The case of the faceless pumpkins

“The jack-o-lantern follows me with tapered, glowing eyes.
His yellow teeth grin evily. His cackle I despise.
But I shall have the final laugh when Halloween is through.
This pumpkin king I’ll split in half to make a pie for two.”
 Richelle E. Goodrich

S M A L L  G U Y  W O R K I N G  F O R  T H E  B I G

Saturday’s Photo Challenge on my partner Susan and my alternate site Weekly Prompts is BIG AND SMALL.

This weekend Canada is celebrating its Thanksgiving Day while the United States enjoys Columbus Day. I in my own way am thankful that I made two important discoveries: (1) discovered a nearby bakery that makes a fantastic pumpkin scone; and (2) realized there is an unofficial order in the world of pumpkins where the small one promotes sales for the bigger one.

On Thursday afternoon I paid a visit to a nearby bakery, Cobs Breads and Bakery, and discovered that for the month of October they are featuring Pumpkin scones topped with a thick and generous amount of cream cheese icing lightly drizzled with a small amount of honey.

One bite and I was hooked  on that specialty treat.  I felt like Columbus discovering America and the best part of it all it was the outlet was near my residence. The taste was decadent and the cream cheese topping converted the lackluster scone into a heavenly treat. Yummy.

Later that day I also discovered that there might exist an unofficial pecking order between smaller pumpkins and their larger jack-o-lantern sized cousins. This “fact” was explained to me by my friend Luke who works in the produce section of a neighborhood Safeway outlet.

The photo above shows the smaller pumpkins having facial characteristics and expressions more so than their larger counter parts. The animated smiles, sneers and other human expressions far outshine the faceless exteriors of the larger pumpkins. The very spirit of Halloween is captured in the smaller ones.

I asked Luke why the larger pumpkins lack these discernible outward markings and he told me the little ones are meant to inspire customers to buy the larger lifeless ones. “Customers can then carve anything they want to on the pumpkin once they get it home” he said.

This fact alone does not indicate that there is an unofficial social order among the pumpkins but I did notice that the way they are displayed in the store might confirm my suspicions.

The smaller items are sprinkled liberally in the produce section in an area close to but not abutting the larger pumpkins. These are like worker bees and are indirectly promoting sales. Essentially they are table decorations not destined to feel the blade of a carving knife.

The larger pumpkins are lumped together ( thrown is the right word here) into a large bin that can hold 20 to 30 larger items. They are the “rough and tumble” items that are used for making the scary leers that grace many a front porch n Halloween. Customers were buying these more frequently than the smaller ones.

There was a third type of pumpkin on display. It was the more elegant, less bulky type used specifically for baking pumpkin pies, breads and tarts. They were displayed in a setting that resembled a first class accommodation on a prestige ocean liner.

They would never travel freight and were placed near the store’s doors. Apparently they needed no promotion or introduction to those shoppers who had purchased them in the past.

Thursday was a day of discovery and thanksgiving for me. The pumpkin scone will be visited a few more times this month and I will purchase a few of the smaller pumpkins to grace my table on Thanksgiving  Day here.

Depending on which country you reside in I wish you a Happy Thanksgiving or a Happy Columbus day. 



Photo Challenge BIG and SMALL





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