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Season’s Bleatings: It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers


I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to get my hands on some fucking gourds and arrange them in a horn-shaped basket on my dining room table. That shit is going to look so seasonal. I’m about to head up to the attic right now to find that wicker fucker, dust it off, and jam it with an insanely ornate assortment of shellacked vegetables. When my guests come over it’s gonna be like, BLAMMO! Check out my shellacked decorative vegetables, assholes. Guess what season it is — fucking fall. There’s a nip in the air and my house is full of mutant fucking squash.

I may even throw some multi-colored leaves into the mix, all haphazard like a crisp October breeze just blew through and fucked that shit up. Then I’m going to get to work on making a beautiful fucking gourd necklace for myself. People are going to be like, “Aren’t those gourds straining your neck?” And I’m just going to thread another gourd onto my necklace without breaking their gaze and quietly reply, “It’s fall, fuckfaces. You’re either ready to reap this freaky-assed harvest or you’re not.”

Carving orange pumpkins sounds like a pretty fitting way to ring in the season. You know what else does? Performing an all-gourd reenactment of an episode of Diff’rent Strokes — specifically the one when Arnold and Dudley experience a disturbing brush with sexual molestation. Well, this shit just got real, didn’t it? Felonies and gourds have one very important commonality: they’re both extremely fucking real. Sorry if that’s upsetting, but I’m not doing you any favors by shielding you from this anymore.

The next thing I’m going to do is carve one of the longer gourds into a perfect replica of the Mayflower as a shout-out to our Pilgrim forefathers. Then I’m going to do lines of blow off its hull with a hooker. Why? Because it’s not summer, it’s not winter, and it’s not spring. Grab a calendar and pull your fucking heads out of your asses; it’s fall, fuckers.

Have you ever been in an Italian deli with salamis hanging from their ceiling? Well, then you’re going to fucking love my house. Just look where you’re walking or you’ll get KO’d by the gauntlet of misshapen, zucchini-descendant bastards swinging from above. And when you do, you’re going to hear a very loud, very stereotypical Italian laugh coming from me. Consider yourself warned.

For now, all I plan to do is to throw on a flannel shirt, some tattered overalls, and a floppy fucking hat and stand in the middle of a cornfield for a few days. The first crow that tries to land on me is going to get his avian ass bitch-slapped all the way back to summer.

Welcome to autumn, fuckheads!

RTWT @ – McSweeney’s Internet Tendency
[HT: Vera]

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Cucurbita September 23, 2018, 3:33 PM

    That was lovely!
    The Gourd Poem
    “In a valley sweet with sunlight,
    Fertile with the dew and rain,
    Without miner’s daily labour,
    Without artist’s nightly pain,
    There there grows the cup I drink from,
    Summer’s sweetness in it stored,
    And my lips pronounce a blessing
    As they touch an old brown gourd.”
    Paul Laurence Dunbar
    Thank you!

  • Steve in Greensboro September 23, 2018, 4:26 PM

    I think this anti-pumpkin fugue on the part of our beloved curator is his way of mourning the passing of Summer.

    Here in the Sunny South, Summer can’t go the hell away too soon. Give me cool weather. Give me the yellows, oranges and reds of the hardwoods. Give me the Sweet Gums turning scarlet.

    Dare I say it? Give me snow. (Not the deep, driving impairing stuff, but just an inch or so to cover up the dead grass in my yard.)

  • Rick September 23, 2018, 4:56 PM

    Geeze Gerald, have another pumpkin spice beer and relax.

  • ghostsniper September 23, 2018, 5:58 PM

    Fuck you. I want some deep assed snow. Real deep. Up to the window sills, and not the living room windows that come down low. Up to the bathroom windows. Yeah, 4 or 5 foot deep snow. That 1 inch shit can blow us, just a pain in the ass. Makes everything muddy and miserable and then goes away in a day or 2. Fuck that. I want some shit that stays around for like 2 months.

    Deep ass snow that gets about a 3″ crust of ice on it, perfect for sledding. I bought a 6′ bobsled when we moved here 12 years ago and haven’t gotten to ride that fucker yet. And we live on the perfect hill for it. It’s about 850 foot long and drops about 80 feet to the bottom then levels out. Do the math. That sled should be doing better’n 60 mph when it hits the flats, then nothing but mowed soybean field for as far as the eye can see. Yowza! Take 2 days to drag that fukkah home. Pack a lunch.

    When the first snow flies in Nov I’ll drag that bitch out and wax the runners and stand it in the corner. Keep it ready. For some REAL snow. And when it happens, watch the sky cause you’ll see the lights go out for a second when I break the time barrier. Here, hold my beer….

