my right)

So here I am, tossing my little anti-pumpkin bits up on my small-time humor blog year after year. And year after year pumpkin is appearing in more foods where it doesn’t belong. A great friend told me that pumpkin spaghetti sauce is on the market. I was horrified. My first reaction was “how dare you, sir”. And then I thought “don’t kill this messenger, he’s your friend”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Me Versus Pumpkin, A Television Showdown

Over the past few years, I may have expressed the opinion that the over the top reception given the yearly influx of pumpkin flavored food is a little ridiculous. Soon, my thoughts on the matter will reach more people than ever.

Black and white TV, in color (CCbySA2.0 housing works thrift shop)

CBS News contacted me a few days ago and we discussed the pumpkin situation. They were looking for someone who was sick of “the pumpkin thing” to interview. There was some talk about bringing me to New York to do an interview in their studio. I felt like that was pretty silly, but it wasn’t my money, so I was fine with it.

In the end, they asked if I would meet their correspondent in a pumpkin patch. I agreed to do that. Looking back, agreeing to meet strangers on a farm in the middle of nowhere was out-of-the-box for me. You could even call it risky. Is this really a major media outlet wanting to talk to a small-time blogger or is it something worse?

Sure, it could be something worse. But when they asked if I was available on Friday, I decided to chance it. I didn’t have much else to do besides laundry.

And so today, I am off to a farm to be interviewed about pumpkin and its frenzied fans.  Or, perhaps I am meeting strangers at a farm so they can kidnap me. Either way, I’m going to write about it here throughout the day.

I’m going to update this post from my phone to let you know about this silly adventure. Check back periodically to see what’s going on. I’ll post pictures and thoughts as this unfolds. If you’ve got questions, post them in the comment section (you can even sign in with Facebook or Twitter) and I’ll answer you.

If the updates suddenly stop, please contact the authorities. Also, if you could have a bake sale or maybe a dunking booth to raise ransom money, I’d appreciate it.

9:00 – This thing seems pretty silly. With all that’s going on in the world, we’re going to spend time discussing pumpkins on the news.

But what I think will be funny is the comment section when they put this thing online. I’m pretty sure people will lose their minds and rip me up for saying anything bad about pumpkin flavored food. The thing is, what I say doesn’t really matter, does it? I don’t think Starbucks is going to say “that guy thinks this really effective marketing we’re doing is too much, maybe we should stop”. With that in mind, I’m just going to go on and issue my statement on the matter – “Take a breath. It really isn’t a big deal. I’d like to suggest that you take me as seriously as I take me.”

9:45 – I get a call from the producer on the story. “Hey Rob, Michelle is just going to drive herself there. Can you get there early and shoot all the b-roll stuff? I tell him I’m not Rob, but I can be there early. He says “cool, thanks” and hangs up.

A minute later he calls back to ask me if I can get there early, then apparently realizes that I must sound like Rob.

If this is a kidnapping, it isn’t a good one.

So I’m going early. 12, instead of 1:00.

10:00 – Heading out. Getting some gas. OMG, what if they have pumpkin spice gas?! Wouldn’t that be awesome?

I really need a sarcastic font.

When you see this interview, the orange shirt was specifically selected by my wife. Irony is not lost on her. Actually, not much is lost on her.

11:40 – OK, I’m here. Pumpkins grow in the middle of nowhere. How stereotypical. The farmer looks disapproving.

A bunch of pumpkins lounging around in the dirt. Typical.

So I’m here. The camera guys are here. No reporter, no producer.

12:10. Things are happening. The reporter and producer are here. The producer is wearing flip flops. I should have been a producer.


Quiet on the set

12:30 – and we’re done. I’m starving and all they have is pumpkin muffins. I’m going to find food.

Another update to wrap things up when I get home.

3:15 – I’m back. Did you miss me?

So, the interview went well. I had them laughing and had a good time doing this. That said, I reserve the right to freak out and tell you later how things were edited out of context and that I’m pissed off depending on how this thing turns out when they finally show it.

I’m still surprised at the trouble they went to for this interview. This farm is next to nowhere. There were two camera guys wiht a truck load of gear, a producer and a reporter. Most of the time I don’t need that many people to get me talking.

Near the beginning of this post, I referenced how silly it was that we’re going to talk on the news about what I think of pumpkin spice with all the other, mostly awful, stuff going on in the world. As it turns out, I had no idea how right I was.

