Halloween 2022: Oct. 26ᵗʰ – Happy National Pumpkin Day!

I had no idea today was National Pumpkin Day. Probably because I had no idea there was a National Pumpkin Day. But I have some Halloween snacks to share with you, and some of them are pumpkin. Also, I’ll insult the pie making skills of a beloved local eatery, and impugn the integrity of a multinational burger chain. Come on in and take a bite!

If I had known there was a National Pumpkin Day, I wouldn’t have blown my wad on my Pumpkin Everything article over two weeks ago. Oh, well, live and learn.

Look, I’m not going to pretend I’m in a great mood today. I don’t know what you call the opposite of enthusiastic and hopeful, but whatever that is, I’m it. Plus grumpy. So if some of this comes off as sarcastic, angry, impatient, and/or just plain old fucking weird, well, that’s just good reading comprehension and emotional awareness on your part. Good on ya! Now collect your gold star and sit the fuck down. I’ve got Halloween shit to talk about.

In honor of National Pumpkin Day, I stopped by Frisch’s Big Boy to get a quick slice of pumpkin pie. The Neandertals working the kitchen put on quite a show for me as they slowly Frankenstein shuffled around the place, desperately but glacially searching for the pre-cut, pre-packaged pumpkin pie slices they are so famous for. Their repeated shrugs told me that they couldn’t find them. I watched these slack-jawed goons waddle and scoot like arthritic octogenarian penguins trying to remember where they stashed this morning’s fish. Frisch’s pies are infamous for being roughly 80% whipped cream by volume, but, as you can see above, they didn’t offer me any. I don’t think they knew where that was, either. All I ordered was a piece of pumpkin pie and a coffee, both of which were already made before I got there, and still I waited in my car for a little over ten minutes.

If you live in the greater Cincinnati area, you no doubt know that Frisch’s pumpkin pies are lauded as the be-all and end-all of pumpkin pies. They aren’t. They’re fine. The pumpkin pie spice mix they use is actually really good, but the pies are overall just okay. Often they’re WAY too dense; more dense than some cheesecakes. The bottom crusts are always soggy, which makes them infinitely better than the outer crusts, which crumble into a tasteless, choking powder in your mouth. Seriously, you’ll get sick of eating this pie halfway through the first piece. Stop acting like these are the best pumpkin pies of all time. They’re not even the best pumpkin pies I’ve had this week.

Oh, before I went to Frisch’s, I stopped by McDonald’s for a cup of coffee. I waited in the motionless drive through line for fifteen minutes before I abandoned the attempt and drove away. But while I was there I snapped this pic of this year’s McRib ad.

Hey, McDonald’s, how about you ease the fuck up? Unless you intend to kill me, I’m fairly certain I’ll have the chance to eat your overpriced sugar-meat sandwich later on down the road. You’ve done this song and dance before. Lots of times. “Oh, the McRib is going away forever!” And then the very next year, mysteriously, it reappears. The McRib has retired more times than Elton John, KISS, and Michael Jordan combined. You know what, McDonald’s? I dare you to get rid of the McRib forever. I fucking triple-dog dare you! You can’t do it, bitch. You’ll never do it. Because you’re full of shit. You’re completely full of shit.

COFFEE MATE ZERO SUGAR PUMPKIN SPICE CREAMER

You know who isn’t full of shit? Coffee mate. They came to play this year. I’ve already reviewed their pumpkin spice creamer, but this is the zero sugar version. This was new to me. How does it stack up? Perfectly. I can’t distinguish this from the real thing. So I’ll say what I said about the sugared version: 8 out of 10. Delicious!

SWEET CHAOS CANDY CORN DRIZZLED POPCORN

This stuff is okay, but not something I’d go out of my way to get again.

This is more of a vanilla and white chocolate flavor than candy corn. Not at all bad, but it appears my bag got overheated. The popcorn was melted into clumps, and had turned soft from the oils in the chocolate. Still, it was good enough that I finished it. 6 out of 10.

One of my Little Debbie Pumpkin Delights was born a cyclops. It doesn’t seem to mind. I don’t really have anything else to add, I just thought you should know.

HOSTESS SPOOKY TWINKIES WITH S’CREAM FILLING

Nope. The synthetic burnt chocolate cake flavor of this Twinkie ruins it. Twinkies are pretty much perfect as is. Why screw with the formula, Hostess? Change the flavor of the filling if you like, but leave the golden sponge alone. These are not good. I give Hostess Spooky Twinkies With S’Cream Filling a 5 out of 10. Nice try, Hostess. But not nice enough.