  • Jimmy September 23, 2018, 7:12 PM

    To Hell with Fall. Let’s move straight to the good stuff…

    Give me a snow that shuts down the socialist Seattle utopia. Like the ’72 blizzard that buried it. Freeze out the homeless. Turn their sidewalk feces into hard nuggets. Make the thousands of needle wielding drug lizards turn blue and die. And may all the idiots who don’t know how to drive total their cars – and crap their pants – in a ditch.


  • Casey Klahn September 23, 2018, 8:16 PM

    Oh, man, I needed that laugh tonight.

    Has anyone complained to McSweeney that he’s making the gay population uncomfortable with this post?

  • Nori September 23, 2018, 8:35 PM

    “Summer can’t get the hell away too soon”.
    In the low deserts of the southwest,we’re still in triple D temps,but the overnights are high 70’s,a blessing,and hints of sweet cooool weather. No snow here. Damn Globull Warming.

    Changed the oil in my truck today, 30 wgt pumpkin spice,as good in the engine as it is on toast.

  • John A. Fleming September 23, 2018, 10:16 PM

    In my priority order, Autumn, Winter, Summer, Spring. Really, I like ’em all, but autumn in the western mountains is beyond compare of anything. Autumn is the gold-lit getting fat season for the winter if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger and happy, summer is for the great days in the mountains, the too many mountains and too few fleeting summers. Spring is the most useless season, the days of starvation when all the vegies in the root cellar are gone and the food stocks are thin, the early greens aren’t very nutritious, and it’s too warm and muddy to be winter, and too cold for summer.

  • Callmelennie September 23, 2018, 11:39 PM

    Who wrote this, Jules Winnfield?

    C’mon Brett, what does autumn look like? Does it look like a bitch?

  • Marica September 24, 2018, 7:20 AM

    Steve in Greensboro– Try living in Mississippi! I love summer but I am so sick of 90*+.

    But HEY! We did have company this weekend and we DID go to the garden and pick a pumpkin and a white gourd of some sort and put them– along with other things– on the buffet. And we do have a wicker basket of dried grasses and okra pods on the breakfast table.

    Sheeze! I’m pretty new here. Can’t wait to hear what you have to say about my turkey platter. You know, the giant white platter with the painted gobbler showing off his plumage.

  • Vanderleun September 24, 2018, 9:17 AM

    But…. But…. I loves me that turkey platter.

  • pbird September 24, 2018, 9:17 AM

    Jimmy, I remember that winter in Seattle. We were living on Queen Anne Hill with one little guy and one coming later that year. Had to drive the Econoline down off that slippery hill every day. I wish we could have another blizzard like that. It snowed sideways for four days straight. In Seattle.

  • Casey Klahn September 24, 2018, 11:23 AM

    pbird and Jimmy.

    Nothing beats a good snowpocalypse in Seattle. Plenty of funny videos on YouTube.

    What year was it that I skied home, 17 miles, from Capitol Hill after work? 89? 6 inches fell in an hour or 2 and Seattle was full stop. I shed my skis in the U District to brew up on hot tea (a whole kettle) and the commies at the other tables were looking daggers through me. Back to the door. Don’t loiter…

  • steve walsh September 24, 2018, 12:54 PM

    One of my all time favorite McSweeney’s. The photos add a nice realistic touch.

  • pbird September 25, 2018, 3:11 PM

    Tea in The Last Exit Casey? lol Good old memories.

  • Casey Klahn September 25, 2018, 4:09 PM

    pbird: it was at the foot of the Ave, as I had to go up the Burke Gillman Trail. I climbed over 3 downed trees while skiing on that. That watering hole was close to the Blue Moon, but without the warmth and conviviality.

    When you live in the West, you make a habit of facing the door when you sit down in any establishment.

    • Brian_E September 15, 2021, 6:12 AM

      It’s not just the West, Casey.

      At least, not for me.

      I feel uncomfortable sitting anywhere I don’t have my back to the wall – and preferably in a corner so I can see as much of the room as possible, and all the entrances. I know, not normally needed in most places – but the world is becoming a coarser place, and this ‘habit’ will likely serve me well in the coming days and years.

  • ghostsniper September 25, 2020, 5:41 PM

    Shits already started around here. Fall that is. Like leaves falling on the deck. I blowered it twice today, and yesterday, and the day before, for the past week. They keep coming. I look up at the trees and there are none apparently missing. Whole bunch of em up there. Gotta get the 5 gal gas cans filled, and some 2 cycle oil. Looks like winter’s coming fast and furious this year. Funny, I thought the Farmers Almanac said it was gonna be a soft winter. And the gutters, gotta get them blowed out too, with that 20′ long sheperds hook pipe that attaches to my Stihl blower. That’ll happen several times before the gutter freezes. Maybe we’ll hit the jackpot this year and get the BIG snow. Now where’d I put that sled runner wax?

    Yeah, we have that colorful giant turkey platter too.

