By Alison Huff of Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt
Atlanta, GA — In a study being released this week, doctors are now urging the public to avoid temptation and overindulgence in pumpkin food items during the autumn season. Hipsters, yoga-pant-wearing white girls, and suburban moms are at particularly high risk.
“September through November has sort of become notorious for pumpkin-infused edibles,” says Dr. Frank N. Stein, a world-renowned allergist and immunologist. “It’s in everything. Muffins, cakes, pies, coffees, candies, and even beer, for some ungodly reason. What people don’t realize, and what we are now discovering, is that daily ingestion of pumpkin can be quite hazardous to your health.”
Like the carrot (the pumpkin’s third cousin by marriage twice removed), continuous daily ingestion of pumpkin can lead to a bright orange discoloration of the skin. This condition, known as punkinemia, is soon accompanied by a thickening of the skin not unlike that of a rind.
We spoke to one anonymous patient of Dr. Stein’s who told us that she began developing symptoms after her eighth Pumpkin Spice Latte. “At first, I didn’t know what was going on. I mean, I stopped self-tanning about a month ago so it was strange when that orange glow started coming back, you know? My skin was very smooth, but within a few days it seemed to be getting a little bit tougher, almost like soft wood. I knew something was really wrong the moment I spotted a small leafy vine growing out of my pubes. That’s when I made an appointment with my doctor. Looking back now, I wish I would have done it sooner.”
In addition to the lattes, the patient admits that she had also consumed an entire pumpkin bread loaf, several pumpkin muffins, half of a pumpkin log with cream cheese filling, and a slice of pumpkin pie during a span of only two weeks time. “I just couldn’t help myself,” she says. “In the fall when the leaves begin to change and the weather turns cooler, I crave pumpkin in everything! Doesn’t everyone? This is terrible! What are we going to eat now?”
Dr. Stein told us that his patient is extremely lucky to have caught her condition early on because the effects of Pumpkin Overindulgence Syndrome (POS) can be devastating.
“We have witnessed some very disturbing trends this year,” Dr. Stein warns. “Stage I is when punkinemia sets in, and it only affects the epidermis. As the pubic vines sprout during Stage II, they flower and begin to grow new pumpkins like little dangling tumors. During Stage III, the patient will develop stringy diarrhea loaded with clusters of pumpkin seeds even if no pumpkin seeds have actually been eaten by the patient. If left to its own devices, POS will eventually progress to Stage IV: the staggered loosening of one’s teeth, resulting in a grotesque jack-o-lantern smile after they fall out.”
We asked Dr. Stein about treatment procedures for POS. “When caught soon enough, the remedy can be as simple as detoxification. The patient remains in the hospital under surveillance, handcuffed to the bed if needed, receiving a regular diet free of all pumpkin derivatives until she returns to normal health—about one to two weeks. If a patient has reached Stage II, surgery is required. It can be very difficult to remove the pubic vines; anyone who has ever visited a pumpkin patch will have seen just how much they spread and how invasive they can be. It’s a tricky operation but we have achieved very successful results.”
“Stage III is treated with a combination of surgery and a completely liquid diet administered through an intravenous tube. When the patient is starved of all solid foods, her body will eventually stop manufacturing seeds and pulp. It can be an uncomfortable period so we recommend inducing coma until the worst of it passes.”
The outlook for Stage IV, however, is grim. “When a patient reaches Stage IV, it’s all over,” Stein laments. “The pumpkin essence has taken control over the patient’s entire body and she is left to live out her days as a human squash. It’s a tragic fate. The condition itself is not deadly, but there is no known cure at this time.”
We managed to speak with Annabelle Landry, a victim of Stage IV POS. “Itth not tho terrible,” she says. “I’ve managed to find full time work ath a thcarecrow in a nearby field. The pay ith great and I get to be outdoorth all day. The wortht part of it ith when my poor huthband, Peter, getth teathed about being a pumpkin eater. ‘Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater,’ they alwayth chant at him everywhere he goeth. People can be tho mean.”
Dr. Stein will be taking part in a press conference later today but for now he suggests that everyone limit their intake of pumpkin products during this fall season. “One slice of pie or a piece of pumpkin bread is not going to have any ill effect upon you,” he advises. “As with all things, moderation is key. Never before has the saying, ‘you are what you eat’ held more truth. If you eat nothing but pumpkin, it should come as no surprise when you turn into one.”
He strongly adds, “And for christsakes, stop drinking pumpkin beer. What is wrong with you people?”
About the Author
Mother of Doom and Destruction, Alison Huff is a writer who actually lives on a road named Mock; a move she felt was kismet. A contributor to anthologies and random websites that strike her fancy, she regularly writes for BLUNTmoms and on her own blog, Please Stop Putting Crackers Down My Shirt You can follow Alison on the Facebook and the Twitter.