Mutant Pumpkin Mishaps Mar Halloween Carving Contest

Genetically-modified pumpkins seized by the World Agency for Nuclear Regulation after multiple explosions at Blacktip Island’s Jack-Off pumpkin carving contest sent more than 10 people to the island clinic. (Photo by Lee Paxton)

Genetically-modified pumpkins seized by the World Agency for Nuclear Regulation after multiple explosions at Blacktip Island’s Jack-Off pumpkin carving contest sent more than 10 people to the island clinic. (Photo by Lee Paxton)

A series of carving mishaps at Blacktip Island’s 31st Annual Jack-Off pumpkin carving contest left 11 people injured at the island’s Heritage House Thursday evening. Event organizers blame genetically-modified pumpkins donated by Tiperon-University Blacktip.

“The TU-B horticulture and nuclear science departments developed these fast-growing, super-sized pumpkins they gave us to try,” Jack-Off organizer Jay valve said. “As soon as the first knife broke the skin of that first pumpkin, BLAM! We had pumpkin goo raining down in a 30-foot radius.

“Folks laughed at the first one, then two more pumpkins blew up,” Valve said. “When fifth one exploded, people finally put their knives down and backed away. I mean, those suckers went off like cans of pork-and-beans in a campfire.”

TU-B scientists were stunned by the events.

“None of our theoretical models indicated that kind of rapid increase in volume or release of energy,” TU-B nuclear science department chair Ernesto Mojarra said. “Our working hypothesis is these new third-generation pumpkins developed a thicker skin that trapped the quick-maturing internal elements under a much higher pressure.

“It retrospect, we should have anticipated some volatility issues,” Mojarra said. “Raising a seed to a Volkwagen-sized pumpkin the three days, there had to be a trade off.”

Onlookers and contestants, some as young as 10 years old, are still in shock.

“Little Jimmy Bottoms took a blast straight to his face,” carver Ginger Bass said. “They’re still picking seeds out of his forehead, and I’m still blind in the blue-green range.

“No one warned us these things were dangerous,” Bass said. “I mean, sure, they glowed in the dark, but it’s Halloween. We didn’t think anything of it. Now little Jimmy glows in the dark, too. Someone needs to be held accountable.”

The World Agency for Nuclear Regulation has cordoned off the Heritage House grounds, citing public safety concerns.

“That site is red hot,” agency spokesperson Clay Geiger said. “Whatever was done to those pumpkins, we’re getting pings as far away as Jamaica. There’s no way the researchers didn’t know their gourds were dangerous.”

TU-B officials bristled at the criticism.

“It’s slander, these rumors the university donated the gourds as part of some double-blind study,” Mojarra said. “It was an unfortunate accident. Period. People are overlooking the positive in all this.

“Blast victims are showing unexpected secondary healing for a wide range of symptoms,” Mojarra said. “The Bottoms boy’s hyperthyroidism is gone, and Rocky Shores regained complete use of his right hand. We can’t undo the damage these gourds caused, but our hope is, with the right marketing, they’ll be able to ease some of the world’s suffering.”

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