Thack You: Rotting pumpkins on the Old Courthouse Lawn

Larry Thack burned his tongue on the Eucharist again

One of my favorite traditions in Fayetteville is the Rotting Pumpkin Walk at the courthouse. Every year parents work very hard carving pumpkins that the kids then pass off as their own when they take them to school. Here they are proudly displayed by each class while parents and kids alike enjoy the variety and quietly ignore the diminishing participation among the parents……or rather kids.
The fun really begins when the first victim of the holiday gets an early prank as he is compelled to transport the rotting fruits from the various elementary schools to the courthouse square. This year somewhere between nine and thirty schools were represented. All manner of jack-o-lantern creations were represented from the tired, old three-triangle design to the objectionable unscary cartoon characters and princesses. I dislike the painted ones most of all.
This year things were done a little differently. In past years you’d park somewhere downtown and stroll among the pumpkins that would wind through the courthouse square’s expansive grassless lawn. Now, some forward thinking citizen has displayed them so no one has to get out of his car! Smart! I can drive by anytime with the convenience of fast food in my lap. No more will I run into the parent of that kid who had a run-in with my daughter when she had that biting problem. Yesterday I saw a man videotaping the scene from his car, presumably to watch later in uninterrupted comfort. Bravo Sir!
There were some real winners rotting away this year. My favorite was the Jack ‘O Lantern that was also a working clock. Another second grade class made not a single incision in any pumpkin – very progressive! One was so rotted it was likely done by a parent/child a little early trying to get a jump on things only to watch it become the classes’ worst.
My favorite part is that you have the option to just leave your pumpkin to rot on the courthouse lawn.

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