113 Days Till Halloween

pumpkin man

As I was reading the NY Times this morning and sipping grapefruit juice with a random blueberry in it, a thought filtered into my mind.


The second biggest dress up day of the year (right behind the Intense Individual Party) is right around the corner and Steven Clarke, the man in the pumpkin clad picture above, is sharpening the knives.

Let me explain.

October 31, 2002 was the day that changed Steven’s life. He went on the Early Show and carved 42 pumpkins in 60 minutes to win the world record for most pumpkins carved in one hour.

If anyone knows where we can get footage of this please step forth and challah.

While I do not like his smile in the picture, I have to say I am excited for him and his carving skills. While some may think that his smile says, “I love buying coloring books for my kids,” others may think that his smile says, “I’ve got a 6 inch knife in my hand.” I think the latter. Don’t get me wrong, I would like to think he’s a lover of all things innocent and playful but it’s just tough on me to trust a man who can Edward Scissorhands* 42 pumpkins in 60 minutes flat.
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It’s quite an obvious statement but he also holds the world record for fastest pumpkin carver. He sculpted a pumpkin in just 54.72 seconds.


This is where I ask the question: at what point in world record holder’s lives do they realize that they can eat the most Smarties in three minutes using chopsticks**? Does it come to them in the middle of the night? When and where does it happen?

It’s not that I want to know…I need to know.

I need to know how Al Gliniecki realized he was the master of tying cherry stems in his mouth. I need to know HOW he realized he dominated the cherry-tying field. Was it just some random Sunday afternoon?

There he is in his kitchen, he throws back a cherry stem and quickly ties it into a knot. BAM – in miliseconds it’s tied. He stands up straight, smiles, and looks at his reflection in the mirror and says, “Gee whiz! I’m really freakin’ good at that.” Is that how it happened?

I need to know when the moment was that he realized he had this talent even more so than I need to know HOW THE HELL HE TIED 39 cherry stems into knots with his tongue in three minutes on January 26, 1999.

For example, there had to be a moment in Steven Clarke’s life that he realized he kicked ass at pumpkin carving! When was it?

On a creepy note, if you look closely at the picture you will see that the pumpkin in his lap is quite grilled cheese EBAY-esque. (You know that Virgin Mary grilled cheese sandwich that was sold on EBAY for $28,000?) Yeah, people are bizarre.
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I’ve got questions for this man. I think the image is of Mona Lisa but I am not going to bet the farm on it.

Well, I’ll let you think about that. I am going to go sharpen those Ginsus and then have someone take a disturbing picture of me smiling a cheesy grin with a 6 inch knife in my left hand. SAY CHEESE!


* The art of topiary has been demonstrated in an absolutely hideous way down the street from my house. That’s what I call proud homeowners…Mr. Scissorhands would be proud.

** Katherine Ratcliffe of the UK holds the world record for the most Smarties eaten with chopsticks in three minutes. She ate 138.
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