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Western Pennsylvania Mensa presents.... Pumpkin Problems

By Chris Sartori

After a lovely two-week vacation, I came home to find a jungle where my garden used to be. You guys must have had some kind of crazy weather here in August. Did our government perform a bomb test nearby? I strongly suspect that nuclear radiation played some part in the current condition of my vegetables.

Those most affected were the pumpkins. My neighbor Phil swears he could hear the vines stretching and growing overnight. I left a tidy little pumpkin patch the second week of August, honest. It was quite civilized. I returned to find something out of the Little Shop of Horrors. The naughty vines had sprawled down through the tomatoes and across the patio. They crawled up the cornstalks and over the raspberry thicket. Worst of all, they climbed our fence and now I have pumpkins hanging four feet off the ground.

Everyday those pumpkins grow a bit bigger and heavier. This is a problem. If I just leave them like that, the stems will break before the pumpkins turn orange, they'll fall to the ground, and I'll end up with smashed green squash. Well, I came up with what I consider to be a brilliant solution--squash supporters. Just tie the legs of an old pair of panty hose to the fence and put the pumpkin in the part where your behind goes. Voila! For those full-figured pumpkins that require extra support, I add underwires.

Phil thinks my squash supporters are the funniest things in the world. He calls them pumpkin bras. Every time somebody comes to his house, he brings them over to see my fence. Ha! We'll see who laughs in October. There's a winner out there on that fence. One of those firmly supported pumpkins is going to be the biggest one in the North Hills. Then we'll see if Phil laughs at my pumpkin bras. Hey! They might catch on. The Pumpkin Bra might be the biggest revolution in gardening since the Wall-O-Water. I should market these babies.



Reprinted from the September 1999 issue of THE PHOENIX,
the monthly newsletter of Western Pennsylvania Mensa,
Tamara Wardell, editor.   Reprinted with permission.



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