1. Smash a pumpkin.

Get this out of the way first because it’s messy. Buy a pumpkin about the size of a keg of beer. Bring it home. Go to your back patio. Throw it down hard. Watch it smash. Enjoy the thrill. Feel your strength. Study the seeds and slimy guts. Wonder if each of those seeds would have created another pumpkin had you not smashed it.

Spend five minutes pondering the fact that you smashed a pumpkin, something you’ve always wanted to do but were either too repressed, too worried about your reputation, or both.

While smoking a cigar, march to your garage and get a shovel. Walk back to the patio. Drive your shovel beneath the pumpkin remains. Go to your garden. Dump the carnage in the garden. Grab your outdoor hose. For one minute, water the pumpkin remains and the rest of garden.

Stop. Go inside. Make yourself a ham and cheese sandwich. Go to Netflix. Buy the movie Halloween. Watch it. Get terrified.

2. Listen to the Smashing Pumpkins.

Go to your library. Enter the music CD collection. Search for the bands beginning with the letter "S." Find the Smashing Pumpkins CD. Borrow it. Get in your car. Insert the CD. Listen. Figure out if the word "pumpkins" exists in their songs. You might be surprised. It may not be. You know how bands are; they may have named themselves the Smashing Pumpkins to be quirky but have no interest in, or songs about, pumpkins.

Smashing Pumpkins - If All Goes Wrong (album cover art) 

Stop your car in an alley. Study the CD cover. Look for a pumpkin. If you see one, study the pumpkin’s size and curves. Some pumpkins have alluring, smooth curves. If the one on the CD does, feel allured. Listen to the last song on the CD. The word pumpkin may be on that one. The band may have buried the pumpkin lyric on one of their less popular songs. Maybe the band regrets their name. It’s happened before.

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Stop thinking about this. Back out of the alley. Drive home. Leave the CD in the car. Save it for tomorrow.

3. Borrow adult pumpkin books for seven friends.

The Perfect Pumpkin BookOne day after getting the CD, return it to the library. Ask the front desk to search for all books about Halloween. A few will turn up. But narrow your search. You won’t want the young adult pumpkin books, you want the adult pumpkin books. The library will have about seven adult books about pumpkins. Check out all seven.

Drive home. Email seven of your friends. Tell them that for Halloween this year, each of them is responsible for reading one Halloween book. Tell them they can avoid the hassle of going to the library to get one. You have their book. Assure them you will drive their book to their house that night. Everyone is responsible for reading their book by Halloween.

Give them the heads up that on Halloween night, while the kids are trick or treating, all of you will gather at your house in the TV room to talk about the books. For those who want to come over but not read the book or discuss the other books, they will watch TV.

Get in your car. Deliver the books. Your friend Sam is a history buff. Give him the book titled "The History of Pumpkins." Tell him he needs to read it. But he will not be held accountable for sharing anything about it at the book meeting because no one is interested in pumpkin history.

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Assign "How to Carve a Pumpkin" to the guy you think is least likely to read the book. Learning the nuances of carving a pumpkin is relatable but too mundane a topic compared with the other books you will assign, which will be Why Everyone Joneses to Smash Pumpkins and Pumpkin Guts: The Inside Story.

The night before Halloween, cancel the book meeting.

4. Go to a haystack maze.

Go to your local farmer’s market. Walk to the haystack maze near the pumpkin patch. Meander through the maze. Stop in the middle. Get confused about which way to get out. Close your eyes. Tap your stomach three times. Twirl around three times. While disoriented, try to get out.

Think about who created the maze. Wonder why they got into the maze business, whether there’s big money in it.

Find your way out within a half hour. If unsuccessful, call someone you know on your cell who may be able to help get you out. If they don’t answer, leave a voicemail. They will pick that up within a year.

Sit. Feel the haze in the maze.

5. Eat premium candy every day.

Eat twenty pieces of candy every day during Halloween season. Shelve the candy corn. Eat the T-bone steak of Halloween candy: Snickers bars. Don’t settle. Take a stand this Halloween. You already smashed a pumpkin. No one can stop you.

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