My mom used to be an adolescent psych nurse. And back then, she had this coworker that she’d tell me about who always greeted the patients with, “HEYYYYYYY PUMPKIN!!!”
The kids loved that nurse. They looked forward to her arrival every day. But to be deemed Pumpkin wasn’t arbitrary. It was a respected privilege. And if a patient acted out or annoyed this nurse, she would revoke their title.
“You’re not my pumpkin anymore.”
This was supposed to be a picture of a devastated person, but I Googled ‘crying’ and uh…this came up.
So naturally, how could I not?
But let’s pretend I actually got a stock photo of a devastated child bawling their eyes out, as was my intended direction. Being that woman’s Pumpkin was EVERYTHING to those kids. For totally inexplicable reasons, it was just so important. They didn’t get anything from it. They weren’t treated any more special than the other patients. But to be called Pumpkin. If they angered that nurse, they fell to pieces. They would get their lives together, vow to never be bad again. Anything, to be Pumpkin again. It was so serious. Too serious. Pumpkin.
But you know, I feel like around this time of the year, we are all adolescent psychiatric patients. Because what the hell is this hype over pumpkin every single fall season? We all succumb to it. It begins earlier and earlier every year. The appeal of pumpkin dictates our lives for one quarter of the year.
Pumpkins aren’t that great. Do we even know if it’s a fruit or a vegetable? What does it do? Is it not strange that pumpkin has never been the focal point of some health craze? I can’t name a single health benefit of pumpkin off the top of my head outside of it not being crack cocaine. And I live on the Internet. I know the health benefits of kumquats and how water will kill you. That’s brainpower I’ll never get back but it’s there, man.
Great for your digestive system, and they help prevent diabetes! How the feezy do I know that? Someone help.
It’s orange. What the kind of plant is orange? Carrots and bell peppers? Neither of those are very trustworthy vegetables, am I right? Oh, so are kumquats. OH MY GOSH AND ORANGES TOO. But those are fruit. They’re chill. Maybe… But orange vegetables are sketch at best, and I…think pumpkins are vegetables.
Who’s idea was it to carve faces into pumpkins? What is that doing for anybody? Don’t we have enough ways to accidentally stab ourselves that are necessary to everyday life? And they just rot. In your house. On your doorstep. That’s not cute. “Welcome to my home, enjoy this giant rotting vegetable(I think) while you wait for me to answer the bell. And look! It has a little face crudely carved into it’s flesh, and you’re next.“
I would like to know who started this madness. What pumpkin loving freak looked at a slice of pumpkin pie one Thanksgiving and said to themselves, “Y’kno, this just isn’t enough for me. Let’s dump some of this in my coffee. Let me start it a Twitter account. Let me spread it on some toast. Let me sandwich it in a cookie. How about I dump some in an ice cream maker. Let’s eat this in September. Better yet, make it August. And let me share my obsession so I never have to go without pumpkin ever again.”
Well done, maniac. Thanks a lot. I hope you’re happy. I’m not. I’m sick of walking into the store to see another pumpki-fied item. Would it be pumpk’d? Yeah, yeahhh.
Oreos? You just got pumpk’d.
Chips? You got Pumpk’d.
Did anybody have to read The Botany of Desire in school? It’s probably a good book. But a half-hearted skim of it and the author, Michael Pollan, creeped me all the way out. I marked him off as a plant loving weirdo and put the book away for the rest of the semester. A very rough and barely accurate summary of the book is that Michael Pollan thinks plants have an agenda to fill the earth with themselves, and they make humans go crazy for four basic desires that they provide, so we bend to their plant-will and grow them everywhere. And we generally do something to alter the plant forever, either for better or worse. But it’s apparently all part of the plants’ grand scheme to control us.
Michael Pollan is still weird, and I’m not reading that crazy plant conspiracy book, but maybe he’s on to something. What if the pumpkins did this to us? They’re that crazy nurse. And we’re all her patients. Think about it, possibly over a PSL and a pumpkin muffin. And don’t act like you don’t know what that acronym is. I know you do. And so do the pumpkins. We’ve all been pumpk’d.