Searching for the Great Pumpkin
by Michael Tillery
So...I'm 6 or 7. Just like any kid of the day, I couldn't wait for "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" to come on around this time of year. Linus was that dude along with Franklin (not to be confused with Sesame Street's muppet lyricist Roosevelt Franklin who was also that dude...of course). Anyway, I had to see the Great Pumpkin with my own eyes. These were the days short years before the video cassette recorder (VCR for the kids) took over our living rooms. Holiday shows stuck in our minds. There was no on-demand. We had to wait until next year if we missed any of them. The whole fam watched. Popcorn was made. Homework was done...early. After the show, I devised a plan. I was obsessed with the Great Pumpkin and told all my friends the next day he was coming to my garden that night no matter how hard they laughed (and trust they hollered). "I'll show 'em" I thought to myself. That cartoon pumpkin patch gave me life. That night, at midnight, I grabbed the blanket off the bed, snuck outside and laid down in the garden. I was hype! I was gonna be the first human to catch a glimpse of Linus' obsession. Word!
It was cold as hell. I was shivering like a mug. I waited and waited. It was a school night, but I did not give up hope. The plan was to get back in bed before Pop woke my sis Gina and I for school. I would have a story to tell. I would be a hero in all the papers, but I had to make it happen first.
Man where was this dude? I'm gonna look like a fool if he didn't show, but I kept hope alive. I waited all night. The sun rose.
No Great Pumpkin.
All of the sudden I was shook because I heard Pop running through the house looking for me. I could hear him calling my name. Scared. What parent wouldn't be?
He finally opened the side door to see me freezing my butt off...bare feet struggling to be covered up...trying to act like I was sleep with one eye open because I knew what was coming. He obviously was relieved but the look in his eye made me say "oh OH." He whupped. My. Ass. "Tied fire", as he would say. I was sad not because I got beat, but because the Great Pumpkin let me down. Damn you Great Pumpkin. Damn you.
So, the next day after tackle football in my backyard, and after reliving my ordeal all day in school...daydreaming...my boy Mike Chambers asked if I saw the Great Pumpkin.
Thought they forgot. Mike, my best friend, laughed as he asked. All the kids waited for me to answer. "Nah, I didn't." I said before telling them the whole story. They literally fell on the ground cracking up...probably are still laughing. Forget all y'all punks. The whole neighborhood found out. I was clowned for years. Even by my ever growing stable of childhood honeys. I took it like a man but damn...I just wanted to see the Great Pumpkin.
Don't let me ever see that chump because he mos def is gonna feel my pain...all of it. ::sigh::