Jim Gaffigan is baffled by the mania over pumpkins
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It’s October, which means we are officially in pumpkin season, the strangest of all made-up seasons.
Humans are a strange animal, and Americans may be the oddest of the species. Pumpkin season is peak American weirdness.
Over the next couple weeks, pumpkins will suddenly become ubiquitous. We’ll see pumpkins as decorations everywhere – on doorsteps, at the end of driveways, on dinner tables, at reception desks, and other places you wouldn’t normally just leave food lying around.
Pumpkin Spice will invade all coffee shops. Here’s a secret: Pumpkin spice is mostly just cinnamon. But since it’s October let’s call it “pumpkin spice.”
If October were a brand, the pumpkin would be the logo. Occasionally even the O in the word October will be replaced by a pumpkin shape. Cute, right? I don’t think so, either.
I wouldn’t describe myself as anti-pumpkin. I don’t care that much either way. I mean, they are pumpkins, after all. Having a strong opinion on pumpkins is odd, which is why pumpkin season is so baffling to me.
I suppose we can blame pumpkin mania on Halloween. Pumpkins are used to make Jack-o-lanterns. Carving eyes and a partially toothless smile on a pumpkin is a fun activity to do with kids, and literally the best and only use of a pumpkin.
We don’t carve faces into watermelons. You know why? Because that would be a waste of watermelon. But a pumpkin? What else are you going to do with a pumpkin? I mean, we’re certainly not going to eat it. Everyone has cut open a pumpkin and thought, “Well, this is gross, and smells like wet cardboard.” Are Jack-o-lanterns scary because of their appearance, or are we just reliving the trauma of removing those pumpkins guts?
Pumpkins are part of the squash family. And as any non-vegetarian will tell you, squash are zombie vegetables. Squash look like vegetables, but they have no taste. Everyone knows a zucchini is just a cucumber that tastes like a paper towel.
Heck, squash is the only vegetable with the instruction in the name. Squash. Which is usually what we do with those pumpkins on November 1.
Happy Pumpkin Season, everyone!
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Story produced by Aria Shavelson. Editor: George Pozderec.
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