November 13, 2012

Big Red Ambition #75: Throw a Flaming Pumpkin Into the Gorge

Print More

I guess I should start off this post with a disclaimer: I am terrified of fire. When a fire alarm goes off, I’m that kid who is out the door before anyone else has time to process the alarm; it’s more than a little embarrassing, to be perfectly honest. On that note, let me tell you about that time I decided to complete #75: throw a flaming pumpkin into the gorge.

I’m tempted to say I decided to do #75 as an effort to overcome my fear in an act of awesome bravery, but that is so not the case. I kind of completely forgot that I’m terrified of fire until I was standing there with a flaming pumpkin in front of me. Yeah…my bad.

The whole ordeal started about a week before the actual pumpkin throwing. I was bored, none of my roommates were home for me to bother (haha, sorry guys) and I decided to examine the Big Red Ambition List to figure out what items I could check off before winter break. I saw #75 and I decided to rally the troops and ask my brother (Ross Freilich ’09 – I know how much you love the shoutouts, so, you’re welcome) exactly how one goes about throwing a flaming pumpkin into the gorge.

Fast forward to last Monday evening. We all gathered in L and N’s apartment to get all the gross insides out of our pumpkins. DK brought the lighter fluid, L provided a pretty pink lighter and I brought the newspaper.

The next step was figuring out exactly where to throw the pumpkins. Since I’m fairly short (re: very short, or fun-sized as my tall friends tend to call me), I was a tad worried that I wouldn’t be successful in throwing a pumpkin over a 10-foot-tall fence. My idea for a location was that little stone bridge on Beebe Lake, but I was overruled because that spot is too serene to do anything one can get JA-ed for. After much deliberation, we decided on the footbridge between MVR and North Campus (I was outnumbered by tall people, hence their total lack of caring about the 10-foot-tall fences).

JP had skipped the pumpkin-carving part of the evening to scout out our location, and quickly (and might I say a bit creepily) told us to stay in the car when we got to the bridge, because the auxiliary police were roaming around. Finally, they moved on and we set out towards the bridge, trying incredibly hard not to look like we were doing anything wrong to the freshmen who kept giving us weird looks for holding pumpkins and lighter fluid.

Finally the foot traffic slowed down, and we doused the inside of a pumpkin with lighter fluid and L did her thang. Then it was my turn, and I realized as my pumpkin went up in flames that I am terrified of fire and almost had DK throw my pumpkin for me. Thankfully, I have this blog (and the fear of having to listen to my brother hate on me for chickening out when I’m home for Thanksgiving), so I sucked it up and threw the pumpkin. There was a bit more screaming and coaxing by my co-conspirators before I actually threw the pumpkin, but since I still have some pride, only those of you who I’m friends with on Facebook get to see that video. Oh, and you know how I was dubious about being able to throw the pumpkin over the 10-foot fence? Well, mine almost didn’t make  it over. The pumpkin bounced on the top of the fence before, thankfully, going over into the gorge.

After that, I cowered with JP as N threw hers, and then DH and DK had a joint effort to throw a pumpkin so large it could have been the pumpkin in the town square in Halloweentown (it was a little bit smaller, but not by too much).

Anyway, after what was, for me, a terrifying evening filled with flying, flaming objects, I am happy to be able to check one more item off of the list. I hope everyone is as excited to throw fish on the ice at the Harvard game (aka # 4) this weekend!!!!!

Jaime Freilich is a senior in the College of Human Ecology. She may be reached at jfreilich@cornellsun.com. Big Red Ambition appears on Wednesdays.

Original Author: Jaime Freilich