Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Aye, Conker, there's the rub!

Without Easter or May Day, late Winter and Spring are somewhat of a slog in working America. But by all account they make up for it in the Autumn. If nothing else, the addition of Halloween and Thanksgiving to the calendar postpone the arrival of Christmas decorations in the shops until December, something which cannot be said for the UK.

On the other hand, October brings the start of "the wet" in Portland, a term I've aopted from the film Australia (jolly good fun, by the way). This is a cause of frustration for outdoorsy types, such as Ethan. And since the Devil currently has an enormous backlog of work readily outsourced to small, idle hands, it shortly becomes a cause of frustration for myself also. It is vital, therefore, to make hay if and when the sun shines.

Thus we picked our pumpkins early this year. 'Twas a crisp Autumn day at The Pumpkin Patch, and Ethan was more of an age to get the most out of it this year - climbing over the hay bales, riding the cow train, bouncing on the tractor. On the other hand, the non-linear nature of this year's corn maze caused him as much distress as it caused irritation to everyone else. Coming upon marker 2 first transformed Ethan into Patrick McGoohan from The Prisoner, "No, I want to find number one. Where is number one?"

Over the next week, he and Rachel carved the pumpkins into various Winnie-the-Pooh inspired forms. And I made pumpkin curry with the innards; my favourite use for this remarkably versatile and aesthetic (by which I mean orange) gourd.

Of course, all of this is very much a precursor to Halloween. And few parents could have been more delighted than I when Ethan expressed his desire to be a cat for this year's festivities - just one aspect of a (clearly inherited) love of all things feline. Having expressed no interest in soft toys as a baby, he now adores his stuffed "Conker" and indeed has an array of other cats which he refers to as "White Conker", "Baby Conker", "Other Conker" etc. Meanwhile the original form - whom he continues to harass - is now referred to as "Real Conker."

A truck load of pumpkins.

Rachel and Ethan whizz past in the cow train (plus I totally nailed the panning shot).

'Twas Halloween night, before the curtain rose...

To be the cat, to suit the action to the word, the word to the action, with this special observance, that you o'erstep not the modesty of nature.

"My child, speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you ("Trick or Treat"), trippingly on the tongue."

Ah, the smell of the greasepaint!

'Tis showtime - my public await!

Enough of your "dress rehearsals". I am not some amateur, fresh plucked from obscurity to perform this night of souls. This is my moment, let me shine, I prithee!

What timely knock upon the door is this? Poor players from another troupe, methinks, to vainly plunder the candy so nobly bought for none other purpose than to give this cat his due!


The curtain has fallen and 'tis with melancholy I hasten to the prosaic theatre of existence.

Yet my public, they adore me!

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Conker, a fellow of infinite
jest, of most excellent fancy... 'tis but his eyeball that remains, aglow and foil wrapped; who had thought in life he were naught but chocolate?

To the actor - the spoils - or was not the fancy that tripped lightly from your tongue when you did entreat me to this endeavour? More chocolate, I demand, though sicketh it may make me - for in my judgement the merriment is not ended, and the booty mine to savour or cumulate as befits my temper!

And yet my tummy is full.

And so to bed, to sleep, perchance to dream. Aye, Conker, there's the rub!


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