Friday, October 30, 2015

Page 74: Pumpkins, sex, and urban legends

For all of Linus’ efforts in It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, belief in the Great Pumpkin never quite caught on with the Peanuts gang nor became the stuff of urban legend. Linus' confusing of Halloween with Christmas is, however, part of our pop culture vocabulary and regular Halloween TV tradition.

"There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin."
Linus, however, seems to be the only one who truly believes.
[Sally and Linus from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown (©1966, CBS, dir. Bill Melendez).]
While Linus is the only one who believes in the Great Pumpkin, there is a racy Halloween-related story that a lot of people believe to be true, and insist that it appeared in the local newspaper of a friend of a friend. This urban legend comes off more like a joke, complete with a setup for the punch line. It took off on the Internet in July 1998 and, typical of urban legends, has undergone various changes of name and location. It goes something like this:
Dixon, IL. Police arrested Jon Terrence McCarter, a 27 year old white male, resident of Dixon, IL, in the Sanderson Pumpkin patch at 11:38pm Friday. McCarter will be charged with lewd and lascivious behavior, public indecency, and public intoxication at the County courthouse Monday.

The suspect allegedly stated that as he was passing a pumpkin patch, he decided to stop. "You know, a pumpkin is soft and squishy inside, and there was no one around here for miles. At least I thought there wasn't." he stated in a phone interview from the County courthouse jail.

McCarter went on to state that he pulled over to the side of the road, picked out a pumpkin that he felt was appropriate to his purposes, cut a hole in it, and proceeded to satisfy his alleged "need". "I guess I was just really into it, you know?" he commented with evident embarrassment.

In the process, McCarter apparently failed to notice the Dixon Municipal police car approaching and was unaware of his audience until officer Brenda Taylor approached him. "It was an unusual situation, that's for sure." Said officer Taylor. "I walked up to (McCarter) and he's...just working away at this pumpkin."

Taylor went on to describe what happened when she approached McCarter. "I just went up and said, 'Excuse me sir, but do you realize that you are screwing a pumpkin?' He got real surprised as you'd expect and then looked me straight in the face and said, 'A pumpkin? Damn... is it midnight already?"
Some squash are sexier than others.
This is a butt-ernut squash that I once found at my local grocer's.
I thought such a Snogworthy legend was perfect to slip in at this point in The Billionth Monkey. And it’s perfect timing for Halloween, too! Not that I’m trying to give anyone any ideas...

For Further Reading

David Emery, “Man Arrested for Having Sex with Pumpkin.” October 9, 2012.

Anonymous, “Peter Peter Pumpkin Pleaser.” February 7, 2007.

“Caught in the Pumpkin Patch” in Thomas J. Craughwell, Urban Legends: 666 Absolutely True Stories that Happened to a Friend of a Friend…of a Friend. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 106–7.


  1. Cormac Carthy uses the 'sex with a pumpkin' scene in an early chapter of "Suttree.

  2. Cormac Carthy uses the 'sex with a pumpkin' scene in an early chapter of "Suttree.

    1. Good to know, Edward. Thanks! Urban legends get repeated *everywhere*, so it's fun to hear about places that the scholars haven't picked up on yet.


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