I placed the tools on the kitchen counter and eyed them closely.
Sure, I didn’t know exactly what each of them did. But that was okay. I’d figure it out.
I lifted one of the tool things up. “This is to....cut the pumpkin,” I said.
Yes. Everything that I had laid out was for carving pumpkins. I got one of those pumpkin tool kits thinking that it might help.
I picked up another tool. This one looked exactly like the other one I checked, only slightly bigger. “This is....also to cut the pumpkin,” I mumbled knowledgably.
I hoped I wouldn’t mess up. Tom usually does the pumpkin carving. I did it once before, a long time ago, and the pumpkin ended up looking like that Sloth dude from The Goonies. One eye was up, one eye was down, the nose was off to the side, the mouth a gigantic mess...
So I vowed to do better this year. And when my friend Amanda mentioned that she’d print out special stencils I thought, “I’m up for the challenge. I just cut out bits of pumpkin out, how hard can that be?”
Amanda and her family came over to carve pumpkins so if I lost a finger, I’d have help right away.
The two stencils I had were batman and Brobee from the creepy Yo Gabba Gabba show.
But first I had to open the pumpkin.
I took one of the pumpkin tools and poised it over the pumpkin. I took a deep breath. I felt like a surgeon, about to perform a life saving operation. Then I thought about Patrick Dempsey, who plays a doctor on Grey’s Anatomy and got bitter because it’s not fair when a man has better hair than you do. It’s just seriously not fair! It’s—oh, wait, I had to concentrate on the pumpkin. Not man hair.
I stuck the knife in.
And the thing almost snapped off.
So I used the next best thing: a regular knife.
I managed to get the top off and then came down to pull out the seeds.
Natalie did this for like a second before she declared it “too gross.”
Oh, but when Tommy tried to remove some seeds, she took great offense and was all, “This is MY pumpkin, brother.”
Here she is telling me, “Tell brother that this is MINE!”
I quickly opened Tommy’s pumpkin so Natalie wouldn’t have a full flown tantrum.
Then I got started on the Batman stencil. At first I had no idea where to begin. I picked up a knife. I put it back down. I surveyed the pumpkin in a businesslike manner as though I believed it would talk to me and explain what I needed to do. I picked up another knife. Looked at the stencil. Realized I should probably tape the stencil to the pumpkin. I did that and I poised the knife over the stencil.....
.....and when I was done, the pumpkin actually looked like Batman.
I was stunned. And a little bit impressed. I mean, for my first stencil, I did a pretty good job.
Next came Brobee.
Brobee was harder.
But I managed. I cursed a few times, but I managed to get it done.
And actually, I think both pumpkins turned out.
(And yup, Amanda and her husband did Wubzy and Kai-lan.)
**Oh and thanks to all the people who volunteered to read my novel. I'm only having 2 people read it so far, so I keep track on who all has it**