Monday, November 22, 2010

Punkin Chunkin

Sometimes there are just no words to adequately describe the stranger things in life. Perhaps that is why an event built around chucking pumpkins is called the Punkin Chunkin. There are just no words...

For 25 years, people from across the country have built remarkably sophisticated devices to heave autumnal gourds a mile through the air. Why? Because they can.

And it has become quite an event... So much so that a couple of weeks ago J and I drove to a remote cornfield in Delaware to take it all in. You, on the other hand, can enjoy the festivities while you're digesting your turkey from the comfort of your couch at 8pm, Thanksgiving night, on the Science Channel.

There were cannons and catapults and trebuchets and giant crossbows and who-knows-whats. It was like Sylvester McMonkey McBean had rolled into town and sold a whole town of Sneetches his latest inventions. But instead of green star-coveting characters from Dr. Seuss' imagination, you had a lot of guys that looked like this:

Who were being watched by a lot more people who were dressed like this:

As we approached through the mud and the masses of punkin-lovin folk, we'd hear play by play and the occasional blast, the first of which almost brought J to her knees. This would be followed by a frantic search of the skies for a thick-walled, white punkin that rapidly disappeared out of sight. Inevitably a distance of around 3000 feet (10 football fields) would be announced and the next contraption was on the clock.

Each one was built for distance; both punkin chunkin distance and transportation. Many of these devices had come thousands of miles to participate. That would explain the next time you're driving down the highway next to a school bus with a cannon growing out of the back...

Does anyone remember Northern Exposure? I remember sharing a couple of laughs with my dad but I don't remember anything about the show itself. With one exception. For some reason the gang from Alaska wanted to launch a cow (I think the cow was saved and substituted with a piano). I have no idea why I remember a piano being heaved through the air by some crazy contraption but I do remember laughing hysterically.

I think that's how I'll remember the Punkin Chunkin. 15 years from now I won't remember anything other than a good time we had as we giggled at the sight of chunkin punkins... and I still won't have any words to describe it.

J Says

Like B, I have no words to describe Punkin Chunkin. However, I'm never at a loss for words when it comes to food. Behold the majesty of the pumpkin funnel cake!

Since we were standing in a freezing corn field for hours, we decided to take breaks to stroll through the food stalls and sample different items. While the funnel cake was my favorite, B loved his crabcake sandwich.

The buttery ear of roasted corn with spicy salt warmed our cold bones.

And the pulled pork sandwich from the BBQ truck didn't disappoint.

I love quirky events and people watching so Punkin Chunkin was my idea of a great time. Only 346 days until the next chunk! Plenty of time for me to practice my Miss Punkin Chunkin wave and the Punkin Chunkin Anthem!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Glad you guys enjoyed Punkin Chunkin'! Angela and I went last year with a few friends and it ended up being a pretty horrible experience. Aside from waiting in traffic for two hours just to get in, we spent the majority of the afternoon looking for or waiting in lines for bathrooms... and four of our eight companions came back with cases of swine flu.

It's amazing to see so many Confederate flags this far north.