Thursday, October 25, 2007

A different game of squash

Anticipating the upcoming results of the Pumpkin Challenge in November, I thought I would report on my gourd-related activities this past weekend.

Getting into the autumnal spirit, my girlfriend and I went to Bastyr Univeristy's Haunted Trails. As we waited for our group number to be called, we walked around taking in the many features of the Halloween Carnival: apple cider, face painting, hay rides, the whole deal. It was not unlike many seasonal celebrations around the country, except for one distinguishing feature: Pumpkin Bowling.

This high-class sport is exactly what you probably imagine. We walked up, chose two pumpkins, and went to our lane. Set outside on an asphalt racket ball court, the premise is simple: use your pumpkin to knock over the pins, plastic 2-liters filled with water or dried paint. One could also opt out of the competitive spirit by selecting the lane without pins: The Throwing Wall. Emily and I chose to start with the subtle poetry of the former.

At first, we rolled the pumpkins on their sides, giving me and my more evenly-shaped pumpkin the clear advantage. In response, Emily experimented with swinging her pumpkin by the stem and tossing it. Surprised that this did not split the pumpkins, I joined in, too. This went on for a few turns, including one strike (by me)! Meanwhile, the charming sounds of Armageddon surrounded us as children and adults alike savagely destroyed their pumpkins at the Throwing Wall. It wasn’t long before we, too, were hungry for carnage.

Upon joining the mayhem, I tried the shot put approach, while Emily went with a two-handed toss. It took a few throws to split it open, at which point neither of us rested until our pumpkins were smashed to tiny bits. Grinning from ear to ear, I insisted the pumpkin proprietor make this amusement a permanent fixture of the annual Haunted Trails Halloween Carnival.

Coming the first week of November: The results
of the Pumpkin Challenge!

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