Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Chop Shop

Pumpkins make great decorations for Halloween, but there's one big problem with them.

They tend to rot.

It's always a laugh when you see a half-collapsed Jack O'Lantern on somebody's front porch. It's a lot like someone having their Christmas lights up halfway through February, except a lot less sanitary. Throw it away, already!

Which is what we did at Starfish High today.

We managed to get rid of most of the Jack O'Lanterns by giving them away to students who attended our Open School last Saturday, but the two giant pumpkins were just not the kind of thing you can pick up and take home tucked under one arm. Unless you were really, really tall. And could bench 500. Like my good buddy P-Dog.

The big pumpkins were starting to develop patches of mold, and there were some places that were, for lack of a better word, leaking (see also: oozing). Okay, they needed to go, but giant pumpkins are not the easiest things to dispose of. Besides, what with the school having its own field for raising crops, we figured the pumpkins would make some good fertilizer.

So, after taking the pumpkins into the kitchen, students in the Art Club, Eisaku, and I started hacking away.

The sharpness of the knives at Starfish High is a little frightening. We dismantled two giant pumpkins in half an hour. Chopped them up into little bitty pieces, cleaned up all signs that we had ever been in the kitchen, took the pieces out to the field, spread them around, and then covered up said pieces with dirt. You'd never even know that a couple of pumpkins had been disposed of there.

Somehow, after it was all over, I felt like a criminal who had just covered up evidence of his latest crime.

One other thing. Starfish High is a Catholic high school. (At this point, if I was still DJing at KCAT/KCWU, Duke would have called in and requested the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Catholic School Girls Rule", but that's another story altogether.) There is a statue of Mary and...hmmm...what's the appropriate way to say this...the Christ child? a young Jesus? the Savior in His youth?...well, I'm sure you get the picture. Anyway, this statue is in the main foyer of the school, and we set up one of the giant pumpkins on a small table in front of it. After moving that pumpkin, there was some moldy ooze left on the table. So, I went to clean it up. After getting a bucket, cleaning fluid and a rag, I filled up the bucket with water and went to work. While I was knelt down on the floor wringing out the rag, Mr. Nakajima, one of the other teachers at SH, passed by.

"Hey Dustin, what's the deal? Have you realized the error of your ways and are confessing your sins?"

Huh? Ohhh...

I was kneeling on the floor with my head looking down, all in front of a statue of Mother Mary and Jesus Christ. I wish I could have seen that from a third-person point-of-view. Now that's comedy.


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