Giant Pumpkin People


Every tribe seems a little odd. Ball golfers wear funny clothes that only come from prep schools in Connecticut. Wine enthusiasts use every word under the sun to describe a wine's characteristics except  "this one tastes like grapes". Beanie Baby collectors actually turned out to be  better financial investors than Sherman Lehman, GM or AIG.

I met a man the other day who is a big time player in the world of Giant Pumpkin Growers. Foolishly I asked him for the seeds so I could toast them up for a snack. Oh no, seeds from his big boys cost big bucks and are not meant to be toasted and lightly tossed in Tamari.

My brother in law is a science guru at a prep school in Delaware where they enjoy the popular fall pastime of "punkin chunkin". For those not in the know Punkin Chunkin is the art of throwing a pumpkin with some type of catapult. Awesome, right?

On the drive home my mind began to wonder about these two tribes meeting each other.

Two men are standing in line at Starbucks ( that opening alone is funny, ain't no line at Starbucks these days) when one notices a pumpkin lapel pin on the other.

" Mighty fine day for Punkin Chunkin ain't it?"

" Pardon, Punkin Chunkin? I'm not familiar"

Punkin Chunkin man proceeds to tell the tale of finding just the right combination of pumpkin size, catapult action and trial and error of tossing dozens of pumpkins into an empty field.

Giant Pumpkin Grower man is horrified. How can someone take a pumpkin before it has reached it's potential and send it sailing into a mass grave of pumpkin pieces?  No one to carefully roll it over so it's evenly ripened, trim back the extra leaves that rob it of valuable nutrients. No one to sort the seeds as they lay strewn over a barren field. He proceeds to tell the Chunkin Man all about the life of one his giant pumpkins from carefully harvesting the seeds, a single greenhouse for each pumpkin, the trimming and nurturing. The heavy doses of fertilizer and Miracle Grow. This is a selfless dedication to pumpkins so big you can cut them in half and sail away to Pumpkin Paradise in one of them.

Chunkin Man is horrified. How can he get a fat pumpkin like that to fly free and still be inside the technical boundaries set up by the World Championship Pumpkin Association. The levers and pulleys will need to be too big. This is just too much pressure.

As the two stare vacantly at each other, no chance of comprehending the others' dilemma, the barista chimes in to the customer ahead of them . " Your half caf latte and grilled pumpkin muffin is ready" Both men stop and stare at the man at the head of the line.

Nothing like a common enemy to unite opposing viewpoints.

I really need to concentrate more when I drive.