The yellow and blue team (also known as Young Adult Cancer Canada) have accepted me as their own. They have even decided to qualify me as a co-leader in the Edmonton chapter of their national organization. This was not my first encounter with the YACCers, and I knew they were a strange bunch of young adults, but what happened on Sunday, October 27 will forever mark me.
I arrived early at Mandy’s house, equipped with knives of varying sizes, a drill, and banana bread — normal Sunday gear — for today was the Great Pumpkin Reckoning. I knew Mandy, my fearless Localife accomplice, loved decorating for all holidays, but I was taken back by the vigour she held for gourd-death and candy. She had gone all out; streamers, gravestones, vampire mouth piece noise makers, skull mugs, treat bags, and a spread of delicious snacks bedecked her inviting home.
Our first participant arrived and carefully chose a pumpkin to murder. The carnage! Next, two more YACCers arrived, prepared to dismember the delicate pumpkin flesh. Then another soon arrived; she was hesitant at first to stab stab stab a design in to her own victim, but eventually the mob mentality sucked her in. Our final participant preferred to take in the view, perhaps even savouring the scene before him: the eight of us cackling with delight as the first guest took a second victim. I myself was taken in with this frenzy and carved another pumpkin. Then another joined us, and brought along the best-known gourd murdering fuel: cake and conversation.
Photos were taken to record our gleeful pumpkin-stabbing session, and posted for all to witness. We then carefully sorted the guts for the true prize of Halloween — the precious seeds — only to subject them to everything bagel seasoning and extreme temperatures! My predecessor even brought her four-month-old offspring to witness the butchery and inspire a true love for all things Halloween. Some of us decided to continue to horror by bringing a pumpkin home to eviscerate closer to the eve of ghoulish terrors and candy.
Satisfied with ourselves, we parted ways, knowing that soon we would gather again. I am forever altered by my experience and feel one with the YACC community, forever grateful for the unity around gourd death and the many other gathering we will soon hold.