How To Carve A Pumpkin: A Guide For Terrible, Drunk Parents

It's Halloween, which means that it's time to dress your children up in cosplay costumes and send them out into a dark neighborhood, asking neighbors for things to put inside their mouths. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Anyway, before trick-or-treating, you have to buy a pumpkin and carve it. That takes jussssst enough effort to justify drinking 50 beers and stuffing your face with a bag of Nestle Crunch minis. Let's take you through the process step by step.

1. Buy a pumpkin. First of all, don't go to a goddamn pumpkin patch to buy your pumpkin. You just drove 50 miles to pay a 200 percent markup for something totally inedible. THASS BULLSHIT. Just buy one at the store. Make sure to rotate the pumpkin so that you see every side of it. Half of them have, like, barnacles on them. Why are they there? That's so gross.

2. Try not to carve your pumpkin more than 24 hours before trick-or-treating. Otherwise, ants get in that bitch. So many ants. It's like a sandbox, only instead of grains of sand, there are ANTS. That many ants will surely end up swarming across your hand and devouring it, leaving nothing but bone and sinew. Ants are the worst. Leaving your pumpkin whole for as long as possible prevents it from rotting. You don't want a rotten pumpkin anywhere near you, because they're slimy and repulsive. TRUE STORY: I was riding on the bus once, and one of the kids stood up, pulled down his pants, tucked his dick between his legs, then bent over, spread his asscheeks, and screamed ROTTEN PUMPKIN MOON! That's what a rotten pumpkin looks like. Avoid.

3. Buy a pumpkin carving kit. They're worth every penny. I could dig a tunnel out of prison in 12 minutes with that little orange scooper thing.

4. When you are ready to carve, bring the pumpkin inside. Rinse it off, then dry it with a paper towel. Make sure to dry along the grooves, because those things will fuck up your shit otherwise.

5. Tell the pumpkin it's gonna die. You're about to murder a helpless vegetable. SAVOR THE POWER. Show the pumpkin your carving kit. Let it know that it's about to be tortured and mutilated. You're gonna die slow, Gourdy.

6. Ask your kids for advice on the design and then ignore that advice. My kid wanted a Hermione pumpkin. How the hell are you supposed to do that? That's horseshit. Hermione doesn't scare anyone, and I don't want creepy pervs coming around to fap to it in the bushes. I told my kid that I lacked the skills to do a proper Hermione pumpkin, then told her to stay back because I had a sharp knife. Speaking of which …

7. KNIFE TIME! Get the biggest Psycho knife you can find, one that has no value other than being useful when you daydream about foiling a burglar and slitting his stupid burglar throat. Put your pumpkin in the sink along with an empty plastic bag on the side. Plunge (PLUNGE!!!!) the knife deep into the pumpkin's scalp. Just like Seagal did to Tommy Lee Jones in Under Siege. NOW THAT'S A STAB WOUND. So badass. Take the knife out, place it at the end of the first incision, and plunge again. God, that feels so good. I wish I could stab things every day. Make sure the hole in the top of the pumpkin is wide enough to fit a human hand. Nothing worse than trying to fist a pumpkin with a votive candle when the hole is too tight. You want a loose pumpkin. A WHORE PUMPKIN.

8. Scoop the guts. Use that little plastic shovel in the carving kit and scrape the sides until all the guts and seeds are wadded up at the bottom. Oh, wear a T-shirt when you do this. I probably should have noted that earlier. You're probably wearing a sweatshirt and now the wrist is covered in pumpkin liver. My bad. Scrape along the bottom and put all the guts in the plastic bag. Throw that shit away.

9. "Hey, should we have toasted the seeds? That might be tasty. AND CREATIVE!" Nah. Fuck that.

10. Pick the right side of the pumpkin for the face to go. Don't use the barnacle side.

11. Time to pick a face. There are plenty of templates online to choose from. If you have just one pumpkin, you're probably gonna want to stick with the usual formula of triangle eyes, triangle nose, and then the traditional jack-o-lantern toothy grin. Sometimes, it's cool to buy multiple pumpkins and then use one as a lab rat for alternative faces: the surprised pumpkin, the barfing pumpkin, the cock-and-balls pumpkin, etc.

12. Draw the face on the pumpkin. I tried using a Sharpie to do this the other day, but then the pumpkin was still kinda wet and the Sharpie stopped drawing and I threw it to the ground in anger because that Sharpie had it coming. Anyway, use a marker or something that can be wiped clean from the pumpkin in case you fuck up. I fuck up all the time. It's not my fault. The grooves makes for rough going. I'd do much better drawing a face on an eggplant. Make sure the face is relatively high up on the pumpkin, or else kids won't see it and that will suck because I want kids to see my pumpkin and then go running away in fear.

13. Carve out the eyes and nose using the little sawtooth tool in your carving kit. Knives suck for this job. Don't cut too forcefully or else shit will break off and you'll never be able to fix it. God, that's the worst. Remind me to buy a plastic jack-o-lantern next year to avoid all this crap.

14. The mouth. The mouth is the trickiest part because of all those stupid teeth. They're very small, and it's easy to accidentally chip one or two off and end up with a redneck pumpkin. Redneck pumpkins are fucking terrible. Use the little sawing tool as best you can. Pause for a beer or four if need be. Cut outside the mouth you drew so that you have plenty of room. Sometimes, I go inside by accident and end up with little chiclet teeth. NOT SCARY. I want fangs! Big scary fangs that will rip a toddler's head clean off! Make sure you've cut all the way through before poking the mouth out. And poke the mouth out from the inside. Don't try to be a hero and push that shit into the pumpkin head. Otherwise, disaster.

15. Clean up. Reach in through the eyes and nose to cut out any hanging scraps that might remain. Then wipe that shit clean with a wet paper towel. Put the top back on and VOILA. Perfect pumpkin.

16. Leave it on the counter, waiting for other family members to see it and marvel at your handiwork. I waited five minutes yesterday for proper adulation. My wife finally walked into the kitchen and I was like, "Huh? Huh? ARE YOU NOT AMAZED?!"

17. Stick the candle in before you light it. You'd be surprised how often people light it first. And by "people," I mean me. So many burn scars. By the way, votive candles SUCK. They flip over at the merest graze of a fingertip. Whoever invented them should be stabbed and hollowed out.

18. Ants! Here they come! Ewwww so gross!

19. Drink beer and eat candy. You earned it. You're not simply a carver. You are a goddamn craftsman. HAPPY HALLOWEEN ERRBODY.