Every October, my Girl Scout Troop (we were the laziest troop ever and never really earned any badges. Though I did earn one for making up a pelvic-thrusting dance to NKOTB’s sensational holiday hit “Have a Funky, Funky Christmas”) would hit up a local farm, where we would be set loose to paw at the bountiful mounds of pumpkins and fight mercilessly with each other (young girls are so charmingly bellicose). And apparently, slap fruity bows atop our pates.
A few weeks ago, we took Chooch out to that same farm and the first thing we saw was a sea of cars shimmering in the fucking hot ass sun. (Seriously, it was nearly ninety that day which kind of confuses the brain to believe you’re setting out to pick seashells, not goddamn autumn farm-fruit. My feet were screaming, “WHY NO FLIP FLOPS??”)
Triple B has long sold out in the name of sweet, sweet commercialism, like so many other of our local farms. (One of which is owned by my relatives and I have boycotted it for the past eight or so years because fuck you, money-hunrgy hoes, for turning a place that owned such a quaint spot in my childhood memories into a mecca that would have Martha Stewart fingering herself through her fucking chinos upon arrival. Plus, they think their apple cider is God’s fucking jizz and it IS NOT ALL THAT.)
Bitterness aside, we paid the exorbitant fee for an all-access neon green wristband to hump our wrists and then wove our way through the overly-excited urban dwellers who ambled around like ricoceting pinballs, unable to comprehend the clear country air and the absence of the highway’s obnoxious heavy metal.
From the onset, my motto of the afternoon became, “Where are all the fucking pumpkins?” Sure, there was a very small clearing near the entrance of the rip-off carnival, where several stalls were semi-filled with Halloween’s official gourd. It was almost an afterthought, like the head farmer briefly stopped swimming in his money vault long enough to point to the sky and declare, “I reckon we oughtta have some pun’kins for the city folk to be buyin’ up. Mabel, go scatter some out thar’ next to the shanty filled with granny’s overpriced apple butter.” Honest to god, these pumpkins were frozen mid-lull, looking so pathetic and dejected that I was afraid to look too closely, for fear of projecting them with anthropomorphic sympathy and winding up with a cornucopia of adopted outcasts.
We skirted past the pumpkins and flashed our wristbands at some blase woman guarding the entrance to a fence, beyond which was a hill bustling with activity and screaming children. Try to look past the frozen proof of Henry’s Neanderthalian gait, if you can, and marvel with me over the wasted earth that could have been better suited for pumpkin hills, which I would then climb like a giddy child, only to have that fun adventure end with anal violation via pumpkin stem. (A true account that happened to me when I was a youngun.) Instead, it appears the farm’s pumpkin crop went into the ingenius creation of corny diaramas. An acre’s worth.
I almost burst vessels trying to figure this one out. Then I was all, “Oh, it’s fucking Harry Potter” and moved on.
Tubes that pierce and plow through soil make me nervous so I let Henry havethe pleasure of accompanying Chooch down the Liberty Tubeslide. What if some asshole kid shat himself and smeared it all over on his trip down? YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT’S IN THERE. Better that Henry and Chooch find out for me.
I noticed that there was a continuous succession of wagons pulling along chattering loads of assholes. Of course, the hayride was NOT included in the price of admission. I was tempted to shell out the extra cash just to see if the tractor was transporting them to some secret arsenal of pumpkins, glistening with the magic crack cocaine of Eden and ripe for picking. But then I was distracted by a penful of baby chicks.
“Would you like to pet one?” a young farmhand asked Chooch. Chooch’s “It’s Animal Abuse Time!!” alarm sounded and he sweetly said, “K!” Immediately, his fist of torture tightened around the chick’s neck and we all screamed, “No, no, no!” in terrified unison. Then Henry and I laughed nervously and quickly dragged Chooch away.
Triple B turned an entire barn into a walk-through haunted house. While there were no live actors, the scenes they set up through-out were decent and effective, enhanced by sensor-triggered air jets and a creepy soundtrack. “They must have put so much money into this,” I said, using my best “I am capable of showing respect” tone. Suddenly, I wasn’t so bitter about paying so much to get in.
In the end, we left there with two cookies and a jar of mustard. The next day, we got our pumpkins from a small, roadside nursery which had a bigger selection and cheaper prices. So there, commercial farms of America.