The Preferred Pre-Halloween Pumpkin Carving Site: Extreme Pumpkins

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A Pumpkin Carving Dynasty

Since 2006, Extreme Pumpkins has been the designated Cucurbita maxima sculpting site of choice for 1HeckOfAGuy.com, the predecessor of AllanShowalter.com,

While the designs offered at Extreme Pumpkins (EP) are stellar, the key to winning DrHGuy’s admiration and loyalty is the EP attitude. Having survived the Mission Statement pandemic that swept through organizations in the last quarter of the 20th century by self-inoculation with an attenuated strain of Strategic Vision and Core Values, DrHGuy believes that few instances of a pragmatic, effective articulation of a group’s guiding principles exist that are an improvement on the elegant philosophical statement that graced the Extreme Pumpkins home page

At what point did the carving of pumpkins turn into a “cute” event? When did boys stop carving pumpkins and moms start? Where did we lose touch with one of the years coolest events?

Today we will seize back this ritual. Today is the day we throw away those safe, cute carving tools. Today. We will buy a big, ugly, pumpkin so large one man cannot lift or move it. Today. We will carve that sumbitch into something ugly and plop it on the front porch. October 31st we will light it brightly enough to give visiting children suntans.

Pumpkin carving is reborn.

This is a web site that hosts not only the expected section on How To Carve Pumpkins and the less common but usefully down to earth Pumpkin Preservation but also categories labeled Power Tools and Pumpkin Pyrotechnics.

Yep, Extreme Pumpkins represents one all-American, testosterone-powered, ethanol-augmented pumpkin carving way of life.

Make no mistake. EP falls short of Jackass-level antics. Think of these guys as the coolest dads in the neighborhood. No one is sporting prison tattoos or carrying an assault rifle “just in case.” This is the guy who trims the dead limbs from the top of the neighbor’s 75 foot sycamore to check out his newly acquired, lumberjack level chain saw. It’s the same guy who had to buy a new lumberjack level chain saw because the motor from his previous chain saw now powers his homemade ultralight aircraft. This is the guy down the street who adapts the World War II flamethrower to settle last weekend’s argument about that instrument’s potential utility as a snow removal tool.

And, both chain saw guy and flamethrower guy always wear safety goggles when operating power tools.

Living The Dream – The Candy Trap

Because it so embodies the EP mission, this year’s coverage extends beyond the realm of gourds to include “candy traps” in general and the “trash can costume” in particular. These terms become clear with these excerpts from Extreme Pumpkins:

When I was a kid there was a guy in our neighborhood that used to jump out of the bushes in a gorilla suit and scare the bejeezus out of us. It was one of my fondest memories of halloween. Last year I decided to be that guy.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any bushes. An alternative would be to build a trash barrel disguise. I built the disguise below and then sat in it right on the front lawn. Not one single kid realized that It wasn’t a trash can and I scared so many of them that I lost count.

Instructions and schematics for this and similar projects, including “Mutant Yard Frankensteins,” “Candy Guarding Guillotine” and – my personal favorite – “Candy Maze – Life Isn’t Fair Kiddo,” are available on site.

The Big Finish

What, one might ask, could top those pumpkin pix and the terrifying trash can?

Well, what about a video of a Boy Scout-derived, flaming toilet paper-lighted pumpkin?

This excerpt introduces the video:

I got an e-mail from a boy scout leader … who uses a kerosene soaked roll of toilet paper to make three foot flames that last for over 1/2 hour.

I had to put this theory to the test. To the Hardware store I went. I bought a gallon of Kerosene ($4.49) and a paint can ($1.89). The roll of TP I stole from the closet at home. According to the boy scout you need to soak the TP overnight, so I did just that.

It was awesome. The flames were indeed three feet out of the pumpkin and they lasted for about 45 minutes. If you want the best flame I have seen yet, this is it. Be warned that the smoke can be a little dark and stinky at first. Otherwise, it was awesome. Remember to be safe and all that.

Before you watch the video, you should know that before we shot it we did alot of prep work. We soaked the TP the day prior, we carved a special devil pumpkin with parsnips for horns, we waited until dark to get the best lighting.

The video doesn’t show to good advantage on this site so I’ve created an animation to serve as a stand-in.  Do yourself a favor and see the video at My Favorite Pumpkin Lighting Technique – Kerosene Soaked Toilet Paper.

 

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Trick or Treat, Y’all

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