In this edition of Drunk/Sober/High, three of our writers traveled to the far-away land of the Roger Williams Park Zoo to visit the one and only Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular 2013: Pumpkinville USA. Here are our thoughts:
Drunk: I am pregaming alone in my room while my roommate does work. I take a shot and chase it with hard cider, and try to figure out what one wears to a Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular. Is it kosher to dress up as a Jack-O-Lantern? I fill a water bottle with alcohol (so badass), but as I’m leaving I decide I don’t have enough, so I add two more shots and then go find Sober and High.
Sober: The last time I participated in a drunk/sober/high, I was the drunkest kitty on a Providence Ghost Tour. That being said, I’m a little nervous to chaperone my drunk and high friends to the zoo.
High: My roommates are engaged in social conversation and I am in the corner smoking alone. Auspicious beginning.
Getting gas before the trip
Drunk: Sober won’t let me help her get gas, even though I’m really good at it. I proceed to tell High about the time I spilled gas all over myself. I drink more alcohol.
Sober: Before leaving, I notice that my car is low on gas to which Drunk replies, “It’s okay, I’m good at gas.”
High: Every car is trying to hit me. I’m not sure I’ve spoken in the past 15 minutes.
Car ride to the zoo
Drunk: I really want to stick my head out of the window. Sober says I can, so I stick my tongue out. The air tastes like Malibu, but even more delicious. High and I start belting, “Caroliiiine!” Sober seems to be ignoring my directions even though they’re great directions.
Sober: I’m literally receiving directions from a drunk person holding Google Maps. We listen to some quality throwbacks and belt some Roses. High is sitting in the backseat taking in all of Providence’s night beauty.
High: Normally the factories off the highway are super unattractive, but all of the lights make it look like the magical kingdom of Oz. Still not sure I’ve spoken out loud.
Arrival to the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular
Drunk: The bitch selling tickets wouldn’t give me the Triple-A discount. I almost start to cry. But then I see a Jack-O-Lantern and everything is okay. We try to go into the exhibit, and I can’t find my ticket and yell at Sober not to leave me. Somehow I make it in. I find a photo-booth and shut myself in it, and Sober thinks its funny for some reason and is taking pictures of me. I can’t figure out how to get out of the booth and end up cutting myself trying.
Sober: I have never seen a more confusing parking lot configuration. I am stone cold sober and am still receiving directions on where to park by Drunk. We see awesome looking light-up swan boats and briefly consider bagging the Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular so that we can play on the boats all night.
High: OH MY GOD A SMALL CHILD JUST STABBED HIS MOM WITH A GREEN LIGHTSABER AND IT WAS THE FUNNIEST THING I’VE EVER SEEN. Also Drunk is bleeding. Also as we walk we pass several TVs playing the same montage of close-up shots of pumpkins set to the Ghostbusters theme song. I’m fairly certain this video was made by a 7-year old with iMovie.
Walking the pumpkin walk
Drunk: Oh my god the pumpkins are fucking beautiful. Me: “Can we touch them?” Sober: “No. We 100% cannot touch them.” I touch them. I really want to hop a rope onto a dock but Sober is worried we’ll get kicked out, so she says I can go on the way back. I climb on some rocks instead and watch the swan boats on the lake and all I want in life is to be on a purple swan boat.
Sober: We have a great start when Drunk walks directly into the exhibition rope. I have never felt more like a parent. After every two steps, I call for Drunk and High to make sure they are right by my side. I probably lose Drunk once every three minutes, which makes High laugh…a lot. High is an instigator, convincing Drunk to do shit like travel on the closed-off path straight to the wildebeests. I am not amused.
High: Why is the “exploration station” just an empty table? This is lackluster. Literally right now they are playing This Land is Your Land. I find it hilarious, but Drunk and Sober seem less amused.
Interactions with other Spectacular-goers
Drunk: I’m looking at a pumpkin and it moves and I freak out. Turns out it’s a person. Then the Jack-O-Lanterns start to look like BlogDH staffers, and I point out the Managing Editor and Editor-in-Chief. Another pumpkin looks sad. I pet it. I think it feels better now. (I had more interactions with pumpkins than Spectacular/goers.)
