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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Pumpkin carving made easy

The third graders in Tiffiny Santos’ class at Spokane’s Westview Elementary School have been my go-to youth advisers this year.

And they came through once again after The Slice sought advice about creating a Halloween classic. So let’s get right to it.

“If you want to turn a pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern you will need a pumpkin,” wrote AnnaLee.


“Get materials like a spone or a knife,” wrote Jaxon.

The right tools. Check.

“Cut open a circle around the stem,” wrote Jayden.

A circle. Right.

“Take all guts out,” wrote Jackson.

All of them. Out.

“Save seeds in case you want to make more pumpkins,” wrote Gavin.

That’s thinking ahead.

“Use a marker to draw the pumpkin’s face,” wrote Nicole.

Always good to have an outline.

“Use your imagination and carve it any way you want it to be,” wrote Myia.

I think that’s called expressionism. Or is it surrealism?

“Put a candle in the punkin,” wrote Ben.

Like a lime in the coconut.

“Then stick it on your porch,” wrote Tyler.

I think we’re about done here.

But before we call it a day, here are a few random jack-o’-lantern instructions from some first graders in Harrington, passed along by counselor Ginny Lathem.

“Kut the punkin” … “Git the punkin guts” … “Get a pumkin” … “Ckat the top of an git the gus out” … “Ingreendeets” … “Fined a pumkin” … “Cut the top off ” … “Take the gasts owt” … “Take seed owt fo the gasts” … “Get ingreedeeins” … “Get ol of the gots out” … “Droe the fase” … “Cut the fase out” … “Pot a cand in the jack o lantern.”

Hmmm. “Ingreendeets” and “ingreedeeins” make me think those kids were thinking of making a pumpkin pie as well as a Halloween decoration.

In any event, there might be some excellent computer passwords there.

Imagine signing on with “Kutthepunkin” or “Takethegastsowt.”

How seasonal. How festive.

Of course, nobody mentioned what some of us consider the most important step in all this.

Before taking a knife to your pumpkin, get yesterday’s newspaper and spread it out on the kitchen floor.

Today’s Slice question: How does your pet react to trick-or-treaters?

Write The Slice at P. O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email There are mature, responsible adults in our midst who smashed pumpkins long ago.

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