You know it’s coming. Get ready. Halloween will soon be here and once again I get to show my pumpkin carving prowess. I used to use a WWI vintage bayonet but I later switched to a run of the mill sugar cane cutting machete. Katie Mae drew a red line across my bare feet when I dragged out a Japanese Katana sword. The place I was using to carve our pumpkins was almost knee deep in mostly unidentified chunks of confetti like pumpkin. I graciously agreed with her after I caught her testing the blade of the sword with her thumb.
I like to pride myself on knowing at least a little bit about what goes on around me. Now I see that you artistic folk have stencils and pumpkin carving patterns galore and Katie Mae tells me that these have been available to us for years. I guess I was always so busy with my machete and my Katana that I was unaware the rest of you had left me standing all alone knee deep in mushy destroyed pumpkins.
But I just saw a pumpkin that looked like “The King” and I was transfixed. Elvis has never looked better, at least on a pumpkin he hasn’t. I decided I would carve an Elvis pumpkin. I was going to find one of those stencils and get to work on that fine looking head. All the old gals in my neighborhood will be standing on my front porch every evening eagerly awaiting the lighting of the candle in the Elvis pumpkin.
You must remember that 57 years ago we were all glued to those small black and white television screens on September 8, 1956 when Elvis appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show. You see news today about “Duck Dynasty” attracting almost twelve million viewers. Given that today there are many more venues for movies, television shows and computer games attracting viewers, I still think the number of Elvis Presley viewers watching The Ed Sullivan Show that night would even today eclipse the combined total of all the shows we have available to us.
He had 54,000,000 viewers. He was 21 years old. The $50,000.00 he was paid was an all time high for a television performance at that time. And the best part of it all, he sang, “Ready Teddy” and “Don’t be Cruel.”
Then I had the worst of thoughts. I am an old dude. I shake like a person who has Parkinson’s disease. I have to be really careful with fine motor skills because the delicate movement of my soup filled spoon from my bowl to my mouth can suddenly become a wild slinging jerk that leaves me covered in soup and still hungry.
If I buy an Elvis pumpkin stencil and a fine big fat pumpkin, the only thing I’m going to wind up with after I get through wobbling, jiggling and joggling is a bowl full of julienned pumpkin resembling long thin carrot strips.
So here I am 57 years later in my twitching spastic condition and it appears I am the one who is, “All Shook Up” so I have decided not to do harm to the precious image and memory of our King.
I have not totally given up. I’m still going to get two carved pumpkins. There are a couple of girls who work in a flower and gift shop down the street who are going to carve two pumpkins for us.
I am getting Daffy Duck for Katie Mae and Marilyn Monroe for me.