With my right hand gripped tightly around the knife and my left strangling my subject, I lifted the blade above my head as the wind howled violently outside. I can do it, I tell myself, I will demolish him! He will suffer for the unbearable pain he caused me! I released my hand, stabbing his lifeless body, piercing through the skin again and again, ripping him to pieces.
How did I, a relatively mild and peaceful Penn sophomore, end up in such a violent frenzy? The story begins a few weeks ago, November the fifth, a breezy autumn Wednesday in University City…
“Do you have any pumpkins?” I inquired at the farmer’s market stand on 36th and Walnut. The previous week, the fruit men had brought crates full of pumpkins for Halloween. Ever since, I had this unbearable craving for freshly cooked pumpkin sprinkled with a dash of cinnamon, just tender enough to spoon out and savor on the tip of my tongue.
“We have a ton of pumpkins, but we didn’t think anyone wanted them anymore. So we didn’t bring any,” The man responded. My face dropped. “You know what, if I remember, I’ll try to bring you a pumpkin next week, okay?”
I can’t say I was too hopeful, so I just purchased my fruits and politely thanked the men working at the stand. But I really wanted a pumpkin. I was craving it.
The following Wednesday, I returned to stock up on my usual round of fruits. As I approached the apples, the man behind the table came up to me with a smile. “We brought it! Just for you!” He pointed to a box on the side.
Ecstatic, I ran over and peered into the box. An average sized lumpy pumpkin rested on top of another. “Thank you so much!” I gushed, “I’ll take that one!”
“No no, we brought you the other one,” The man replied, as he lifted the small pumpkin to reveal a monstrous orange sphere hiding underneath, “We brought this one just for you!”
I stared at the beast, and my eyes widened. There was no way I could carry that back to my room. Absolutely no way. I glanced back at the man, alarmed. His voice echoed in my head, We brought this one just for you! I needed some way to get out of it.
“This is huge! I mean, how much is this gonna cost me?” I attempted, trying to pull the penniless-college-student stunt.
“You know what, I’ll give it to you for just five bucks. Great deal. I brought it for you.” He had to remind me. I took a deep breath, took out my Penn card, and asked to pay using dining dollars.
I put one bag of fruits on one arm, strung the second around my other arm, and lifted the monstrous vegetable. And let me tell you, it was actually heavier than I expected! My arms could barely wrap around its circumference. I staggered under the weight, finally leaning back to balance out.
“Thank you for the pumpkin!” I managed to call out, as my trembling legs wobbled to support the equivalent of quintuplets--in a full-sized crib.
“It’s actually a squash, by the way,” The man called out, waving goodbye.
So there I was, lugging an enormous mutant squash down Walnut. The wind hardly provided any relief, as its fierce breeze could not counter the wave of heat that suddenly permeated throughout my body. As my fingers began to get clammy, my grip started to loosen. I tried to walk faster, rushing towards Rodin, my dorm, but the squash seemed to accumulate weight with every step. What the hell type of squash is the size of an oversized pumpkin? I asked myself, cursing under my breath.
People on the street began to turn and stare, snickering as I passed. Random strangers offered to help. But I couldn’t stop--I didn’t want to prolong the trip. I wanted to get back, to reach my dorm, to put down this squash and rip off my scarf and winter jacket (and, quite frankly, everything else as well), and just fall into my mattress and pass out.
I ended up taking a few breaks along the edge of the street, but I eventually made it back. I plopped the squash down on the kitchen table, eager to rid myself of this heavy burden, and sank into a nearby chair.
I stared at the squash. There was no conceivable way a squash could be that large. It was like an athlete on steroids--unnaturally buff and muscular. Spasms involuntarily shot up and down my arms, as the pain from that arduous journey four blocks away began to take its toll. I was craving a pumpkin, and now I have an enormous squash that resembles one instead. What do I do with this thing?
I’ll tell you what I did; I took revenge.
Additional Fun Facts:
- I later found out that this was a Golden Nugget Squash. On average, they weigh three pounds each.
- I cut up some of the squash into pieces, added a dab of honey on each chunk, sprinkled some cinnamon on top, and cooked it in the oven. It was delicious.
- With the remaining squash, I cut it into chunks and cooked it in the oven for a few hours until it softened. I then scooped it out and mashed it together. It now resides in the freezer in three containers. At some point, I plan on making some squash soufflé.Tweet