  • PA Cat September 25, 2020, 5:51 PM

    One good thing about a big ol’ bright orange pumpkin on your porch is that it’s a way to show support for Orange Man if you live in an area where wearing a MAGA cap would be taking your life in your hands.

    An-n-n-d– now that the silly season is well and truly upon us, the wife of the Harry formerly known as Prince “harbors serious ambitions to run for president of the United States, according to a report. . . . Her biographer, Omid Scobie, also previously claimed that the former actress ‘has her eyes set on the US presidency.’ . . . . Harry and Meghan already sparked scandal with a video urging people to vote that heavily hinted that she was against President Trump, despite the long-standing practice for royals to remain politically neutral. . . . ‘I wish a lot of luck to Harry, because he’s gonna need it,’ Trump said at the White House on Wednesday.”

    Photoshop at the link of Meghan being sworn in by a smirking John Roberts.

  • Daniel Day September 25, 2020, 6:51 PM

    He implies he’s Italian. OK, but why does an Italian have a Japanese name?

  • M. Murcek September 25, 2020, 10:36 PM

    I didn’t move to Florida to miss winter. When It goes into the 40s at night here and the furnace comes on, it’s like a bad acid flashback for a guy who lived in the Northeast for 55 years. When it’s 50ish out in the morning and I go to the farmer’s market, the youngsters (and some off the old coots) look in awe at me in my BDU shorts and Filson Double Mackinaw Cruiser. “That looks really warm, mister” they comment while hugging themselves and trying to get by on a cast off Jack Nacklaus golf windbreaker. “You bet it is. It’s warm when it’s 40 below zero, not that you have even a remote idea what that means.” I tell ’em. I respect everybody’s opinion (yeah, riiiiiight) but I didn’t move south to miss winter. I’ma goin to the Keys until it warms up again in March…

  • Alex G September 26, 2020, 6:34 AM

    This ranks right up with the dog talking about bacon as one of those things you have to revisit once a year.

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2020, 6:45 AM

    If you live in FL and have a furnace your house is more than 50 years old.
    Everything since about 1970 has been required to have an HVAC unit by the energy codes.
    HVAC = Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning
    The HVAC unit will typically have a “heat strip” in it that when turned on the first time of the season will smell like smoke and may even produce a little smoke from the registers due to yearly dust settling on the strip.

  • M. Murcek September 26, 2020, 6:52 AM

    I definitely have a gas furnace that was installed just before I bought the house in 2017. It’s a concrete block one story circa 1960 but totally renovated.

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2020, 7:56 AM

    I think you are delivering incomplete and/or incorrect information.
    Yes, I am an expert, and I wrote the book, by way of over 7000 completed building projects spanning from 1972 to current.

    Gas anything is very rare in Fl and if it’s seen at all it is in very high end homes with propane fired fireplaces and/or kitchen ranges and/or point of use water heaters and/or gas grills.
    Since 1974 the Florida building code has required all new construction to include HVAC systems.
    Since 1988 the Florida Life and Safety code has required all homes that are “totally renovated” (50% appraised value) to have all building code non-compliant issues brought up to current requirements.

    If what you have said above is 100% true you have a home that is non-compliant to current building codes and could possibly cause a major problem if a property insurance issue ever occurred.

    FWIW, Florida building and zoning codes are unlike any other in the country, because nowhere else is subjected to the forces of nature experienced there, and are arbitrarily updated/upgraded continuously. A building professional has to have a lot of heads and feets on the ground in order to keep up with the code upgrade conveyor belt as it’s constantly moving. The person in charge of the Lee County building dept, as well as other building professionals, email me every now and then about upgrades.

    • EX-Californian Pete September 15, 2021, 10:46 AM

      “I wrote the book, by way of over 7000 completed building projects spanning from 1972 to current.”

      Let’s run those numbers.

      January 1972 to September 2021 = 49.75 years.
      7000 divided by 49.75 = 140 “projects” a year.
      365 days divided by 140 = 2.6 = a “project” completed every 2.6 days.
      And that would be working nonstop with ZERO days off for 49.75 years.

      Average pay “per project” for an Architect- $2000 to $20,000- just to draw the plans, or $15,000 to $80,000+ for full house design. https://homeguide.com/costs/architect-cost

      7000 projects drawn at (low end) $2000 = $14,000,000.
      7000 projects (FHD) at $15,000 (again, low end) = $105,000,000.
      So in essence, you’re telling us you’ve earned (a MINIMUM of) between 15 and 105 million bucks?
      If not, this may help with cost and profit control- https://entrearchitect.com/2017/11/28/key-financial-performance-indicators/

      So unless all those “projects” were of the “kitchen table Lincoln Logs” variety, I find it mighty difficult to believe that “7000” number.

      And this- “Gas anything is very rare in Fl and if it’s seen at all it is in very high end homes with propane fired fireplaces and/or kitchen ranges and/or point of use water heaters and/or gas grills.”
      Doesn’t look very rare according to the map.

