Friday, September 27, 2013

Some Interesting Facts About Pumpkins

As October draws ever closer and the Halloween season with it, I feel it would be helpful to offer a few interesting facts about that ubiquitous symbol of Halloween, the humble pumpkin.

1. Pumpkins are a New World form of vegetable life.  They did not exist in Europe prior to white folks coming to the New World which is why Irish people carved jack o' lanterns out of turnips rutabagas.

2. The natives of North America taught the primarily ignorant and smelly (they didn't bathe regularly) Europeans how to cultivate the pumpkin and it rapidly became an important crop for the invaders visitors.

3. Colonial Americans made pumpkin pies by filling pumpkin shells, not by putting pureed pumpkin into a pie crust.

4. The Eastern tribes, among them the Powhatan, the Mohawk, and the Objibwe used the pumpkin as a form of legal currency.

5. Pumpkins like to be cut from their life giving vines, have their insides scooped out and their skins carved into interesting faces, revealing the spirit being inside.

6. Pumpkins are naturally poisonous and should not be eaten.

7. Many cultures believe pumpkins to be the lost souls of the damned.  They are half right.

8. Pumpkins are not, in fact, vegetables.  Pumpkins are an alien life form sent to earth to prepare for an invasion.  Due to a miscalculation on the part of the alien overlords, earth soil robs pumpkins of their ability to gain sentience and overtake our puny meat life forms.  Except for rare Halloweens when the moon is full and Saturn is in retrograde.

9. George Washington had false teeth made out of pumpkin seeds.

10. H.P. Lovecraft's first draft of "The Call of Cthulhu" described Cthulhu as, "A thing like a pumpkin with stubby bat wings and a mass of vine tendrils hanging from the cucurboid face."  He later discarded this version when Chaosium said it was too frightening for an RPG to be successful.

11.  Charles Schulz, the creator of the comic strip Peanuts, was once savaged by a mysterious attacker in a pumpkin patch.  Despite the official police report reading "vagrant or hobo" Schulz always maintained privately that is was the pumpkins themselves that attacked him.  He would often then laugh this off to avoid social stigma, but it cannot be ignored that Mr. Schulz was never seen to enjoy pumpkin pie, often excusing himself from the Thanksgiving dinner table before dessert was served.

12. During the famous 1692-93 Salem witch trials in Danvers, Massachusetts, one accused, Goodey Lisa, admitted under examination that her familiar was a "car-ved pompkin by the name of Skiddlescrote" and further attested that she did cavort with the Devil on Shrove Tuesday and he appeared, " the form of a large green leafy man with a pompkin for a head and an exceptionally large member."  It was also noted that he had a speech impediment very like Hamish "Iron Rod" MacTavish, the village blacksmith.  Cotton Mather called the pumpkin the "Devil's fruit, spawned from the fetid and yeasty crotch of the evil one himself" and further recommended the destruction of all pumpkins and pumpkin patches.

13. A pumpkin invented the electric car but greedy oil companies squashed the patent application to keep the people tied to petroleum products.
Another quality article brought to you by the Celtic Pumpkin
I hope you have been enlightened by these interesting facts about our favorite cucurbit.

Keep those pumpkins lit.