Many people in Brooklyn, New York, put out pumpkins and other gourds for Halloween. This is all well and good, and far preferable to some of the unpleasantness that finds its way into windows and front-yards this time of year. There is, however, a Halloween pumpkin-related crisis. The crisis has little to do with the act of putting pumpkins out for Halloween and much to do with the act of not giving them a proper burial after Halloween. This, my fair readers, is the rotting pumpkin crisis, which I covered in dialogue form and in an article on a few unfortunate pumpkins which transmogrified into three-dimensional Salvador Dali paintings. I had thought that I was the only one to have noticed all the poor, rotting pumpkins, crying out for the Pumpkin Taker to take them away. It was not until March 20, 2022, that I discovered that someone else had heard the cries of the rotting pumpkins and given form to their existential cries.
March. That is not a typo. See below.
(Note: I do not remember precisely where in Brooklyn I took the photo, but I think that it was in Gowanus or Boerum Hill.)
I want to make clear for the record that I did not write anything on this poor, liquefying pumpkin, which had undoubtedly been subjected to many freezes and thaws between its autumn 2021 debut on that fateful step and its sad state in March 2022. “WHY GOD WHY?” reads the pumpkin. If it could speak (it cannot speak because it is, or was, a pumpkin), it might be saying just that. The poor thing.
(To be clear, I did not write anything on this pumpkin. Unlike certain people, I do not carry a permanent marker. Even if I did carry a permanent marker, I would be reluctant to touch any pumpkins outside, especially the ones that look fine on the surface. Those are the ones that would get you.)
Lest you think that the existential pumpkin (in a sadder state that my former existential potato) was alone, behold the wider shot.
Did these people go on vacation in November and never return? Or were they climbing over these poor rotting pumpkins on a daily basis?
People who leave pumpkins out for Halloween should respect the pumpkins (and their neighbors) by knowing when it is time to remove the pumpkins. For carved pumpkins, the time to remove the pumpkins is November 1 (it is probably sooner for many of them, but I will be charitable). Some un-carved pumpkins may be able to pull double-duty and make it to Thanksgiving, but that far and no further. These pumpkins are working hard, doing pumpkin things and being pumpkins. It is up to the pumpkin placers to preserve the dignity of the gourd, to respect the gourd, which involves removing the gourd and giving it a proper burial (or disposal, composting, etc) once the gourd has served its purpose.
Do these people not hear the existential cries of the rotting pumpkin? (If they do not hear it, they must see it as evinced by the fact that they (probably) did not step on (or in) it.)