Well, that’ll teach me to procrastinate. There will be no photograph of the 125-pound pumpkin because, believe it or not, SOMEBODY STOLE IT.
For the record, I never thought the thing weighed 125 pounds. Alan could lift it without risking hernia and so could I, although it was near the end of my capacity; call it maybe 80-90 pounds. Still, it was a big mofo of a punkin. I bought it weekend before last at the farmers’ market, when it appeared for the second week running. Price: $10, down $2 from the weekend before. I passed, thinking Alan would complain about how-the-heck-are-we-going-to-throw-that-away, Nance.
I shouldn’t have worried. When I came home and said, “Wow, that was a big pumpkin.” Alan replied, “Well, why didn’t you buy it?” I squealed, raced back to the market, and did just that. We wrestled it out of the car and set it up in front of the house. I always wanted a huge pumpkin, and it was a beaut, if a little smashed on one side — a real neon orange. I gave myself a month to imagine whether and how we would carve it.
Then last night it disappeared, in the early evening, probably when we were eating dinner and the household security system was patrolling the kitchen table for falling ravioli.
Well, I hope whoever he was, he got a hernia.
I did my civic duty today. Got called for jury duty. Oh, how anticlimactic it was. I left work at 8:15, appeared on time, and sat forever after watching an orientation video that was informative, but not nearly as entertaining as an “L.A. Law” episode. At the end, the judge came down, thanked us for our civic-duty-doing, but the case in question was pleaded out just that morning.
“I have a rule that I never allow plea bargains on the day of the trial, because that’s not respectful of your time,” he said, a classic set-up for why, just this once, he was making an exception. Turned out it was a good one: The case was a child-molestation charge, and the star witness was six years old, and everyone thought it would be in her best interest not to have to testify. Can’t say I disagree.
I was back at my desk two hours later, and I’m out of the pool for three more years.
Of course I wouldn’t have minded serving, but I’ve done this before, and it’s pretty predictable: You go in, reveal yourself to be a journalist and become one of the peremptory challenges. One of my colleagues was called and questioned: “You’re a journalist? So you understand how the court system works?” As though this were a bad thing. He got the hook immediately.
Nonetheless, the waiting was good for 80 pages of book-reading. While changing position on my seat, I sneaked a look at what others were reading. “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” “The Purpose-Driven Life,” etc. And I wonder why I feel out of place here.
I have to confess, Christopher Reeve made me uncomfortable. Lots of reasons. I was an equestrian when he had his accident — that was a biggie. A lot of his I-will-walk-again statements were excruciating; I believe in optimism, but that seemed to be going way too far. His implication that a cure for paralysis is as close as a few more lines of stem cells was simpleminded. The way Hollywood liked to roll him out (literally) to clap and cry made me cringe. And that commercial? The one that showed him walking again, via CGI? That was the last word in tasteless.
He did seem like a truly nice person, and if nothing else, you had to give him credit for looking on the bright side, such as it was. He never shrank from discussing the ugly reality of quadriplegia — see this WashPost appreciation for the details of what it took for him to have a bowel movement — and it certainly helps you see why he fought so hard to be something more.
Anyway, I thought Richard Cohen’s column today captured the ambivalence of the situation just about perfectly.
Danger in your bathroom! Film at 11.