Try Again

My mother knelt down on the cold kitchen floor and laid out several large Korean newspapers. She pieced the pages together as if she were playing Tetris, careful not to leave gaps between the real estate agents, politician mugshots, and the weekly kimchi blowout sales.

I patiently waited for what seemed like 20 minutes, but was probably only a minute or two. I was rolling a basketball-sized pumpkin back and forth between my fat hands, as I anxiously waited for my mom to tell me that I could begin carving.

"3,2,1...START CARVING, JAY!"

Yeah right, my mom didn't say that — who does she look like, Didi Pickles?!

The carving commenced after I ripped open the carving kit package. You know, the safety version with those orange-colored handles? Yeah, I soon found out that those aren't completely safe.

After familiarizing myself with the festive carving tools, I gripped the primary carver and dove right in.

ssssrrrWOOOP!! chaaaa....
"Awesome!" I said with a humongous smile.
 
ssssrrrWOOOP!! chaaaa....
"Yeah baby, this is fun!!"

I was getting close to completely carving out a hole from the top, about 80% done. Everything was going as planned. And then... it just happened.

ssssrrrWOOO....
...
...
...
aaaAAHHHRGRHG!!!!!!!

It didn't hurt until I actually saw the blood. The only thing I remember is my mom diving towards me with an entire roll of paper towels. I'll spare you the graphic details, but I will say that it's the worst cut I've ever had.

As you might've guessed, I never wanted to carve a pumpkin ever again.


Flash forward to the year 2015, a time when my hands are... still fat.

I find myself working at a company where they celebrate Halloween, like hardcore celebrate it. Costumes galore, each department has a themed experience, and they even have (you guessed it) a pumpkin carving contest.

"Enough time has passed. Why not?" I convinced myself.

I went out and bought a cheap pumpkin and started carving. 'Frankenstein' was the concept, so I painted it green and jammed some screws into it. It looked pretty cool and, most relieving of all, I completed it without any bloody accidents.

 First pumpkin carved since childhood.

First pumpkin carved since childhood.

The judging was completed and my pumpkin won the contest. My prize was a $50 gift card to AMC movie theaters — pretty sweet. I treated Stacy to our first dine-in movie experience at the AMC in Marina Del Rey. As fans of Key & Peele, we watched Keanu.

 Reclined, dined, and... silently farted. KEEEEAAAANUUU!!

Reclined, dined, and... silently farted. KEEEEAAAANUUU!!


This year I entered the pumpkin contest again and went with the same 'Frankenstein' concept that I used the year prior. I added a bit more mmph by adding non-pumpkin elements and focusing on the expression. What do ya think?

 "Mmm...Boogers" made with nails, screws, paints, wires, felt, and pork ribs for the teeth.

"Mmm...Boogers" made with nails, screws, paints, wires, felt, and pork ribs for the teeth.

I ended up winning the contest and got a $50 gift card for a nearby restaurant. Stacy and I ate a pleasant dinner which was comprised of ahi tuna salad, mac & cheese pizza, and two Moscow mules.

Is there something that you've tried before but stopped doing? Whether it was because of failure, a freak accident, or some other reason? If so, I encourage you to give it another shot.

You never know what can happen ;)