Monday, October 25, 2010

150 Uses of the Gourde

Ah, Halloween. As a child, I learned quickly the important lesson that deception grants us the ability to get what we want. But now that I am a grown-up, I no longer have the privilege to knock on the doors of strangers and demand candy. This is mostly because of my increased maturity, but partially due to the restraining orders.

Nevertheless, I met up with my brother and sister-in-law last weekend to make some festive, decorative gourds. We had a lot of work ahead of us.

Pictured above: By "work" I mean "pumpkin guts." After having my hands in an embalmed cadaver last week, I enjoyed the chance to rip out moist innards without having to worry about severing the phrenic nerve.

Did you know that pumpkin carving was actually invented by George Washington Carver who, drunk off his prestige as a legume scientist, published a pamphlet titled: "150 Uses of the Gourde and Gourde Products"? It turns out it was just a series of carvings of his own face into pumpkins. This was met with poor reviews by the scientific community, which eventually caused him to invent the peanut allergy in a vengeful rage. Later, he was also unsuccessful in changing the name of the pumpkin to "orange super-peanut."

I went in another direction with my pumpkin. I wanted to create a pumpkin with elegance, grace, and style.

Pictured above: Nerd pumpkin. Or perhaps Andre 3000 pumpkin.

My brother, an electronic-videographic gaming enthusiast, chose instead to depict one of his favorite characters.

Pictured above: My brother now cannot stop making this face.

My sister-in-law perhaps gave the most thought to her creation. After careful thinking and internet soul-searching, she finally finished her own self-portrait.

Pictured above: I can see the resemblance, but I don't think her tentacles are as long as she thinks.

All in all, it was a great experience. I got a chance to bond with my family through a wholesome activity, and I also got the opportunity to examine the vascular structure of my hands as I cut several arteries and veins trying to give a pumpkin a bow tie with a fillet knife.


  1. I'm attempting to thwart Carver's lesser known publication with one of my own: 150 Different Things to Roast. Celebrities and tanning bed occupants are not included in this text.

    My first chapter concerns plant biota, and so far I have: sweet potato, spaghetti squash, onions, carrots, yellow squash, acorn squash, apples, green beans, avocado, and almonds. I would like to cite your article on garlic, but will probably roast my own pumpkin, followed by its seeds (I like to roast mob style: first you, then your progenitors).