Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkins and Giraffes

It’s fall. Most people’s favorite time of year. The air crisps, bronzed leaves fall from the trees, and the giraffes eat ice cream cones from your hands.

As Elijah would say, “Whaaaaaat?”

Since arriving back from another European sports car odyssey, I was anxious to spend not only quality time with the family, but super Hallmark Card quality time. Where our memories would forever be seen with that fuzzy lighting they use on Cybill Shepperd.

My brother and his family invited us to Goebbert’s Farm. It’s a huge pumpkin patch in the west suburbs they visit every year. We agreed to everything but the joining my brother and his family part. Nap schedules didn’t match up.

After only one complete turnaround on the directions, we arrived at Goebbert’s. Let’s see…a beautiful Fall Sunday two weeks before Halloween. Goebbert’s would be empty, right? Yeah, think Normandy landing.

As we passed the huge wooden cut outs of every conceivable cartoon character known to man at the entrance (apparently Goebbert’s has a great copyright lawyer), it dawned on me that I was about the experience child awesomeness. And judging from the fact Eli’s head exploded before we touched a single pumpkin, I was right.

Lemmie lay down just some of the child brain melting we experienced: Pony rides, a metal pumpkin-eating dinosaur, two, count em, two giraffes, a baby tiger, pig racing, port-o potties, corn stalk mazes, a haunted house. The list goes on forever.

What 99% of the stuff we saw has to do with pumpkins, autumn, Halloween or reality, I honestly have no idea. But Elijah raced around in a frenzy that made paying $3 for an ice cream cone filled with seeds (for goats and giraffes to consume along with your finger) worth every penny.

Later that night, I attended a Wilco show with some friends of a friend. I excitedly recalled the day’s events, “And, and there was baby cow that you could pet and I think he liked me…”

The hippest of the dudes there, clad in a leather jacket and choker necklace looked me right in the eye and said, “You just gotta check your cynic at the door, man.”

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