United States of America: Recently, citizens of the U.S.A. have become concerned at reports that the supply of canned pumpkin is expected to fall short this year. In view of the great importance which Americans have attributed to the ritual use of pumpkin, President Obama has appointed a Special Presidential Commission™ to Study the Supply of Pumpkin Pie (SPCSSPP).
First, a bit of history: Since at least 1997, the pumpkin has been used by Americans for two distinct rituals. The first, involving whole, natural pumpkins, requires the ritual disemboweling and mutilation of said pumpkins, followed by the insertion into their interior of luminiferous objects, frequently even luminiferous objects that are actively combusting. The best available predictions by American numerologists and haruspices presage an adequate supply of pumpkins for this rite, cruel and macabre as it admittedly is. Unlike this first ceremony, the second pumpkin-rite uses only the digested and denatured flesh of the pumpkin. This product, usually acquired in sterile metal cylinders—although some Americans reputedly enjoy the grizzly process of processing the flesh themselves—is made into a pie which constitutes an essential part of the ritual. Initiates report that its consumption is followed by a period of stupor or insensibility, the effects of which, however, do not last more than a day or two. (A small, persecuted minority are reputed to substitute apple pie, or even, believing this the most humane option, doughnuts, but because of their persecuted status, we are unable to accurately estimate their numbers.) It is here, in the supply of pumpkins for this second ceremony, that a shortage is expected.
In response to this national crisis, the President has charged the SPCSSPP to do everything in its power to ensure a supply of pumpkins for the autumn rituals and to preserve the American Way of Life™. While the SPCSSPP is not officially permitted to involve itself in international politics, commentators have noted with concern that both our neighbors, Canada and especially Mexico, are pumpkin producers and that China has the world’s largest production of pumpkins. Inside sources have even speculated that a new drone being developed will be used for remote clandestine harvesting of pumpkins in foreign territories. We all hope that the Chief Executive’s prompt action will forestall any rioting or other civil unrest in the U.S., and we also hope that no international incident results from this shortage.
“The Pumpkin,” by Bartolomeo Bimbi. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons