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Gourd Morning

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Pat Novak greeted the world groggily, rolling over in bed to try and catch a few more minutes’ sleep. He had had a late night out drinking with Jocko Madigan, and was feeling a little worse for wear. Every time Jocko talked him into drinking, he overdid it. He could never hold his booze like his heavy drinking friend.

Speaking of Jocko, Pat hadn’t felt him in bed when he rolled over, an odd occurrence since Jocko was typically a late riser. He opened his eyes briefly to try and see where Jocko had gone when he was confronted by an orange monstrosity.

Pat would later say he yelled a dignified man’s yell, but Jocko would ague it was a yelp.

“What’s wrong?” Jocko bellowed, running in from the bathroom. He saw Pat flopping in the bed, trying to get away from the nightstand, where a pumpkin sat. “Patsy, Patsy, calm down! It’s just a pumpkin.”

He sat on the edge of the bed and used his big arms to hold Pat steady. He took hold of Pat’s chin, and gently turned his head towards the nightstand, where a large, dirty, slightly malformed pumpkin sat, motionless and in no place to startle anyone.

“A pumpkin?” Pat asked, his voice squeaky with confusion. “Why the hell was there a pumpkin next to the bed?”

Jocko chuckled. “Don’t you remember last night?” He smiled as Pat shook his head. “Somewhere between the fourth bar and the fifth bottle we passed a grocer. You mentioned something about wanting to spruce the place up, and I suggested you might decorate for Halloween. Next thing I know, you’re lugging this pumpkin around for the rest of the evening.”

Pat looked at Jocko in disbelief. “I carried that thing around all night?”

“Believe me, you’re stronger than you look,” Jocko laughed. “Plus you can be very determined at times. I couldn’t talk you out of anything last night.

Flopping back into the sheets, Pat groaned in embarrassment. “Remind me not to drink next time we go out,” he grumbled.

“You said that last time,” Jocko pointed out as he leaned in to kiss Pat on the forehead. “When do you want to carve up your decoration? The sooner you do, the sooner I can roast the seeds for us.”

Pat grinned devilishly. “I don’t know, I feel like staying in bed for a while. And I’ve been told I can be rather persuasive,” he said, pulling Jocko down to him.