Sober: We run into one couple where the boyfriend/husband/brother/whatever takes a picture of his lady friend in front of every single pumpkin. At an event called The Jack-O-Lantern Spectacular, this behavior is the absolute worst. At one point, Drunk crosses a blocked-off section and starts walking on rocks on the water. Channeling my inner parent, I start yelling, “You come back here at once,” attracting a lot of attention. High stands next to me and laughs. One group of young female passersby clearly think we are all drunk. One of the girls says to the other, “Are you kidding me? Not one of those.” If only you knew, judgmental girl. If only you knew.
High: I’m not so much scared of the pumpkins as I am of the crowds of people closing in on me. A crowd just formed as Drunk tried to walk into the pond. I’m fairly certain I’m the one who convinced her to do that. Sober is mad at me. I just followed a mother and daughter for a good five feet because I thought they were Sober and Drunk.
Thoughts on the actual pumpkin carvings
Drunk: Sober has a friend that’s a squirrel. The squirrel is carved on a pumpkin. I’m scared of normal squirrels, so the Jack-O-Lantern squirrel is creeping me the fuck out. There’s also a Scooby Doo Mystery Van carving, and it’s making me crave Scooby Snacks. High and I talk about our munchies/drunchies. I touch more pumpkin carvings.
Sober: We are confused as to why the whole Jack-O-Lantern walk features different types of country and folk music (note: this makes a lot more sense in retrospect, given that the event was called Pumpkinville USA). Every state has its section of Jack-O-Lanterns. They typically have one pumpkin with a state landmark and another with the name of that state, except for Rhode Island,where they have Providence’s seal and a Family Guy pumpkin. I kid you not. The walk itself though was incredible.
High: Hahahahah I’m pretty sure they’re playing a Monkees song. I miss the Monkees. These pumpkins are clearly just colored with Sharpies. I thought these were going to be carved. This Spongebob pumpkin seems to have been made with a stencil.
Get us to those swan boats
Drunk: I re-pregame and then take the rest of my alcohol with me to the boats. The swan boats are the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen and I try to jump in one. Sober and High stop me and tell me we have to pay first. But it’s expensive, so I tell Jacob the 15-Year-Old Swan Boat King that I’m six. He totally believes me and we get on the boats. I get to steer; I hope I don’t get a DUI for this. I tell Sober and High to watch out for pirates. On the way back I expertly steer us through the pretty-light-tunnels that Jacob The Swan Boat King told us not to go through, and I feel super rebellious until Sober says she just saw a 40-year-old man do it too. I take my last shot and then try to climb on the back of the boat, but Sober and High yell at me to come back. I feel like this has been a theme of the night. Anyway, swans are so fucking majestic.
Sober: While driving on the most convoluted path from one part of the park to the other, Drunk asks me to keep driving because she wants to get more drunk before I park. After convincing the 15-year-old that Drunk is six years old, we get on the swan boats for the kids price. The swan boats are pedal boats, so naturally we put Drunk in the middle so that High and I can pedal. Drunk becomes our master of steering and selfies. We pass some kids in one boat who continuously yell “shark” at us, to which High responds with a movement that most resembles this.
High: I actually found our way back to the swan boats and I normally have a terrible sense of direction. Maybe if I smoked more I’d get lost less? Drunk keeps trying to convince the teenage boy running the boats that she is six years old so she can get the discounted price. I said something involving profanity and he called me out for swearing in front of a 6-year old. I told him she is deaf. We are now on a boat and it is neon and amazing. This is the swan boat equivalent of how I imagine a roller rink would be. The tunnel we just went through is exactly like the creepy tunnel they go through on the boat in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Drunk: Jack-O-Lanterns are kind of adorable once you get past the spooky. I want to take them all home with me. Also, swan boats are probably the best mode of transportation ever invented. And there’s no ProPo on the lake!
Sober: So much fun! If you have a way to get to the Roger Williams Zoo between now and November 3rd, I highly recommend it…but only for the swan boats.
High: This pumpkin thing was way overpriced. I too can color on pumpkins with sharpies but you don’t see me charging people $15 and calling it a ‘spectacular.’ The swan boats, however, were worth every penny. Plus, I’m pretty sure the kid running it and my little sister are destined to be married. I should really have taken down his number.