Kamran’s been bugging me to post pictures of our trip to Ohio for the Circleville Pumpkin Show (mostly to see himself, I imagine), and I guess pumpkins are still in fashion for another week or two before the holiday sales start and my favourite Christmas song begins to wear on me after only a few days, so here’s a recap of our fun:
My best friend, Tracey, has a long-standing tradition with some of her freshman-year college friends of gathering at her house a few towns over on the Friday night of Pumpkin Show and driving down together. We always park in Ted Lewis Park and then walk up the hill to Court Street, which begins the blocks and blocks of closed streets full of vendors selling pumpkin-related everything. On the way, though, we always pass a house that sells pumpkins (on the honor system! adorably quaint!) and has this pumpkin farmer sitting outside:
Tracey, Dayna the ice skater, and Justin-who-convinced-me-to-buy-my-first-Apple-iBook
Before we had even made it one block into the thing, Tracey was already double-fisting a corndog and a bloomin’ potato that we all shared
and then we quickly moved on to calzones that my dad introduced me to a couple of years ago. I recognized the booth because the same wildly-stereotypical white trash woman was working in it, but she’s very nice and slathers the things in butter sauce before giving them to you, so I’m not judging.
We met up with my dad at the church booth where my cousins were selling hot chicken sandwiches (an Ohio phenomenon that involves cooking chicken in its broth, shredding it, and mixing it with, I don’t know, lots of black pepper and weird thickening stuff that gives the broth this kind of gelatinous texture; it’s awesome despite this disgusting characterization) and said embarrassing citypeople things to remind my dad how long I’ve been away from home.
And then he left, and we ate some more.
• deep-fried pickles
• pumpkin whoopie pies
• fried cheese on a stick
• homemade ice cream
• cotton candy
• deep-fried s’more
• deep-fried buckeyes
• apple cider slushes
and plenty more that I’ve forgotten, no doubt.
We visited the six-foot-wide pie and posed in front of the year’s biggest pumpkin (1436 pounds!)
before sidling up to the stretch of tables, where you can buy every kind of gourd imaginable, for the obligatory sexy pumpkin shot:
And then the HOLY CRAP, IS THAT A FACE ON A PUMPKIN? shot:
We could only guess that these things were grown inside of a face mold. They had the texture of the outside of a pumpkin, so they must not have been carved later, but whatever they were, they were creepy as can be.
When we got to the usual pile of various decorative gourds, Kamran picked up one that was especially weirdly-shaped and made a freaky face for me to take a picture of. Well, right at that moment, some big dumb Circlevillian stepped away from whatever meth he was smoking and yelled,
Now, if it had been me holding the gourd, I would’ve thrown it smack-dab in the middle of his big empty head and said, “I FLEW HERE FROM NEW YORK CITY FOR THIS THING!! IF ANYONE LOVES THE PUMPKIN SHOW, IT’S ME!! YOU’D BE MORE LIKELY TO BRUSH YOUR TEETH THAN I WOULD BE TO STEAL THIS GOURD, YOU SLOBBERING BEEF-WITTED CANKER-BLOSSOM!!
But it was Kamran holding the gourd, so he quickly put it back down and apologized, and I caught this picture of him halfway between making the funny face and whipping his head around to see his accuser:
The only thing I could do to get revenge on the guy was to continue hanging around the table and taking pictures so he and his redneck cronies were forced to watch us not stealing anything. I never got this sort of treatment before I owned a pleather jacket.
(I really hope I was making this face to be funny and not because I ever really look like that.)
I enjoyed that this picture harkened back to the days of yore when I had prize-winning potatoes as my blog header image but would love to know how anyone can judge what makes a good pie pumpkin without actually using it in a pie:
Tracey and I modeled our pumpkin earrings by Handmade by Sandi maybe slightly too creepily
and then humped Justin for good measure:
At the end of the night, well past the supposed closing time, we made our way back to the cars and couldn’t resist stopping for one last hurrah as we passed the farthest cotton candy/soda stand on the strip. As we stood waiting for Kamran to get his soda, someone noticed one of these wooden cane/stick things that I would say I associate with the Pumpkin Show even more than pumpkin burgers and pumpkin cream puffs and all of those things.
Growing up, we would spend hours at the game where you won these things. For $5, you’d get 50 rings that you’d try to toss onto one of the sticks, which were standing up in holes cut through a long table. There’d be 30 kids standing around the table, trying to ring one of the sticks or hook the crook of one of the canes, which were hanging above the table even more out of reach.
It was such a status symbol when we were teenagers to walk around the Pumpkin Show with a handful of these things, tapping the ground to remind people of how many you had. And also to pretend to be blind. Naturally Kamran wanted one after hearing about how cool having them used to make us, and he finally had his chance in the last moments of the evening:
But of course he actually left it there, because we’re adults who don’t need status symbols to feel good about ourselves. Except for our phones and laptops and vacations and clothes and cars and dinner reservations.
The next night, we came back with my dad, and my sister and her husband drove up from Kentucky, and we did it all over again. And we’ll do it again next year and every year for the rest of our lives.