Friday, October 31, 2014

Preparing for Tropical Hallowe'en

Sorry, no time to talk. It's Hallowe'en, and I am trying to get ready. I have a very busy schedule of ordering/receiving proper treats from North America (check), making decorations (check), and explaining what Hallowe'en is to people who run the gamut from "oh, yeah, that's an American thing," to "never heard of it and why are you torturing that watermelon?" (ongoing).

Like all immigrants, I am appalled that my deeply cherished traditions are not immediately understood and embraced by my new land. It rocks me to my core that there are people out there who don't understand Hallowe'en, best of all the holidays, night of imagination and unlimited chocolate. I would have thought that Hallowe'en was about as high-concept as a holiday could be: children become actual monsters to rule the night. Where is the confusion? Plus, Hallowe'en boasts more apostrophes than any other holiday, and that is just plain fun.

I have put my shock and dismay behind me and have moved on to Phase II of the Immigrant Holiday Experience: how do I adapt the crucial parts of my traditions to suit this new place? For example, what to do about a jack o' lantern? (See, another apostrophe.) Pumpkins aren't exactly thick on the ground, here.

As a public service, I hereby present this handy primer on celebrating Hallowe'en in the tropics:

How to Make A Watermelon Jack O' Lantern

1. Grow a watermelon. Since seeds sprout even in the gravel here, that shouldn't be any trouble. I found mine growing under the stairs.

2. Scoop it and drain it.
This watermelon was never going to stand up on its end, so I turned it on its side. It's called being flexible, people, and it rules my life.

3. Save the tasty parts; toss the rest. Keep draining.
See that pool of water in the bottom? It is going to keep coming back. Watermelons are wet. (I'm just as surprised as you.)

4. Plan a face.
This part was easy. I've carved the same face on every jack o' lantern I've made since 1985.

5. Alter the face slightly to irretrievably muck it up.
I just had to mess with that eye, didn't I?
6. Stop to look out at the lovely view. Oh, it's snowing where you are? Sorry (not sorry.) Let me ease your pain with a picture of my kids on a cold Hallowe'en many years ago.
Fake fur is essential for night-time trick-or-treating.
7. Drain the watermelon again. (Yes, I'm getting tired of it too, but at least this thing was 1000x easier to carve than a pumpkin. I think I could have managed it with a ballpoint pen.)

8. Insert lit candle.
And, you're done!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm a little concerned those mini chocolate bars might have gone funny in transit. I think I'd better test a couple of peanut butter cups just to be sure - for the sake of the children.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Excellent Pumpkin/watermelon. Halloween is the very best holidays that we celebrate. I only wish that we could have contributed a case or 2 of little bags of chips to your stash.
Love Mom