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5 things the Internet wants you to do with a pumpkin
Besides smash it, that is.
The other day, I saw that a neighbor had put two jack-o’-lanterns outside their door. Seems a bit early for that, I thought to myself, and someone else must have agreed, because the next morning I saw that both had been kicked apart. On to Christmas decorations, I guess!
Maybe, however, this wasn’t a complaint about timing so much as a criticism of the pumpkin status quo. Who says we have to carve these things up and stick candles inside them? The Internet has far more interesting suggestions about what to do with October’s signature fruit.
1) Turn it into a keg.
Once upon a time, Halloween was about dressing like your idealized self, covering your eyes for most of the Friday the 13th marathon, and gorging on copious amounts of candy. As an adult, it’s about dressing to get laid, laughing at how stupid Friday the 13th really is, and pounding seasonal beers. Shouldn’t those beers come straight out of a pumpkin? (We assume the look of profound distaste at the end of this video has more to do with Sam Adams than the added flavoring.)
2) Do this weird science experiment.
Halloween is meant to be spooky, true, but a little dash of grotesquerie never hurt. You’ll need to carve your pumpkin for this one, but it’s well worth the effort—especially if you happen to have 12 percent hydrogen peroxide, dish soap, a packet of dry yeast, two small cups, water, food coloring, and an extra trash bag just lying around. Check out that ooze! If you’re the type to joke about Ebola, well, this is the holiday decoration for you.
3) Make a bird feeder.
Sorry, that Ebola thing crossed a line; here’s a project so wholesome that even convicted felon Martha Stewart approves of it. She recommends halving a pumpkin of three to five pounds, scooping out the guts (but leaving the walls about half an inch thick), sticking in twigs for perches, and filling the interior with seeds. Voilà, a posh supper club for your backyard birds, who will very soon be WASP-y enough to apply for a yacht loan.
4) Assemble a sound-controlled cyborg.
Maybe compostable DIY home design isn’t really your speed. Maybe you don’t relish the idea of saying “Boo!” to every single trick-or-treater and want an electronic device to do it for you. Enter the Hack-o-Lantern Kit, an inexpensive set of gear from LittleBits that allows you to rig your pumpkin so that it lights up and emits a ghoulish greeting when a sensor picks up noise nearby. It doesn’t shoot lasers or anything, but give it another year.
5) Launch it from a catapult.
No matter what you end up doing with your pumpkin, when Nov. 1 rolls around, you’ll probably want to destroy it in spectacular fashion. Might we suggest getting to work on a catapult (or trebuchet, technically) capable of flinging it 100 feet? Because there’s really no finer send-off for an object that tends to explode on ground impact. Here’s one solid-looking design, though eHow also has a set of instructions—because why wouldn’t they.
Bonus: Whatever Fleshlight tells you to do.
Consider this query from the Internet’s premier male sex toy. NSFW.
— Official Fleshlight (@Fleshlight) October 7, 2014
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'