The fall season is the time for pumpkin spice flavored everything, pumpkin picking and carving, snacking on pumpkin seeds and putting out your best pumpkin themed Halloween decorations. According to Fox News, for Mike O’Neil of North Fulton, Georgia, the pumpkin themed decoration that he chooses to display on his lawn is an absolutely hilarious “mooning pumpkin man.” This pumpkin man of scarecrow-like stature is complete with a jack-o-lantern head and two smaller pumpkins to make up his buttocks. He is in a bent over position, and his arms are made to look like they are pulling down his jeans to “moon” people passing by with his pumpkin bottom. Fox News reports that O’Neil says he puts out this decoration to “make people laugh and have a little fun,” but there have been some complaints against this piece of Halloween hilarity. The Home Owners Association of O’Neil’s neighborhood reached out to him to complain that the decoration was offensive. I personally laughed my own pumpkin butt off when I first saw the photos of this genius decoration, and I did not find any offense in it at all.
Fox News reports that O’Neil has been putting this decoration out since 2008, and he has never received any complaints until this year. Despite the complaints, the HOA did not ask him to take down the decoration, but in response, O’Neil put out a sign in front of his pumpkin man that said “Censored by the GBHOA,” referring to the Grogan’s Bluff Homeowners Association. O’Neil took matters into his own hands on how he felt to best deal with the criticism he received, which I appreciated. The HOA did not appreciate this response, however, but I think it was actually a good move because it allowed him to keep up his festive and fun decoration while also putting out a message to his neighbors that it is censored, and therefore may be offensive to some residents. I can understand the problem if a neighboring young child saw this pumpkin man and decided to “moon” people in real life, but I think O’Neil censoring his decoration allows for others to make their own choice to enjoy it or not. It would be unfair of the HOA to ask him to take it down completely after so many years of putting it up without a problem.
Halloween is not really one of my favorite holidays mainly because of the spookiness that comes along with the season (I am not a huge fan of scary stuff). Since Halloween is so focused on the haunts and horrors, many of the decorations that I see around people’s houses this time of year are frightening, demon-like creatures hanging from their porches, enormous, hairy spiders that will crawl all over you and zombies missing limbs and busting out of their lawn graves. You cannot tell me that a harmless and smiling mooning pumpkin man is more disturbing and offensive than any of those those creepy Halloween decorations. I would much rather walk by a pumpkin man mooning me than a freaky, Pennywise-looking clown with blood dripping from its mouth.
The Halloween season overall comes with some pretty questionable and sometimes controversial decoration choices due to the major themes that the holiday brings. I appreciate O’Neil’s pumpkin man because it adds humor and lightheartedness to the season, especially for those who do not care much for the spooks. It’s festive for fall, it brings laughs to most people who see it and it was put up in good fun. It was not put up to be offensive. I see O’Neil’s intent for putting this decoration out as a man simply having a good old time trying to bring some laughs into his own neighborhood.