Tales of the Idiot

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Conversations with the Great Pumpkin

a misguided Linus in the Pumpkin Patch
Halloween has come and gone, while some of you dear and gentle readers were garbed in Targets fanciest dress, working hard to help a bartender pay off those pesky college loans, I was sitting in a field. Waiting for the arrival of the Great Pumpkin. He and I have made a regular date of this for some time. Though I am not sure if it’s a he or she, all I can say with any certainty is that its a pumpkin, a well appointed pumpkin mind you, in one of those suits that you only see on Bond Villains. If you were wondering if I am in fact speaking of the same Great Pumpkin from Peanuts fame I indeed am, of course, it must be said that Linus got it wrong, The GP (as he is known to his friends) doesn’t deliver toys to all the good little girls and boys in the world, rather he is the gatekeeper of the ghost and demons of the otherworld.

This is a pretty heavy responsibility to put at anyone’s feet, let alone a member of the Squash family, but the GP seems up to the task. As to why the regular meet up with myself, well it appears that most of the believers in the Elvis of the Pumpkin set are fictional, and its very difficult to set up a lunch date when people don’t believe you exist. Rather then meeting in a pumpkin patch, GP suggested we move to a rather fashionable bistro uptown. One of the perks of having a dinner with a mythical creature is that you don’t need reservations.

We sat in a private section away from the revilers and over single malt scotch, and simple meals, I had the lone vegetarian option of parmesan dusted gnocchi, GP on the other hand had a very rare steak, in his defense he did point out that turnabout was fair play…indeed.

As stated part of the duties of being the Great Pumpkin are keeping the ghosts of the otherworlds at bay, he functions not as a jailer; rather more like a housekeeper, his only option is whether to keep the door between the two world locked or unlocked. Now you may believe that the door has always stayed locked or at least that it always has been in our lifetime. Oddly not true, 1974 for example. The whole Watergate, Vietnam war thing really pissed off the great one. So he unlocked the door, for the rest of the Nixon administration and all of Ford’s. Sadly the only ghosts that crossed over were the recently passed specters of the cold war. GP felt so horrible about their staying that he promised to Lock the door for all of the Carter administration, not realizing that he had left the specter of doubt locked, he of course befriended Regan and the two had a very profitable relationship for a time.

You would think American politics would be outside the mystic/spiritual/fictional realm but just like in the real world the rumbling of our actions spill over into their universe as well. As GP said” There is just something ridiculous about two crows arguing over the right way to handle capitol gains, their crows for Gourd’s Sake. Honestly how would they even pay taxes on mice they caught?” So the GP finds himself under pressure to keep or let doubt stay on this side of the door, of course he agreed, after all what other choice did he have they do count on the aid packages and all. You can’t really blame doubt, he has made a lot of friends, got a nice little house in Richmond, VA, and it is an easy commute to DC. He makes a good living and is raising a big family with his wife Guilt, and all the little doubts running around the house.

This makes the Pumpkins job mainly ceremonial, though it is a ceremony that goes unobserved. Think the Queen of England without the pomp or circumstance. The only ghost of note is doubt; technically guilt is whole other union. Not many people in this day an age fear the ghost of Long Dead Trees, or the ghost of the really big scary thing, that looks somewhat like it might eat you. Though the GP swears he is very witty and fun at parties, and the Specter of yesteryear is so not scary that he is in talks with the A&E Network to start in his own reality show.

So the Pumpkin and I drink our drinks and tell our tales, we laugh over the antics of the ghosts, and lament about the ghosts in the making. It goes unsaid that our actions over the coming year will have any truly profound results, because they never are; they are slow except when they are lighting quick and move unpredictably save for their own inevitability. The Great Pumpkin picks up the tab, putting it on his corporate black Amex card.

There is no doubt that I believe in the Great pumpkin, but that’s easy for me, it’s hard to deny someone’s existence if you have had dinner with them. I know that next year in a different restaurant we’ll meet and tell parallel stories and drink parallel drinks to what was had tonight. The world will have changed completely as much as it remains the same, neither the GP or me might change the world but we show up to work and do our best. Beyond that what can anyone ask of man or mythical creature?

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  • a little about me…

    A man of many lives-some know Strouth as the filmmaker who behind the documentary "Unconvention: a Mix Tape from St. Paul" about the 2008 RNC, and M-80, some as a writer, or as a producer and musician and then of course their is the whole getting a kidney transplant over Facebook and Twitter thing.
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