rotting pumpkins

My Post-Halloween Birthday Debacle

Let me tell you a story about the disgusting thing that happened to me this morning, on my birthday. (CONTENT WARNING: GROSS.)

My birthday is nine days after Halloween. So, of course I had three rotten pumpkins on my porch.

About a week ago I instagrammed this photo of a rotting pumpkin on my porch.

Due to laziness and morbid curiosity, I did not throw the pumpkin away. Instead, I left it to rot along with our two big jack-o-lanterns, which the squirrels were eating (the squirrels knew better than to eat the rotting pumpkin).

Last night, my twin sister looked at my front porch and told me flatly, “You need to throw these pumpkins away tomorrow.” Well, today is her birthday, too, and the pumpkins were even worse. I got ready to throw away the pumpkins.

I grabbed a kitchen trash bag and headed out to the front porch. I’m in the middle of an audiobook, so I put on my headphones, started my audiobook, and put my phone in my pocket. I approached the pumpkins.

I wish I’d photographed the grossness of the situation. I didn’t, so I’ll describe it. The two jack-o-lanterns were gnawed open at the top by squirrels, and they were full of rainwater. I dumped out the first one and realized that the rainwater was infused with orange slime. Also, the pumpkin was twice as heavy as before due to water absorption and whatever else was growing on it. The second jack-o-lantern was about the same, but worse.

The pumpkin that had never been hollowed out was the grossest. It was in an advanced state of decomposition and looked as if it had melted into the porch. The only part that was recognizable was the top, which was sitting like a abandoned jack-o-lantern lid in a pile of fly-swarming goo.

The pumpkins filled my kitchen trash bag and weighed as much as three bowling balls. It was at this point that I realized I should have composted the pumpkins, but I was too far along. Also, someone was about to be murdered in my audiobook and I may not have been thinking clearly.

I half-carried, half-dragged the trash bag to the giant trash cans behind my house. I worried briefly whether one of my neighbors would think I was disposing of a dead body. But, no. If you were hauling a dead body, you’d be smart enough to double-bag it.

I made it to the trash cans, but I couldn’t heave the bag into the can before the lid swung shut. So, I hoisted the bag onto the lid of one trash can and pushed it into the next.

My audiobook stopped. I realized that the cord of my headphones had somehow caught on the bag. I looked at the empty cord end dangling in the trash can. I checked my pockets. I checked around the trash cans. MY PHONE WAS MISSING.

You guys, my phone was IN THE GARBAGE CAN. Even worse, it was nowhere in sight. I live in a condo, and the can was two-thirds full of other people’s trash, plus my disgusting rotten pumpkins, plus MY PHONE.

Also, the rotten pumpkin garbage bag had busted open when it fell into the trash can. There was rotten goo oozing out, and flies were buzzing around it.

It’s my birthday, remember? I started thinking that maybe I should get a new phone for my birthday. But I am not a quitter, damn it.

I poked around in the disgusting mess for a minute before ascertaining that my phone was directly underneath the disgusting pumpkin garbage. I hoisted it up one more time and rescued my phone.

Then I went inside, cloroxed my phone, washed my clothes and took a shower. I will never be clean again. I think this was my grossest birthday since the day I was born.

The morals of the story?
First, don’t let your pumpkins rot on your porch.
Second, compost your pumpkins.
Third, double-bag rotten pumpkins.
Fourth, bluetooth headphones, guys.
Fifth, don’t throw away rotten pumpkins on your birthday.


(And my twin!)


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