1. The youth group raising money by selling vegetables is hilarious. and true.
2. when he says dad threw the pumpkin out the window, he really means dad threw the pumpkin out the sun roof.
3. Eli still gets embarrassed about this and I cannot wait until she has a husband I can tell this to.
4. while you're reading this, imagine having a giant sling shot with a pumpkin in it. except the sling shot is dad's arm.
5. imagine while you're reading this what the rest of the world must have thought when they saw a pumpkin go flying out the roof of a car one cool autumn night.
6. i bet from now on you will have a new outlook on the whole "trick or treat" idea.
Around Halloween a few years back (and keep in mind that this really is only a few years back--maybe four or five) my youngest sister Eli (who was probably seventeen at that point), my mom and my dad went to pick out a pumpkin. Now, why a seventeen year old girl needs a pumpkin at Halloween is beyond me, but whatever. Eli just had to have one--no Halloween was complete without one, after all.
Well, the youth group at our church sells pumpkins as a fundraiser every year, so they decided that they would find their perfect pumpkin in the yard in front of University City United Methodist Church. Now selling pumpkins is a fundraiser for the church youth group. It follows, then, that they ain't gonna be the cheapest pumpkins in town. They're trying to raise money by selling vegetables. If they're going to fund their next trip to Carowinds or Kenya, they've got to jack the prices on these things up. But when you're a seventeen year old that just has to have a Jack-O-Lantern for Halloween, I guess cost isn't an issue.
Oh but for my parents, it was. So Eli finds the perfect pumpkin. Her Seventeenth Halloween was also going to be the best: she found the biggest, orangest, roundest pumpkin in the patch. The only catch: it was $40. My dad told her that there was no way in hell that he was going to pay $40 for a gourd, perfect or not.
Seventeen year old Eli didn't like this one bit. Not even a little bit. So she did what any self-respecting seventeen year old would do: she found threw a fit. She yelled. She cried. She cried. OVER A PUMPKIN. The fact that my dad bought her a smaller pumpkin only furthered her cause, because she started accusing my dad (if I know her, loudly and shrilly) of being "cheap."
My dad, who is really very patient, especially with her, had enough. As they're drove down the road on the way home, Eli called him cheap one too many times. He reached around to the backseat with one hand, grabbed that pumpkin from Eli's fists, and (while still driving, mind you) heaved it one-handed out the window and into the middle of Harris Boulevard, where it exploded into a pile of seeds and orange melon.
And for the next month, every time we drove down Harris Boulevard and saw that pile of rotting, stinking pumpkin, we were reminded of our only Halloween without a Jack-o-Lantern, all because Eli thought my dad was cheap.