The Great Pumpkin Incident
No, I’m not talking about that “Great Pumpkin” incident. Although, I totally sympathize for Linus. He was always my favorite “Peanuts” character, and I’m pretty sure he’s the only fictional character I’ve ever wanted to discuss philosophy with, but the title of post is referring to another pumpkin incident that actually occurred at our house a few years ago.
You see, this is the problem: My sisters and I have this weird aversion to moving things when we clean. It’s like, I’m already vacuuming the living room. I’m going behind the couch and around the chairs and down the hallway. So why should I have to move the rocking chair and vacuum underneath it? It’s not as if people are going to be coming over our house and crawling around on their hands and knees, searching for dust under our rocking chairs. The teenager in me just does not see the point.
Anyway, much to our mother’s dismay, the same sort of method is often applied to our bedrooms. Despite trying my best to convince our mom that we should keep our stuff sprawled out across the floor as weapons to trip anyone who might try to sneak into our rooms and abduct us in the middle of the night, she makes us clean our them. However, there may have been a few shortcuts we have taken throughout the years to save a few precious minutes on the weekend. And one of those might include not moving furniture when vacuuming.
Do not follow our examples. ALWAYS move your furniture when you vacuum. Otherwise, you might stumble across a rotting pumpkin under your dresser at some point or another. Which is what happened to my sister Hannah one year.
It was early spring, a lovely mild day in mid-April. My sister was sitting on her bed and petting her cat Emma, ignoring my warnings that she will in fact grow up to be an eccentric cat-lady if she does not stop talking to them as if they were people. Hannah had obviously forgotten my practical advice and was cooing something horrifying mushy to her cat, when Ruth happened to walk in and drop a pen on the floor. The pen rolled under Hannah’s nightstand table, and Ruthie naturally reached her hand under the blanket covering the table to grab it. Her fingers encountered something cold, mushy, and orange.
Naturally, this led to screaming, and Ruthie holding up her hands as if they’d been stabbed or something, telling Hannah to please clean up the cat’s throw-up under her nightstand table. I listened to all of this casually from the comfort of my bedroom. The cat threw up and Ruthie’s screaming? Ah, another beautiful Monday morning.
The real terror came into play when Hannah lifted the blanket and saw what was really underneath the nightstand table. Because it was far worse than cat throw-up. It was a rotten pumpkin.
It took about ten minutes to figure out what had really happened in Hannah’s bedroom. Sometime in October, she must have stuck a pumpkin under the table and forgotten about it. Over the five months to follow, the blanket had never been lifted, the table had never been moved, and the pumpkin was essentially forgotten, left to rot into a sunken black mess on her off-white carpet.
Our dad, of course, was furious. Mom was horrified. Hannah was disgusted. Ruth was highly amused. And I was completely indifferent. I mean, come on! It was just a rotten pumpkin, for Pete’s sake. To me, it seemed like just another day at the Coker house. 😉 But, I guess it does make for an extremely interesting story that everyone likes to bring up this time of year, Hannah included. 😉