The Pumpkining

Welcome to October! Now everything is pumpkin.

It’s a delightful season—the time of year where we array our tables with gourds, bake warm gourd pies, and enjoy the gourd-like light suffusing leaves the color of gourds. There’s a sense of satisfaction from the long, productive summer; a feeling that we’ve earned our rest, and never want to go on vacation again. It’s truly special.

And there are so many things to appreciate in autumn. Like you, I love the changing weather and the crisp night skies. I love the dropping sound of apples and the soft feel of oversleeping. There’s just something wonderfully cozy about the earth dying. No wonder it culminates in a celebration of fear.

But before we get to that, let’s talk about one of the best October surprises: the way pumpkins gently ooze into all our food. Everything becomes imbued with a glowing orange tint derived from nature and enhanced by science. Like old-timey pioneers, we use the pumpkins in inventive ways—to stretch the national Oreo supply, boost the profit margins at Starbucks, and enhance the nutritional value of crullers. This harvest bounty is an amazing blessing, even though few of us realize that “pumpkin spice” is just cloves, which you can get any time.

So how does one decide which pumpkin-flavored items to indulge in? It’s an important question, as eating too much pumpkin will kill you. Here is a handy little guide that can help you find the perfect treat:

Pumpkin drinks: A quaint idea that never really lives up to its promise. Can you drink a pumpkin normally? No, so keep it out of my latte.

Pumpkin alcoholic drinks: Disgusting, but they numb the agonizing pain of our desolate existence, which is pretty nice.

Pumpkin sweets: A fine class of pumpkin-sourced edibles. They include pumpkin loafs, pumpkin donuts, pumpkin cakes, pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pudding, pumpkin cupcakes, and pumpkin cookies. All of these are worth the effort. Sure, one could just open a can of pumpkin puree, sprinkle sugar on top, and spoon it into your mouth—but where would be the fun in that? Nowhere.

Pumpkin-spiced Oreos
You don’t eat it; it eats you.

Pumpkin pies: So noble it deserves its own category. The prince of piedom! The queen of circular mush! The king of sweet saucers of pulp! Fit for all gourds and gladies. Very gourdly.

Pumpkin candy: Flavored with orange peels. The Florida lobby doesn’t want you to know this.

Pumpkin meats: Pumpkin sausage? Is that a thing?

Pumpkin seeds: They will cause you to grow a pumpkin in your stomach next fall, if the weather’s right. It will burst out of you, alien-like, and mate with the nearest jack-o-lantern. However, if the weather is too dry, you will just have an adorable little pumpkin baby.

Pumpkin pumpkin: Do not try to eat a pumpkin. That will just directly kill you.

Of course, the cornucopia from God’s putrescent earth is just a lead-up to our beloved festival of terror, Halloween. This Christian religious observance begins with a traditional weeks-long stockpiling of shelf-stable post-nuclear holocaust candy. Parents then help their children scrape anguished faces onto the gutted remains of distended orange gourds. On the long night itself, children are draped in representations of horror (vampires, cowboys, Congressmen, etc.) and sent to threaten strangers who have hoarded their own emulsified goods in the hope of seeing the morning light. If the children survive, parents admonish them and take half their haul. It’s a wonderful, bacchanalian orgy of primal fear and gluttony. It’s my favorite month.

So welcome, October! Between the pumpkins and devil-worship, there’s so much that can kill you.

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