Pumpkin Spice Pegboard

Dearest Rachel –

You can add pumpkin spice to just about anything these days. Including a pegboard, as it turns out.

This will probably need some backstory for everybody else that might be reading this. Since Halloween is on a Sunday this year, our church is holding what they refer to as their Family Fun Fest today, so that the kids in the neighborhood can show up and enjoy the place – With all manner of games, candy, and other food for them and their parents to enjoy – while still leaving tomorrow afternoon open for them to do more traditional trick-or-treating. It’s a great little bit about reach that even the neighbors that don’t come regularly look forward to.

While you and Daniel would have gofer duty, or tend to one random game or another, I had been assigned a particular game way back when, and I’ve pretty much made it my own ever since. The rules were pretty simple: I had a pegboard, bent in the shape of an arch – or rather a bridge, since that’s our churches name – and the kids would pull lollipops from it, hoping to find one marked with an odd color on the bottom the stem. Those that did were awarded a much larger lollipop is a grand prize. They seem to enjoy it, although by the end of the festival, certain kids just crowd around and pull every single pop off the board, trying to find those red stem – almost like the golden tickets from Ronald Dahl’s classic book – which I find mildly irritating. Fact is, I think most of them could care less about the giant lolly; they just want to win, and don’t care what. It’s silly, really, but there you are.

All of this is perfectly familiar to you, but things are a little different this year. For one, you’re not running go for duty, which I regret, as I do everything you can’t participate in any more. For another, while I think I know where the pegboard is in our basement, it’s been decided we are going to use… a pumpkin instead. When Steve contacted me last week about my duties for the Fun Fest, he informed me that he would drill holes in a pumpkin, so that I could use it as a pegboard. It kind of makes sense, given the Halloween theme.

Only he didn’t get around to drilling the holes. So when Daniel and I got there yesterday to set things up, he handed me his drill, and left me to poke the holes. Personally, I don’t know what he was thinking, entrusting me with a power tool, but, here’s how it worked out:

Turns out, the process is quite a mess, as the drill brings out all the pumpkin guts in the process.
Although, once the lollipops are placed, it doesn’t look half bad. The tricky part is that, once we loaded it up, we realized there were some empty spaces; trying to drill around the lollipops that had already been put in was quite the challenge.
But eventually, we managed to have sufficient holes to work with, including a few for the prizes.

And it didn’t take all that long to put together, either; we were supposed to work on setting things up between four and six o’clock, and were done with everything by five-thirty, including where Daniel helped the others hang up a string of orange-and-black flags for decoration (you know how much he hates being so tall, but it’s wonderful to watch him use it for everyone’s advantage, and feel pretty good about it). So the whole drilling and filling process wasn’t as complicated as it might have looked.

I can’t quite say the same thing about putting on my costume today. You might remember that I had to change my plans for what I was going to wear at rather the last minute. Well, here’s what it ultimately ended up looking like:

A few thoughts about morph suits:

  • They are absolutely unforgiving when it comes to body image, as you can see. Thankfully, I have an ostrich-like ability to not be able to think about what I might or might not look like when I’m unable to see anything, and you’d better believe I wasn’t wearing my glasses lol I had that thing on.
  • The good news is that they do sort of stretch to fit, up to a point. So it’s not as if you have to be naked to wear it; a good thing, too, as it would’ve been uncomfortably chilly manning our table outside wearing little more than that thing and a flimsy red cape.
  • Between the suit and the mask, it was hard for me to make myself understood as I recited the rules to each kid and family as they approached our booth. Thank heaven Daniel was there to repeat what I said; his Minecraft creeper costume covered his face too, but it wasn’t as pressed against his face as the suit, so his voice wasn’t nearly as muffled.
  • Speaking of being pressed against your face, they also tend to squash your nose flat so that you’re not able to breathe very well, unless you have a prominent beak a la say, Dick Tracy. Anyone who has a problem with wearing a mask in this day and age has no business wearing one of these things.

And speaking of this day and age, that was sort of the point of this particular costume. You’d probably tell me it wasn’t exactly appropriate, given its somewhat menacing nature, but I figured nobody reads Edgar Allen Poe these days; who’s going to make any connection with the Masque of the Red Death, anyway?

I did actually find myself explaining that to somebody I was trying to figure out what I was supposed to be. For the most part, though, nobody bothered to ask. Besides, the kids were, as usual, trying to figure out how to win the big lollies. Although so many people had donated candy, there was enough to offer as consolation prizes that very few of the kids concerned themselves with the whole ‘winning’ effort in comparison to previous years. It was nice not having to deal with too many ‘cherry pickers.’

I want to say that the Fun Fest was shorter than usual; after all, they had to close down and clean up before tonight’s service. But two hours is not a very long time when you come down to it. Granted, the time spent in that suit felt like an eternity, but as long as the kids were enjoying themselves, and people kept coming, that’s what matters. I’d like to think you would have approved.

Published by randy@letters-to-rachel.memorial

I am Rachel's husband. Was. I'm still trying to deal with it. I probably always will be.

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