Irene Worthington Baron



A true story told by a teenage boy who experienced the episode.

Oarved-Pumpkin1 November

When almost every student walked into my Alexander Fleming Junior High School science room in Lomita, CA laughing with gusto, I asked what was so funny. No one would tell me. They all looked at one another and started laughing again.

Finally, one boy spoke up. The other students quieted and sat in anticipation of his comments. He told of the previous night which was Halloween, 31 October. That was the last night for Halloween decorations which would be discarded the next day.

He and two others boys were roaming their neighborhood late at night looking for something to do. They spotted a gargantuan pumpkin on the porch of one home. It was carved with a fun face and lit with a short fat candle. He and his friends decided to do some mischief.

They scanned the neighborhood looking for anyone outside who might see them. Seeing no one, they rushed to the porch, grabbed the lit pumpkin and ran with it to the home owner’s large mailbox at the street.

The boy said, “I pulled a cherry bomb out of my pocket. We lit the cherry bomb and tossed it in the pumpkin. Then we ran to the corner of the neighbor's house where it was dark. Just as we got to the house and turned around, a car came speeding down the street. The driver squealed the brakes and stopped at the mailbox. One kid got out the passenger door, grabbed the pumpkin, threw it into the back seat and slammed his door shut. The car sped off . As soon as the car was turning the corner a few houses up the street, the cherry bomb went off. For a second, the whole inside of the car was orange.”

The class erupted into laughter again.

"The boys in the car were okay," he said.

I was incredulous that all that happened so fast. I couldn’t imagine a teenage boy trying to explain to his parents how the inside of the family car became covered in wet pumpkin flesh! I wonder how long it took to clean? The boys who were in the car were probably trying to figure out for days how someone had rigged a pumpkin to explode when it was moved.


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