Gourd destruction is no laughing matter
Smashing pumpkins sucks! No, I’m not talking about the 1990s alternative rock group, although they do suck. I’m talking about the decades (or possibly centuries) old tradition of taking pumpkins off of people’s porches and smashing them on sidewalks, roads or any other hard surfaces.
Smashing pumpkins is an interesting activity. For one, it seems to know no bounds. Whether drunk or sober, preteens or aging undergrads, everybody seems to love smashing pumpkins.
I can sort of see where some of the fun lies in getting creative with hollow gourds. For one, when a pumpkin is smashed it certainly has a rewarding explosion to it. It’s sort of the same feeling one gets from popping bubble wrap, except way louder and with way more of a mess.
But that is where I have the main issue with people who smash pumpkins: the mess it makes. As I write this article, it is a week before Halloween. Luckily, I live in a less student-ghettoized neighbourhood of the city (I won’t say which one, but let’s say I live near Winners), but anytime I venture down towards campus I encounter more than a few smashed pumpkins on the street, usually while commuting on my bike.
If you’ve never hit a crushed pumpkin while going 20 km/h on a bike, you probably have a good idea of what happens. It begins with the thought “Oh my gosh, I’m running over a squishy pumpkin” and ends with you falling on the ground and getting road rash across your back.
Not only is this problematic for cyclists (watch out, Critical Mass bikers on Oct. 28), but the mess it creates gives off a rotting pumpkin-y funk until a street cleaner washes it away. Adding to this is the fact Halifax has a terrible rat problem, and if you think watching a rat eating some cheesy vomit on Pizza Corner is disgusting, a rotting pumpkin will surely be gourmet to our vermin friends.
My other issue with smashing pumpkins is due to the work people actually put into carving these things. Next time you and your friends walk onto a neighbour’s doorstep late at night to commit some pumpkin thievery, remember this: a five-year-old could have possibly carved that smiling jack-o-lantern. If that doesn’t force you to put down the pumpkin, you are sadistic.
When someone decides to smash a pumpkin, they’re making a statement that says they don’t care about the well-being of those in their community. It can be a hazard, an unsightly mess and a waste of time for the person who carved it. Smashing a pumpkin has no real benefit for anybody besides the pure destructive joy one would get from it, and that’s a pretty bad reason to justify ruining someone’s property.