Each week I receive my copy of The Voice, provided the USPS hasn’t routed it through Upper Silesia, and read it front to back. A couple of weeks ago in the “Readers’ Voice” section, a gentleman wrote an intelligent, fairly non-judgmental rebuttal to a lady who, in a previous edition, had voiced her dissatisfaction with the city of Aurora for sponsoring a pride parade. This made me think, which I do occasionally when the mood strikes me, or my brain is pickled with alcohol: There are a whole lot of us who go around looking for things to be upset about.
The two writers reminded me of Mr. and Mrs. Kravitz on the 1960s television series Bewitched. Mrs. K was constantly peering out her window, with binoculars, to see what Samantha and Darren might be doing that could upset her, while Mr. K usually sat in his easy chair reading a newspaper, telling her to get away from the window and mind her own business.
An individual I know here in Aurora was upset with the painted yellow curbs by fire hydrants because it ruined his view out the front window. Apparently, there are more upset individuals around than you can shake a fire hydrant at. Those upset because of yellow, no-parking curbs, or upset because there are no yellow, no-parking curbs, upset because their neighbor has an ugly dog, or upset because they have an ugly neighbor or whatever. So many upset individuals, the city needs a quality of life inspector to handle all their reasons for being upset.
You don’t have to look far to find something to be upset about if you’re so inclined. Personally, I could be upset because I’m upset at having to write about those who look for things to be upset about. But I’m not upset because I’m a positive guy, which sometimes upsets me because I wish I could be more upset. The one thing that upsets me above all others is an issue that’s been intentionally pushed by Congress to the backburners of the great America stove for far too long: Pumpkin rights and the related issue of pumpkin thievery. There is a homeowner in my neighborhood who has actual footage recorded by his security camera of an actual young teenage girl-type violating the rights of a pumpkin to not be touched without its permission, by running up on his porch and abducting the pumpkin for who knows what. Thieves such as she, have no regard for the agony, heartbreak and future substance abuse she may be inflicting on younger children. More often than not, these innocent fruits or vegetables, depending on who you ask, end up as orange road kill. Not a pretty sight.
This mistreatment of pumpkins is a national disgrace. As Americans, can you imagine how this looks to the other civilized nations of the world? Even members of ISIS have never been seen abducting or smashing pumpkins.
I realize by broaching this topic I will upset many, prompting dozens of calls to the quality of life inspector, but someone has to address it. You never see a rutabaga or an egg plant, which is a fruit or vegetable depending on who you ask, being stolen and smashed in the streets. That’s because these produce objects have well-organized support groups, lobbyists and super PACS to get them congressional backing. Harsh punishments await individuals convicted of snatching this vegetation with evil intent. Shouldn’t pumpkins have the same rights as an innocuous bean sprout?
We overfeed and water pumpkins to see how big they can get, then humiliate them by dragging them through crowds to be entered in contests to determine which pumpkin is the biggest. But what happens afterwards? You never see what happens to the winning, 900-plus pound pumpkin. What do they do with it? The Pillsbury Doughboy, sorry, Doughperson, to be politically correct, would get a double hernia trying to stuff a piecrust, big enough for one of those pumpkins, in his oven.
We launch our pumpkins from catapults, blow them up, drop them from buildings, or cut them open, rip out their insides, and carve stupid faces on them in an effort to make them more human-like. I remember back in the 1950s when scientists in Florida (that state’s been weird for a long time) attempted to humanize the Creature from the Black Lagoon. The results were not pretty. At least the Creature was able to take out a few those who disfigured him. Pumpkins just suffer in silence with that stupid smile on their round orange faces until mold takes over and turns them into a pile of goop, the end Mother Nature intended, or until they’re stolen and reach a premature demise at the hands of heartless teenagers.
Personally, I’ve solved the problem of my pumpkin being stolen. I place it on the front porch and smash it into mush with a croquet mallet. Guess what? No one ever has tried to steal it.