Tuesday, November 17, 2009

It's the Great Pumpkin, Boston

It started out as a bright, beautiful sun-shiney day. My friends and I headed out to breakfast at Moogie's, a local eatery, in shorts and t-shirts, as it was an unusually hot day in late September.

I had just enough time to scarf down a muffin with my friends before I had to drive down to the Cape for the weekend. I was just about to head out the door, when there was an unearthly crash of thunder, followed by a torrential downpour. I looked down at my little white t-shirt.

"Oh crap."

Much laughter ensued. All of it coming from my so-called friends.

"This isn't funny, guys! My car is parked three blocks away and I need to go now! What the hell am I going to do?"

"Why don't you see if they have a trash bag?" my friend Mel suggested.

"Great idea."

I walked back to the cashier and, after much smirking, the cashier went in back and returned carrying a humongous bright orange jack-o-lantern trash bag.

"It's all we have."

I returned to the table, carrying the trash bag like it actually had a load of trash in it.

"What the …"

"I know. It's all they have. Or say they say!" I turned to look at the cashier, who was still smirking at me.

"So what are you going to do?"

"What can I do? It's either this bag or being the only contestant in a wet t-shirt contest."

I ripped a hole in the bag, slipped it over my head gingerly--apparently forgetting I was putting on five feet of orange plastic and not, in fact, an expensive Christian Dior gown--and marched to the door.

"Remember to be back by midnight before the spell wears off!"

I banged the door closed to more sounds of my friends rolling on the floor with laughter. Outside, a complete storm was raging. To make matters worse, the wind was so strong, it was blowing up the trash bag so that I actually looked like the Great Pumpkin Linus has been looking for all his life.

I turned the corner and started walking down Commonwealth Avenue, a major Boston street, to the various sounds of car honks and screams of, "Look at that idiot!"

I was not more than five steps away from my car, which I had parked on a side street, when I heard a squealing of tires followed by a sickening crunch. I turned around to see the result of what could only have been a car, momentarily stupefied by the sight of a human pumpkin walking around in the light of day, crashing into the car ahead of him who was pulling out onto the street.

I hurriedly jumped in my car before I landed on the ten o'clock news.

The following Monday, I got an unexpected call from Mel at work.

"What's up?"

"So one of my co-workers came up to me today. She was like, 'My boyfriend saw the strangest thing this weekend …' "

"Oh no!"

"Oh yes. Apparently her boyfriend got in to a fender bender because of you. I'm not going to say anything to her, but if I were you, I'd destroy all evidence and never speak of this again."

When I got home, I ran to my car and grabbed from my glove compartment the monstrous neon orange bag that now seemed to be smiling evilly at me, not unlike the small bestial-looking stone that that archeologist finds in the beginning of The Exorcist, I was now starting to notice. I quickly ran to the nearest trash bin, not realizing that my shoelace had come undone. I tripped, releasing the trash bag into the windy night. And in the distance, a loud scream followed by the distinct sound of tires squealing in the night ...