Sadly, I will be eating sushi and watching Frankenstein with the Fox during trick or treat, so the children of our fair city will be missing out on this flaming pumpkin action this year.
Behold! The Ultragorgon!
No, it isn’t a confused tribute to Stranger Things, but rather to something that actually happened in the ’80s: The Jim Henson Hour. In this episode, “Monster Maker,” a kid visits a puppet shop and sees this half-finished dragon puppet, the ultragorgon, which later comes to life and teaches him things (bad things, I seem to recollect). The ultragorgon is massive. In real life, it took 8 puppeteers to animate him. Looking back, I don’t really remember The Jim Henson Hour and seemed to recall this as being associated with his previous project, The Storyteller. Much like Jim Henson, that project was wonderful, and ended way too soon. The Jim Henson Hour wasn’t terribly successful, and the network pulled the plug on it instead of giving him a chance to get it right, and Henson died about a year later. But “Monster Maker,” as a stand alone story, is a lot of fun.
I loved the design of the dragon, and thought it could be adapted to other things, so I’ve had the picture for a while, and when I decided to make the most elaborate jack-o’-lantern I’ve ever made, I pulled it out. It’s not really an exact match or anything, but it did come out pretty interesting for a misshaped pumpkin with a face cut into it. The nose was originally more complex but I accidentally punched it out. Oh well. You always have to do the smaller details first. Once you’ve made big cuts, you don’t want to mess with what’s left or you can knock the pieces out. The eyes are nice, and the ridges at the top of the head and down the center of the face. You can’t really see the horns that wrap around the side The thing about pumpkin carving is that you only do it once a year. If we did it once a month I bet I’d be much better at it.
Tn the right you can also see the edges of the cat pumpkin that the Girl carved mostly by herself, after spending 45 minutes staring at her pumpkin and talking about what she wanted to carve. She accidentally punched her whole design out, so The Man had to pin it back in with toothpicks. You can also see a bit of the Boy’s “derp” pumpkin. I guess it was supposed to look goofy but actually it looks worried and scared. It reminds me of my paternal grandmother, whose catchphrase was, “Oy vey, I was so worried.”
Next year, I will allot myself more than 90 minutes to carve a pumpkin, and get better tools, and work in a spot that isn’t completely full of flies, and I will make the greatest dragon face pumpkin the world has ever seen.