HOSTESS CREEPY CARAMEL DING DONGS WITH S’CREAM FILLING

Jesus H. Tap-Dancing Christ, how can chocolate and caramel taste this bad together? I really don’t understand what happened here. By any baking or confectionary metric, this should have been a home run. But it’s nasty. You can taste the chocolate. You can taste the caramel. But, somehow, they managed to fuck it up, because they taste terrible together. How the hell did you get this wrong, Hostess? This should have been an easy win. I give these little pucks of disappointment 3 out of 10. They’re just gross.

TWO-BITE PUMPKIN SPICE CUPCAKES

Holy shit. These adorable little cakes are better than just good. They are amazing.

Mandy found these somewhere, presumably at the end of a rainbow, being lovingly baked by beautiful, naked, magical virgins. These are wonderful. And the best part is that one serving is three cupcakes, so if you kinda have to eat three. I mean, what choice did I have? If you don’t eat three you’re just being rude to the virgins. Mandy and I each ate three just to be safe, and we are living our best lives now. Meanwhile, Mark and Dan ate just one each – not even a full serving between the two of them! – and they are looking older by the minute. Plus they each have weeping scabs all over their shrunken, useless penises. Curses are real on Halloween, yo! I happily give these an 8 out of 10. Thank you, magical virgins!

CHEESECAKE FACTORY BAKERY PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE

So apparently the Cheesecake Factory Bakery is literally a bakery owned by The Cheesecake Factory restaurants, which produces all of the restaurants’ baked goods. Normally that wouldn’t impress me much. Every time I’ve been to The Cheesecake Factory, the cheesecake was easily the worst part of the meal. This was served to me at Skyline, which, if you’re not from the Cincinnati area, is a chili parlor which is in no way known for its desserts. I don’t think they usually even have desserts. Which would explain why this thing was just haphazardly tossed into my bag, slopping the cheesecake and whipped cream all over the place. Not exactly the nicest presentation.

But, sweet mother of mercy, the taste. This stuff is HEAVENLY. And light as air. I’m not exaggerating when I tell you this is easily the best cheesecake I have ever eaten. And it’s better than most pumpkin pies I’ve eaten. It’s better than most FOOD I’ve eaten. Whatever you did to straighten yourself out, Cheesecake Factory Bakery, you did it very well! 9 out of 10. And, honestly, if I have a second piece and it’s just as good as this one, I may have to increase that rating. I’ve never given ANYTHING a 10 out of 10, but I’ll be goddamned if this doesn’t have me seriously considering it. This quality is unprecedented.

BORIS THE SPIDER & HIS BIG ASS WEB

There is a BIG spider that lives on my porch. I’ve never seen him before last night, when he was hanging right above my head while I was trying to unlock my door. I didn’t approve of that behavior, but I also didn’t approve of the idea of a big ass spider dropping on me to do whatever dodgy spider shit he had in mind. So I let him be. I decided he was a him and that his name was Boris. I didn’t bother him, and he didn’t bother me. This morning, as what I’d like to believe was an acknowledgement of our mutual non-aggression pact, Boris was sitting in the center an enormous, beautiful web decorating my porch. It was three and a half feet across if it was an inch, and it positively gleamed in the morning sunlight. And it was flawless.

Later, when I was leaving the house, I saw that leaves had blown into the web, destroying part of it as they twisted in the wind. Boris had abandoned the site, presumably seeking greener pastures. And I hope he finds them. I give Boris and his big ass web a 9 out of 10. I can’t prove it to you, but it was a work of art. I don’t know about you, but I take comfort in that. It’s good knowing he’s out there, Boris, takin’ her easy for all us sinners. Shoot, I sure hope he makes another web.

Well, that about does her. Wraps her all up. Things seem to have worked out pretty good for old Chris and Boris. And it was a pretty good story, don’t ya think? Made me laugh to beat the band. Parts, anyway. I didn’t like seeing Boris go. But then, I happen to know that there’s a little bit more Halloween on the way. I guess that’s the way the whole darned human comedy keeps perpetuatin’ itself, down through the generations, westward the wagons, across the sands of time, until we… aw, look at me. I’m rambling again.

Well, I hope you folks enjoyed yourselves. Catch ya later on down the trail.

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