Find the Great Pumpkin!
Posted October 22, 2012
Delbarton's Great Pumpkin Hunt of 2012 has begun! Brian Theroux, the brains behind the Great Pumpkin Hunt of 2011, has hidden a pumpkin somewhere on campus. The first clue apeared today: "Oh brothers, those who bleed green, look for me down the hill where men come together in opposition." This explains why we saw seventh graders racing down to the football field during M Block. They came back empty-handed.
Theroux based his contest on The Great Pumpkin Candy Hunt held each year in Missoula, Montana. Like the Missoula organizers Mr. Theroux is supplying a dandy reward, a massive pile of candy. Last year's prize included a tube of toothpaste and a brand new toothbrush...but no floss. Did you know that 47% of people claim to floss every day? Ri-ight.
The Delbarton Great Pumpkin Hunt rules are simple: Each day during the week of October 22-26 Theroux will post a clue outside the Foucault Pendulum and hope that by week's end, one observant student will find the pumpkin (size unspecified) which is hidden in plain sight but is not, repeat, not on the front steps of Old Main. In other words, this was no excuse to caper recklessly on high stone walls, scale wet fire escapes or sneak on to unprotected rooftops. Last year freshman Brendan Kenny '15 found the prize hidden on an outdoor gym stairwell after just two clues. Way to break the Great Pumpkin organizer's heart, Brendan. We are begging you to play dumb this year.
Here again is a seasonal refresher course in little known pumpkin lore, including a local day trip suggestion for next October...
A pumpkin is a gourd-like squash of the genus Cucurbita and is native to North America. They typically have a thick, orange or yellow shell, creased from the stem to the bottom, containing the seeds and pulp.
The word 'pumpkin' originates from the word pepon (πέπων), which is Greek for “large melon". The French adapted this word to pompon, which the British changed to pumpion (ever since the Battle of Agincourt they have had an amour hate relationship with the French). American colonists later changed 'pumpion' to the 'pumpkin' we use today. Booyah, America.
The oldest evidence of pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BC, were found in Mexico and pumpkins can vary in size from 1 to over 1,000 pounds, which does not fit well in a shopping cart.
People have devised interesting ways to celebrate the pumpkin. For example, a jack-o'-lantern or carved pumpkin was named after the phenomenon of strange light flickering over peat bogs. In a jack-o'-lantern, typically the top is cut off, and the inside flesh then scooped out; an image, usually a monstrous face is carved onto the outside surface, and the lid replaced. At night, a light is placed inside to illuminate the effect. Check out the pictures at right for some creative pumpkin ideas.
Did you know that the historic Hudson Valley has its Great Pumpkin Blaze? Now you do. Heidi Williamson in Development reports that the Last Fling Pumpkin Sling in Harmony, NJ this past weekend was well worth the drive if you like smashing pumpkins. Competitors design trebuchets then use them to fling pumpkins like big orange shot puts. (Remember back in '08 when Greg Devine and his physics students used a homemade trebuchet to launch watermelons? We think the Pumpkin Sling would make a lovely AP Physics day trip but what do we know? Not physics, certainly.)
Linus Van Pelt of Peanuts fame had his Great Pumpkin theory that, on Halloween night, the Great Pumpkin rises out of the misty pumpkin patch he deems most 'sincere'. He then flies through the air delivering toys to all the good little children in the world. Linus believes that the Great Pumpkin is very sensitive, easily offended and will bypass anyone who denies or doubts his existence. And, yes, he does floss.
Enough about pumpkins? Agreed. Tune in for results of the Great Pumpkin Hunt of 2012 plus highlights of the famous Delbarton Halloween Costume Competition on October 31. Go Wave Gourds!