It's Halloween, which means that by virtue of living in central Colorado, I am once again privy to the miracle of the pumpkins, an annual happening I became aware of several years ago on a drive to a trailhead.
There is a road near where I live that follows a river back into the hills toward a lake, and if you drive it this time of year, you will see dozens of strategically placed pumpkins and a few gourds on both sides of the road. Look closely, and you might even see some in the river. On a recent drive from the lake to town, my wife, my son and I counted 75 pumpkins, and that was looking into the sun, so we probably missed a bunch.
Unlike a certain local newspaper, I won't reveal the name of the road, as I feel the miracle is more fun when one stumbles upon it unexpectedly, but it's pretty easy to find.
The miracle pumpkin drive has become a Halloween tradition in my family, apparently. Both my wife and son, independently, asked to do it on the same day a couple of days ago. We took my mom and sister on the drive two years ago, with my mom insisting on stopping to photograph each pumpkin, and I think the year before that is when I first discovered it and drove it three times.
No one knows who's responsible for the miracle of the pumpkins. Theories range from "some local" to "the pumpkin fairy," but thus far no local fairy has copped to the deed. I think, however, that if we put some thought into this we can figure out who the culprit must be based on certain geographical considerations.
The first suspect is the mysterious Norrie Colony, which can be found up the road, past the lake. I don't know who Norrie is or what he's up to, but when you put the word "colony" in a name like that, I can't help but feel it must be a wacko cult of some sort. Those lunatics are probably up there right now plotting their next big caper.
Watch your step, hippies. We're on to you.
The second suspect is, indeed, the pumpkin fairy. I think we can safely rule this one out -- not that there's anything wrong with fairies. I just think it would be pretty difficult to fly with 75 pumpkins if you didn't have a sleigh.
The third suspect is the principal at my son's school, who lives a few miles up the road and suspiciously has no pumpkins on his property. For a long time I thought for sure that he was the pumpkin fairy, but then I realized some of the pumpkins had been put on rocks that were more than 6 feet tall, and that pretty much ruled him out.
The fourth possibility is Johnny Pumpkinseed, who is believed to live deep in the woods way up the road, just shy of Hagerman Pass. Legend has it that ol' Johnny used to farm pumpkins in secret on national forest land -- like one of those Salvadoran drug gangs in California, only with pumpkins instead of marijuana -- and then each October he'd go out and place them all around. He remains a suspect.
I have a different theory, however. I think that if you really want to learn the identity of the pumpkin fairy, you have to ask yourself the question, "Who stands to profit the most by there being dozens of pumpkins placed alongside the road?" When you look at it that way, the answer becomes clear: Neil Diamond.
Think about it: He has a house a few miles up the road, and if you play "Brother Love's Travelling Salvation Show" backward, you can hear Diamond chanting, "Peter, Peter pumpkin eater" over and over again. It's also a little-known fact that Diamond owns thousands of hectares of pumpkin farms in the pampas of Argentina. Plus, I just did some research and learned that there is a direct correlation between pumpkin sales and sales of Neil Diamond albums. Why, back in the great pumpkin surplus of '01 alone he sold 17 million copies of "Three Chord Opera."
He's got the means, he's got the motive, and he's got the product. Who else could the pumpkin fairy be but Neil Diamond?
I'd say go bust the celebrity scofflaw right now, but I need to experience the miracle of the pumpkins each October, so maybe we can let the Jazz Singer slide.
Todd Hartley talks, but he can't sing and dance, and he can't ... well, he can walk, but definitely the other stuff. To read more or leave a comment, please visit zerobudget.net.