      Not to bust your chops, but allow me to respond in kind, using your own words-
      “I think you are delivering incomplete and/or incorrect information.”

  • Jack September 26, 2020, 10:09 AM

    All of youse’ who live in the Northern climes can have all of my snow. My family says that ya’lls can have theirs too. Life in the Deep South frames that attitude and it’s as solid as the ice on Lake Michigan in the deep of Winter.

    Down he’ah the temps have dropped into the lower 70’s and despite the occasional day or two of rain that has been generated by offshore weather events, we’re easing into Indian Summer. The trees are beginning to drop their leaves, my deer stands are ready for bow season and with a little luck I’ll fill my freezer in a week or two.

    In another month or so as we ease toward Winter the temps will trend downward, we’ll get a slight freeze that ends the growing season, persimmons and acorns will continue to hit the ground and we’ll slide into Winter which always means rain, colder temps and a little ice maybe if we’re unfortunate.

    We don’t suffer the monotony of days of snow and ice, being cabin bound for days at a time. We don’t have snowplows here, or sand trucks. Our ponds, lakes and rivers might freeze when it gets really cold but they’ll be passable a day or two later and any serious snow we might have is gone within a day or two.

    I spent a Spring and Summer in central Michigan back in the 80’s. When I got there around the end of February I saw cars and trucks parked, with engines running for heat, on ice in the middle of deep abandoned gravel pits where people were ice fishing. What level of sheer boredom could inspire that kind of non-event. Later in the Spring when the ice began to melt the air was filled with the decaying corpse smell of rotting beets.

    In July when I loaded my truck and pointed her South, black and dirty snow was still piled to heights of 15′ in large parking lots and I remembered thinking of the contrast between living there, like that, and living in the temperate, beautiful and green Deep South. I never returned.

    • EX-Californian Pete September 15, 2021, 1:34 PM

      Hey Jack-
      I’ll be happy to take all that snow!

      Snow means more water to keep our lakes, ponds, streams, and aquifers full.
      It means pristine white beautiful winter scenes as it covers the landscape, making everything look pure and clean.
      It makes tracking prey easier than anything else.
      It only means “cabin bound” for some folks- a lot of us enjoy a lot of outdoor activities in the snow.
      Yeah, driving in it can be a bit tricky, and snow means zero Harley rides for a few months, but they plow the streets here in my neck o’ the woods with precision frequency, and I don’t mind salting or shoveling a few dozen yards of driveway now & then.

      My motto after moving out of CA is “I’d rather be surrounded by snow than surrounded by snowflakes.”

  • ghostsniper September 26, 2020, 12:59 PM

    Jack sed: “I remembered thinking of the contrast between living there, like that, and living in the temperate, beautiful and green Deep South. I never returned.”
    We did the same, in reverse. It took me 40 years of living in southwest FL before I figured out I wasn’t cut out for a hot environment. That was 14 years ago and I have not went back, though my wife has a few times to see the grand daughter. I do miss the Mesquite Grouper sandwiches at the Lazy Flamingo on Bokeelia Island but I am surviving in their absence none the less. I like it here.

  • steve walsh September 27, 2020, 7:17 AM

    I came across that post when it was originally published at McSweeney’s oh these many years ago. Shared it with my daughter then and she and I had a good laugh. We reshare, and reread, it every year at this time. It still makes me laugh. We live in New England so we know plenty of people that embrace this decorative fashion, without the motherfucker bit; they’re serious.

  • Annie Rose September 15, 2021, 6:20 AM

    Just in time for Fall 2021! Get yours now before it’s gone!!

  • jwm September 15, 2021, 6:44 AM

    Annie Rose:
    I got 500ml injectable from amazone about eight weeks ago. Within days it was off market.
    Because *they* know what’s good for you and you do not have permission to disagree.
    But I hear the paste ain’t bad if you mix with ice cream.


  • Dave J September 15, 2021, 9:54 AM

    The walnuts are dropping their leaves here in the Valley of Virginia. I picked a small pumpkin this week that volunteered a summers worth of growth at the base of a wild Cedar tree I relocated from a shady fence row to a more prominent spot in the yard. Heading now to the Chesapeake for a couple weeks of crabbing, fishing and clapper rails.

  • Jimmy September 15, 2021, 11:47 AM

    I’d forgotten about that hilarious video or that I even commented here three years ago! So, what do we have this year? More baskets full of useless gourds? More like cities full of vaccinated liberal gourd heads watching their TV news promising that baskets full of Pfizer and Moderna needles forced upon the unwilling will end COVID as they wonder why their own chests hurt, why they have no energy and why their brains are filled with fog after another Summer of Love in their Homeless Utopia. It’s a different kind of Fall harvest this year. And it’s not pretty – or funny – at all.