Sunday, October 3, 2010

1969 Pumpkin Memories, A Saturday Centus

Well we have made it to week# 22 of Jenny Matlock’s Saturday Centus, that really short, short story writing exercise where 100 words are all you get to create stories based upon a supplied prompt.  This week, instead of a prompt, Jenny has supplied us a photo of a field of pumpkins from which to base our 100 word stories.  

While I like the challenge of using a photo as inspiration, I’m so used to Jenny giving a sentence or phrase to get the ball rolling that this week’s challenge seemed at once scary and hard.  (And no, I refuse to say “That’s what she said,” you fans of “The Office.”  Not going to happen.)

Follow along on Jenny’s blog, off on my tangent, and see where other writers take this week’s assignment, or if you are inclined, submit one of your own stories this week!  It’s absolutely free and it just might make you famous and turn yours into a household name like it did for Bernie Epstein and Freida Krum. 

Now, while some see a field of pumpkins and think “Oh, it’s a field of pumpkins,” I prefer to take a less obvious approach.  When I look at this photo I don’t see pumpkins, but rather what they represent to me.

Maybe you too see a field of blood-soaked decapitated heads screaming various ignorant and prejudiced right-wing rants and insane Tea Party rhetoric in the rain while the music from “Riverdance” plays in the background, and maybe not.   It’s all open to interpretation, right?

Don’t feel bad or that something is seriously wrong with you if you don’t.  I’m sure you still have many very nice qualities.

For a lot of people pumpkins represent Halloween, one of my favorite holidays of the year.  With October 31st right around the corner, the search for the right pumpkin is on for many pumpkin carvers out there determined to outperform last year’s efforts.  So off to the pumpkin fields they go, looking for one with just the right qualities to make that perfect jack o’ lantern.

Some prefer the short round ones, others the tall skinny ones.  Some search out those pocked with ugly scars to help create that fearsome visage that inspires terror in the eyes of the young trick-or-treaters. 

But no matter what shape or how intricate their carvings are, I have a plan to create the most horrifically scary pumpkin ever.  It may even cause children, and even some adults, to become physically ill. 

This year I’m going to skip the pumpkin autopsy that so many of us divorced people seemingly take too much pleasure in.

(What?  You mean I’m the only one?) 

I’m going to take my pumpkin and add some long black hair, make-up, fake boobs and lashes along with a poofy hair bump and voila!  It’s that orange-skinned, foul-mouthed, drunken troll from the “Jersey Shore” whom we all know as Snooki! 

I only hope they don’t get sick on my pumpkin.  But if they do, the realism will truly be uncanny.

Anyway, here is the little story that I came up with for this week based upon the above photo.  I have entitled it: 

1969 Pumpkin Memories

Halloween was a magical time when I was 7 years old.  My friend Simon and I looked forward to it every year.

“Mom, Simon wants to get a white pumpkin this year.” 

“No,” she replied.

“But mom, Simon really wants one.”

“No.  Tell Simon they only have orange ones.”

“Well can you at least get one for each of us?”

“How about this, Tommy…since Simon is your invisible friend, maybe he would like his own invisible pumpkin.”

This totally made sense to me.

“Well, can it be a white pumpkin?”

“Sure, why not!”

My mom was cool like that.

Jenny Matlock
Don't call us short stories, 
we're just textually-challenged.


  1. Cute! An invisible friend with an invisible white does make perfect sense!

  2. LOL ... Delightful, I loved it, all of it!!

  3. Hahaha "Mom was cool like that." Soo invisible friends, mark of creativity or insanity? I'm guessing both.

    And speaking of, Did Simon really end up getting his white pumpkin? I read an entirely different story about this incident from a furious Simon via his invisible blog.

  4. We're headed into Thanksgiving next week in Canada. Time for pumpkin pie. Did Simon like pumpkin pie? With whipped cream?

  5. LOL, Very cute. I remember my son having an imaginary friend but he never wanted a pumpkin, ha. Good job.

  6. A perfect Halloween tale!


    PS. This mom really WAS cool...

  7. This was great story, Tom. Did you have an invisible friend yourself to draw inspiration for this tale? I never saw a white pumpkin in 1969 either...but I got one, a poor one, this year to add to my oranges. It is not invisible at all!

  8. I can totally picture your childhood Halloween. Nicely done.

  9. Tom, LOVE it! My son had an imaginary friend, but he only came around just before something got broken, or spilled, or dirty!

  10. mom was cool and practical. Imaginary friends are such a part of childhood. Nice take on this prompt, the dialogue was great!

  11. Very cute, Tom! I'm glad you and Simon got what you wanted for Halloween. The 3 of you (you, Simon, and your mom) were very smart. Hope you got lots of good treats too.

  12. So very funny, but I think Mom should have gotten Simon a real white pumpkin!

  13. What a fun story. I like white pumpkins. I like your mom, too.

    Your "Jersey" pumpkin will give me nightmares.

  14. haha what a great mom answer there! ... hey u know with the pumkin heads you mentioned in your intro that was my first thought looking at the pic!!!!

    Tina from
    Mummy Diaries

  15. I've dropped out of the memes. Got obsessed. Go figure. I still like popping in to appraise these with an open mind and heavy hand. Yes, I'm snickering at you.

    I'm glad I don't live near you because I don't know what a Snooki is or what it looks like. I'd enjoy keeping it that way, thank you very much.

    I liked your invisible pumpkin Mom. She rocks.

  16. I like your mom. She's very cool and smart. I can see you got it from her.

  17. they totally have white pumpkins! i've seen them!!! and my invisible friend bobby has seen them too!

    cute story this week.

  18. Brilliant mom! I wish I could come up with lines like that to answer the kids. . .
    Thanks for sharing that memory - too much fun.

  19. Mom was a genius! I'm still working on mine, just back from Dallas. And I finally answered your tag, internet service at daughter's apartment is a bit iffy, not to mention trying to get computer time :) It was a fun one, it will be interesting to see where it ends up! Kat (and yes, if I saw a "Snooki" pumpkin I probably would be ill)

  20. A pumpkin with fake boobs...hmmm...methinks you have gone off the deep end ;-) Your story is quite good...and I know of more than one whose favorite is the white ones. We just saw some this past weekend. As for whether mom should get two...I think so...Happy Imaginary Halloween Tom... Peace and blessings

  21. Not sure who Snooki is but I wonder if you could just get some of that silicon stuff from the home improvement store to make the fake boobs. Might be fairly realistic and perky that way.

    I'm glad Simon got his imaginary white pumpkin!


  22. Simon wouldn't still be hangin around now would he??? :D Love the "Snookie" pumpkin idea. ~Ames

  23. Can't wait to see your Snookie. She really is a pumpkin head.


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