Wednesday, November 6, 2013

A Most Expensive Pumpkin

So, there they sat, the two huge pumpkins left over from our church Harvest Party. For the purposes of the Harvest Party they had been cut open but not carved. Our children wanted to carve them.

Only Halloween was rainy and, more importantly, we had approximately 57,000 things to do that day. So "pumpkin carving" didn't make the to-do list.

There they sat, on the floor by our door. The kids forgot about them, even though these pumpkins were huge and sat just under our coat rack.

Maybe the ever present massive shoe pile hid them. Who can say?

The kids no longer wanted to carve funny faces on them. Halloween was over and my kids had moved on to other things (like Christmas lists).

I mentioned to Philip how we really ought to trash them. Yet there they sat. Unwanted. Neglected. Forgotten.

If you are feeling sorry for these two enormous, orange monsters, you needn't. You can be sure they took their revenge.

They began to go soft, right there on my floor, surrounded by shoes and jackets and whatever else we require to leave the house. Enter Plot Point #2: one of our library bags was also sitting there.

Crisis: one pumpkin fell over on aforesaid library bag. Now this bag was, as usual, full of items to be returned. See, in an effort to keep fines to a manageable level, we put items back in the bag when we finish them. Philip is usually at the library 2-3 times a week so he can tutor. He just grabs the bag on his way out the door.

Next plot point: tutoring was cancelled on Monday.

Right here is where you insert ominous music.

So Tuesday I decided there were things that simply had to go back. I would take these things and the two oldest girls to pick up another load of library holds.

I picked up the bag and discovered the pumpkins' revenge: they had leaked all over the floor and bag. I yelled (a little). Philip and I took the two offending, soft, gooey pumpkins to the trash where they will no doubt be a source of enjoyment to our resident marauding raccoon.

I wiped at the library bag but I didn't examine it closely. I was in a hurry because I had just nursed iBoy, the two younger girls were down for a nap and I needed to make my escape exit quickly.

So there I was at the library, stacking my returns on the counter when I pulled out a sloppy mess of a magazine. The pages were wet and stained with pumpkin. A librarian was standing right there.

"I need to replace this magazine," I said with forced cheerfulness I certainly did not feel. Why hadn't we put those ridiculous pumpkins straight in the bins? (More to the point: why hadn't Philip done it after I asked him? Sometimes my resolution not to be a nagging wife really does annoy me.)

"Oh my," the librarian said. "What happened here?" I answered as briefly as possible, leaving most of the blame on my oblivious children's shoulders.

"Well, at least the price is right on the cover," the librarian was decidedly more cheerful about this fact than I, "At least I don't have to look it up!"

No, there was no need for that. I'm glad I didn't complicate her life more than necessary. We could both easily read the cover price: $4.99.

I handed her a five dollar bill from my diaper bag / purse. (How I actually had $5 on me is another mystery.)

So, that was the most expensive issue of National Review I've ever read ($5 for a magazine issue?! No wonder I have to borrow them from the library instead of subscribing!), the messiest pumpkin we never carved, and I guess the library can just keep the penny as my gift to them.

Time to accept that library fines are just a part of my life, one way or another. They just aren't all covered in pumpkin guts.

1 comment:

Elisabeth said...

I have only had to replace one library book. My dog got a hold of it. I wish it had only cost $4.99!! Happens to the best of us.

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