You know where we got pumpkins when I was a child? VONS. Stater Bros. Lucky’s. Wherever my mom bought groceries the week of Halloween. There was no way on God’s green earth my mom was going to traipse through a random field of pumpkins off the freeway with three kids and a rusty knife, not after the first year we walked through acres of misshapen squash only to settle, at the end of the field, on pumpkins equally deformed as the ones we dismissed earlier and much closer to the check out line.
Mikey started his campaign for a house full of pumpkins about the same time I saw the first wave of pumpkin patch pictures hit the blogs. I knew I was in trouble after his first carefully outlined sales presentation. He gave speeches. He made promises. He put on the charm and delivered his best smile. By the end of the week I was ready to give a pumpkin and Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.
So we went to the pumpkin patch on Sunday and, admittedly, we had a wonderful time. But, I have to wonder if we wouldn’t be in the predicament we are in as a country if we didn’t stock our ready-cut pumpkin patches with expensive heirloom varieties and obscure gourds grown from seeds collected from vine grafts that horticulturalists can maybe-almost trace back to the cousin of the aunt of the sister of Sacajawea.
It’s not that easy to find a regular pumpkin at a pumpkin patch. It’s almost as hard as taking a picture of something nuclear orange.
But you can find rides and tickets, the minimum price being $20 for one sheet. Tickets that you are expected to burn through on countless sky scraping jumpers, pony rides, slides, face painting, and ATV rides. We could have used those ATVs twenty years ago to haul back our deformed pumpkins.
You can also go on this thing. I don’t know what it is, but it costs 10 tickets ($10) for one ride. It may have also been the basis for a fact pattern on Assumption of Risk in law school.
Don’t worry if your kids are too small to go on rides. There is always the petting zoo.
There were many more animals, of course, but most of them were fleeing in terror from the two year olds. Lambs, chickens, ducks, goats, et al. were either running wild for cover or lounging like this guy, quite possibly the most jaded looking goat I have ever come across in my life.
This beast thinks he’s too good to lay on the floor and didn’t move a muscle except to roll his eyes at us in disdain. I don’t speak goat, but something about this guy’s smirk has me convinced he has is hiding in his pen a tattered copy of Animal Farm.
Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
– George Orwell, Animal Farm, Ch. 1