Pumpkin Patch Kids

Crystal’s a photography student.

She’s also more artistically talented than I am in practically every way imaginable, which annoys me to no end because while my brain is chock full of kick-ass comics and robot designs, my own personal artistic ability sucks donkey scrotum.

If I could draw, I’d have jotted down all my cool toy line ideas. If I could sculpt, I’d have made mock ups. I could be rolling in the dough if only I had the ability to get the ideas out of my head and into some physical form so I could pitch it to someone. But instead I clean up after dogs who crap in their kennels at an animal hospital.

I digress. The thing about photography students is that whenever they buy something for any occasions, they base their decision on how photogenic it is. Sometimes this isn’t so bad, sometimes it drives me nuts.

This past Halloween was an example of the latter. We went to the local pumpkin patch — actually more of a pumpkin parking lot at the local grocery store since we live in Seattle and it’s not exactly brimming over with agricultural sectors — to pick out a pumpkin. They even had a tired-looking horse hitched up to a wagon for hay rides down to the K-Mart and back, and those bundles of dried stalks of corn that gets crud everywhere since they’re so fragile.

So yeah, we want to get a pumpkin to carve up for Halloween. Not that any trick-or-treaters are going to be coming by our place, but just because it’d be fun to unleash some hostility and aggression on a squash.

For me, pumpkin picking is quick and easy. I go in, find a pumpkin that doesn’t completely suck, pay for it, and I’m out of there. Takes me like 15 minutes tops, and that’s if I’m being really picky.

For Crystal, it’s a whole different ball game. The thing has to be just the right shade of orange, it can’t be lopsided, it must have a certain circumference and diameter, the stem has to curl, but not too much, etc. etc. etc.

We were there for nearly 2 hours.


Looking at PUMPKINS!

Why on earth did I not just leave? Why did I put up with it?

Because it’s her car. And she promised to take me looking for toys afterward. And for that, I would put up with just about anything she does.

So yeah, she’s sorting through pumpkins, and I’m just kind of staring off into space nodding complacently with every little comment she makes (“This one is nice…” “Uh huh.” “Don’t you think this one has a nice color?” “Yes honey.”). That’s when this sudden commotion to my left snaps me out of my daze.

I pivot on my foot and whirl around in a sweeping arch of trench coat to stare across the vast see of orange gourds, and what do I see?

Some guy with a pumpkin.

But to his right, who’s that? That’s BATMAN! Hassling some other guy with a pumpkin!

I start to make my way through the sea of pumpkins to find out what’s going on. By the time I get there, Batman’s already grabbed the guy by the collar and was shaking him intermittently. The guy was just sweating like crazy, clutching his pumpkin so hard that his knuckles were turning white.

I heard Batman growl in his customary “I’m so spooky!” voice, “You’d better give me that pumpkin if you know what’s good for you…”

The guy, obviously not knowing what’s good for him, responded with “No! It’s my pumpkin! I saw it first!” And actually I tended to agree with him. We were standing in a parking lot chock full of pumpkins, I think Batman might have been overstepping his bounds when he had so many other pumpkins to choose from.

Batman hauled him even closer to his face until their noses were practically touching. “Last chance. Give me the pumpkin, or suffer the consequences…”

“No! Leave me alone!”

What happened next was so spectacular, that the English language lacks the ability to describe it adequately. First, I saw the pumpkin go up into the air, spiraling around in slow motion.

Then, Batman killed the guy seven times before he even hit the ground.

Lastly the pumpkin fell perfectly into Batman’s outstretched hand.

Holy hell! That was the coolest thing I had EVER SEEN! Have you ever seen something that cool? Hell no! Because that was the coolest thing EVER!


And then, after killing a man to obtain his pumpkin of perfection, Batman tosses it into the air, and hurls an exploding Batarang at it, reducing it to pulp. I was thinking “Gee, that seems like kind of a waste of a pumpkin to kill a guy over,” when at that point Batman went absolutely NUCKING FUTS!

Standing in the middle of the pumpkin lot, he just starts spinning around, throwing Batarangs like little ballistic missiles, pulping each and every pumpkin that anyone picks up. I half expected him to start screaming “If I can’t have a perfect pumpkin, no one can!” but he just retained his icy demeanor and squashed many squash.

Eventually he ran out of Batarangs and stood there panting, so I decided it was safe enough to approach him and find out what exactly was going on.

“Hey Batman,” I said, “what exactly is going on?”

“I got a tip off that the Scarecrow had rigged the pumpkins at the parking lot of northeast 130th street to explode with his fear gas,” he replied.

“North EAST 130th? Dude, this is NORTH 130th, it doesn’t turn into northeast 130th until it gets to the other side of the interstate.”

“Oh really? Oh my goodness, this is so embarrassing. Guess I’d better get over there before Scarecrow strikes. Thanks for the tip!” And just like that, he leaped into the Batmobile and tore off down the street.

That Batman. What a wacky guy.

Of course right after he left all the pumpkins started exploding into this purple haze that made me hallucinate that my flesh was melting off my bones while monkeys were eating my brains, so I guess in retrospect he probably had the right address after all.