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What a Collapsed Pumpkin Says About Public Relations

It matters how you treat people.

It was pumpkin carving time at my house. My newly-purchased, over-priced pumpkin had been sitting on the carport wall a few days waiting for me to get my act together.

I sketched a few design ideas on the back of an envelope with a ballpoint pen. I had gone all out his year and bought one of those carving kits with the little knives that make it easy to carve details. This year’s spook-face-on-a-vegetable was going to be the scariest jack-o-lantern in town.

Alas, ‘twas not to be.

Newspapers covered the kitchen island, pumpkin and carving knives were ready to go. Oh, this was going to great. I drew a circle on top of the pumpkin for a guideline to cut a lid in the top with a piece of conte crayon from my art supplies. Expectations ran high. I lightly sketched the sinister face on the smoothest side.

The reckoning came when I pushed the long-bladed knife into the outline of the circle. It went in much easier than I expected. A few sawing motions and the pumpkin collapsed like a frozen soap bubble.

My high hopes collapsed with it.

The inside of the pumpkin was goo held together by a hard outer shell.

I was going to get a refund or replacement for this obviously subpar specimen. Did I really want to put this mess in my car and haul it back to the produce stand to make my point?

I might need proof. I gathered the newspaper around the pumpkin mess and put it in the back of my van.

I headed back to the produce stand where I had bought this thing. The stand was less than a mile from my house. I got the pumpkin there, because I like supporting local businesses and I didn’t want to drive all the way into town or to one of the farms that grow and sell pumpkins. I had bought a lot of things from these people in the past.

Me: I bought a pumpkin here. I paid $8 for it. It’s rotten on the inside.

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