|We don't need no stinking pumpkins.|
on 2001-11-01, at 3:49 p.m.
|dizboy's disturbing daily diet...
1 Box Milk Duds
2 Steak Fajitas
Sleepy, tired John...
*Not at all live.
Late Tuesday night, October 30th, 2001, it was decided that I would be the one to pick up two pumpkins for our carving contest. One for each cast.
Listen...I'm a spoiled child who, till yesterday, had never set out with the sole intent of purchasing a pumpkin.
That's not what neurotic gay boys do.
That's what mothers and Pilgrims do.
But at about 3 o'clock yesterday, a good two hours before I needed to be at Universal, I went to do just that.
I went out to do just that not knowing that finding a pumpkin on Halloween itself is about as easy as locating Cadbury's Creme Eggs on Rosh Hashanah.
I began by going to Wal-Mart.
"Where are your pumpkins?" I ask.
The store associate looks at me as if I had just asked to borrow his smock, so that I may finally complete my balloon which will take me around the world in just 80 days.
Give or take, depending on the wind.
"Pumpkins." I say...a tad slower. Sometimes repetition helps.
"Son, we've been out of pumpkins for two days." is his response.
Well, who wants a Wal-Mart pumpkin anyway? Certainly not my cast.
They deserve a...
An ALBERTSONS PUMPKIN!
That was it!
And, well...that was the next store I saw.
"Ma'am, do you have pumpkins?"
She points, glancing up for only a moment from the box of "Black and Beautiful" hair relaxer which seems to have her rapt attention, as though that's all that is needed to acknowledge my existence in her poorly lit warehouse of consumer rape. (Ooh, how...um...wordy, of me.)
Trouble is, what she's pointing to are cardboard pumpkins adorning the stucco-covered ceiling of the floral department.
"No, I mean real pumpkins...that you..." I stumbled for a second here...should I say "eat", making her think I'm a culinary master, seeking out that perfect pumpkin to whip up a pie for visiting dignitaries, or should I say "carve", and exude the childlike whim of one who buys pumpkins for underprivileged children, to carve, and enjoy, to help them forget that their mothers are crack smoking whores?
Was all I managed to get out, however.
Pumpkins that you buy.
As opposed to pumpkins for which you plan a highly tactical covert operation to obtain.
"Produce." she said, still scanning the back of the box with her six inch, poorly lacquered talons.
I needed not to even set foot in produce, however.
The reason for this was the large black and orange sign which informed me, in a cheerfully "spooky" font, that this location was out of...say it with me...
I drove past my apartment heading the other direction, hoping that the Wal-Mart there would be of some assistance.
Well, they weren't.
It was about 10 after 4 at this point, and I was due in at 5, so I began to panic.
Driving up and down the road, I went into stores.
Everywhere...asking, begging, BRIBING, for pumpkins.
I told the teller at my bank that she could take $20 dollars out of my account right then and there if I could have the single pumpkin which adorned the non-denominational, politically correct "Fall Display" in their lobby.
I know it was a "Fall Display", as a major point of my argument was that they were closing in a matter of minutes, and by tomorrow, the Halloween decorations would be trashed.
"Well, it's actually not for Halloween," said the branch manager, who at this point was probably more than a little nervous that there's a rampant homosexual in his bank, demanding pumpkins..."so it's really a Fall Display."
Broken, battered, and in all ways defeated, I was ready to soon face my cast, and tell them just why they would not be able to enjoy the Halloween festivities to which they surely felt entitled. I decided that my one last shot would be the Publix on the way back to Universal.
I don't even know why I went in...but I thought I'd give it a go.
This time I needed no direction, I had shopped there before, and knew exactly where to go.
To my utter non-amazement, I found the produce section to be crawling with a lack of pumpkins unknown to this country since the great pumpkin famine of 1844.
Absolutely deflated, I asked the produce woman on my way out...
"Nope, sorry darlin', all out."
I had made it back to the line of registers when something hit me.
Something that I believe shows off my absolute lack of fear in the face of adversity.
I marched back to the produce department, face to face with Publix associate "Myrna", and said...
"Do you have watermelon?"
"Sliced?" she asks...
"Whole, round watermelons." I state.
"Yes dear, but we keep them in the back at this time of year."
"Madame, bring me to your watermelons."
Well, I said something to that effect...it didn't really play out like a scene from an Ingmar Bergman film.
I picked out two green, round watermelons, just the size of pumpkins, paid the woman, and left, with my green saviors in tow.
Upon arriving at the office, my stage manager, frantic from trying to call me all afternoon (my phone was on silent), is overjoyed that the box I carry must house the pumpkins which we so desperately needed.
"You got them?" she asks.
"Well, you see..." And I launch into the whole sordid tale.
Eleven and a half minutes later, when she is through gasping for breaths through her laughter, she trots me through the offices, making me tell the story to everyone from the Senior Event Manager on down.
They all laughed.
"Fine," I thought...
"Once we gut these...NONE OF YOU CAN HAVE ANY!"
We ended up at the end of the evening having two wonderfully carved watermelons, one with the message "Go to Hell John" scrawled into it by a disgruntled cast member who greatly dislikes me.
So, we had him fired.
And with only two more performances left.
And when the time came, we triumphantly marched back into the office, watermelons in hand, and basked in the praise heaped upon us as to how ingenious it was to think of something like that at the last minute.
They all said.
And now, those two unlikely symbols for Halloween now sit smugly upon my stage managers desk, looking out onto the corridor for all to see, and marvel at Universal's newest Horror Nights tradition.
Prodigal Son - 11:03 pm , 11.20.06 So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish - 6:41 pm , 05.29.05 The Beginning of the End - 1:15 pm , 11.22.04 Brand Positioning - 2:13 am , 09.20.04 A Pop Culture Case Study - 9:24 pm , 08.26.04
Prodigal Son - 11:03 pm , 11.20.06
So Long, And Thanks For All The Fish - 6:41 pm , 05.29.05
The Beginning of the End - 1:15 pm , 11.22.04
Brand Positioning - 2:13 am , 09.20.04
A Pop Culture Case Study - 9:24 pm , 08.26.04
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