“Wait”, you say, “you’re right so often, how is this any different?” Well, you’re right, I am correct about things so often that I lose track of the frequency of my correctness. But in this case, it was really weird how close to home I was.

In my phone conversation with the producer this morning, he said the reporter had to do this story and run because she had a story on the evening news tonight. As we were preparing for and wrapping up from the interview, the producer and reporter were talking about this other story that both of them were working on for tonight. It seems that they both were involved in the coverage of the tragic church shooting in Charleston, SC. The producer had actually spoken to the shooter’s friend shortly after the murders…the guy who was arrested by the FBI today. They discussed getting the video from that interview for tonight’s broadcast. So they pulled these people off of the story of a guy who may have saved nine lives by speaking up about what he knew to come talk to me in a pumpkin patch. Very weird.

Anyway, I can see that a lot of you have stopped by to keep up with this today. Thanks much!  If everything stays on schedule, they’ll run my interview on Wednesday during the CBS morning show, between 8 and 9. I imagine that I’ll be able to get a link up here shortly after that. Of course if something big happens, like a volcano erupting, I will probably get moved up to a more prime spot.

But seriously, they took me way out of context.


Sunday Film Series: How To Make A Pineapple Jack O’Lantern

Jack-O-Lanterns

All of these pumpkins are jerks. Top row center is beyond a jerk.(Photo credit: Joe Shlabotnik)

Pumpkin. I don’t like it. If you’ve been around the blog a while, you know that.

I don’t like how it seems to have imposed itself into our diet. It doesn’t belong in beer. It has no place in soup.

Last year, I called upon all earthlings to turn away from pumpkin as the traditional Jack O’Lantern. I took no issue when pumpkin was just about Halloween decor. The problem started  when pumpkin forced itself upon our dinner plates.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pumpkins Can Swim

The next installment in Guest Post week also comes from God’s country, Maryland. In this edition, Thoughts Appear  warns me about a potential threat from our mutual enemy, Pumpkin.  Through her links, she also reveals a long hidden secret. Enjoy her work here and over at her blog!

Dear Omawarisan,

Over the last couple years, you and I have bonded over our mutual dislike of coffee, our love of crab, and both of us living in the great state of Maryland.

You’ve passed along tasty hot chocolate tips like adding a flavor shot of raspberry or orange. You’ve been like a father to me. And I am forever in your debt.

But today I’m repaying that debt, and I’m writing to warn you. Be careful, Oma. A battle is beginning, and our mutual enemy is gathering an army. Read the rest of this entry »


Happy National Anti-Pumpkin Day

I believe that my position on Pumpkin is well established. I know that it is easy for an individual who takes a strong position to be mocked as an outlier. It takes more than an individual to create a movement. Today, on National Pumpkin Day, I am announcing that my Anti-Pumpkin position is now a movement.

People have flocked toward the cause. I define a flock as three. Don’t judge me.

Read the rest of this entry »


Pineapple Puts Pumpkin In Its Place

Pumpkin,

I asked you nicely to stay out of food. You didn’t follow through on that.

A ripe pineapple (Ananas comosus)

Pumpkin, remember that James Taylor song - Ananas? It isn't about you. (Image via Wikipedia)

So then I told you that I would see to it that you would never again find work as a jack-o-lantern at my house. I followed through on that.

Pineapple has taken your job.

It Didn’t Have To Come To This

Pumpkin, we were once friends. We all make choices. You made yours. As I said, we were once friends.

We were once friends. Do you remember that scuba diving trip at the end of October, about ten years ago? Think back, do you remember who the underwater pumpkin carving champion was? Yup, we were friends.

Read the rest of this entry »


Damn You, Pumpkin!

Pumpkin,

 

I am a patient man. There are schools of thought that differ from mine. I can accept that. I can find common ground with those who differ, when I see a glimmer of concern from across the breach. I don’t see that from you.

 

Pumpkins at the farm

A bunch of jerks (Image via Wikipedia)

 

You have found the end of my patience. I reached out to you with a piece that urged you to pursue the things you were best suited to succeed in. You turned your back when I came to you. Now, it is on between us.

 

I am a relentless man. I have matched wits in life or death situations with people whose capacities far exceeded yours. People whose head contained more than seed and gook. I didn’t fail in those situations, I wont fail here.

 

I am now boycotting you, even as seasonal decor.

 

Why?

 

When I wrote you before, I spoke respectfully of your talents as fall seasonal decor and ammunition for catapults. I urged you then to get and stay out of food and beverages. My request, and the case to support it, were quite reasonable. Read the rest of this entry »