Every year I look forward to carving pumpkins and every year I look to outdo what I had carved the year before. This year was no different. It began around the end of September, when those wonderful orange vegetables started showing up in front of all the grocery stores. Since I can wander around pumpkin patches for hours, I chose to head to Giant Eagle to pick my carving volunteer/victim.
This year’s design was a zombie-fied bunny rabbit. I find rabbits in general to be almost sinister little animals, with their small beady eyes, big front teeth and constant chewing. I can only imagine a B-movie made about a zombie bunny apocalypse with them eating the ankles of the worlds population. I covered the coffee table in plastic with kitchen and x-acto knives, spoons, and metal ribbon loops all laid out like in an episode of Dexter. Sketched out the illustration on the defenseless pumpkin and then started meticulously cutting away at the skin. This could go on for days!
I had never been too interested in doing the traditional carving and completely cutting out chunks of the pumpkin. Instead, I used a sculptors tool called a ribbon loop with the edges filed down to make it nice and sharp. (Note: wear gloves if you’re going to do this; metal files can tear up your fingers in short order making carving pumpkins and playing video games difficult and painful.)
Scary movies are always an integral element in my pumpkin carving process. This year, fate had decided that “the scariest movie of all time”, which conveniently was just released on Blu-Ray for the first time, was to be my cinematic carving buddy. I’m of course talking about The Exorcist, and in high definition, never has green pea soup looked so glorious!
After a few late nights, my pumpkin was ready to be unleashed on an unsuspecting world, to sit there and glow and be about as menacing and threatening as a pumpkin can be. Despite the low lighting for scary ambience, surround sound turned up to wake the dead, enough “jump” moments to put most modern day horror flicks to shame, and some extremely sharp carving tools, all my fingers remain intact.