Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Punkin Chunkin’!!

Have you ever heard of Punkin Chunkin’? If you have, you can officially consider yourself a redneck at heart. Usually, when people come visit me for the first time, I try to find a good, old fashioned tractor pull to take them to, just so they can say they truly experienced life in “the country”. Well, my dear friends, I have discovered a new redneck game. It is called, as you may have guessed, Punkin Chunkin’.

What is Punkin Chunkin’? You may ask....

Well, basically, this is a bunch of good-ol-boys, holing up in their machine sheds under the guise of night, designing, building, and fine tuning their own personal version of a potato gun. A canon, if you will. Only...much bigger. And more powerful. I imagine Tim “the tool man” Taylor having these in his garage....with the end sticking out a hole in the roof....and lots of male-ego-grunting going on with his buddies....and the faint sound of an ambulance siren in the distance, growing closer and closer....
Notice the name of this cannon....it says a lot...
THIS, dear readers, is a Pumpkin Cannon.

After witnessing the Punkin Chunkin’ contest at the Pumpkin Festival in Girard, Illinois this weekend, I think we should seriously consider sending a contingent of our country punkin chunkers in search of Bin Laden. For real. They scare me.
If you look REALLY closely, you can see the pumpkin shooting out of the cannon
These bad boys have propane tanks for air compressors (and no, I’m not talking about the little ones you attach to your grill), a huge barrel, and a whole lotta power. From what I hear, the world record for shooting a pumpkin is in the neighborhood of 5000 feet. Yes, I said five THOUSAND feet. The winners at this weekend’s festival (our very own Punkin Chunkers from Carlinville, IL!) shot right around 3300 feet. They use spotters in the field with GPS systems to measure distance, and after the distance shooting competition, they lowered the cannons and did a little target practice at a mini van, a camper, and a station wagon. We can safely say those vehicles were totaled. A chunked punkin really packs a punch!

Ty had so much fun watching the chunkers with his grandpa (did I mention my parents were in town this weekend?) that we practically had to drag him away.
Lucky for us, the local chunkers from my town made a special appearance at our own Pumpkin Festival the next day, just for fun and at lower power levels, and treated the youngins to a very special day when they announced that the kids could all take a turn firing the cannon. 
Getting set up to fire the cannon
Ready, Aim, FIRE!!!
My Little Man got extra special treatment and got to fire it twice (with Grandpa’s help, of course). He was in Little Boy heaven.

I’ve got to say, these guys are pretty impressive. They may need a little psychological help, but then again, it may just be a case of  “boys will be boys”. In any case, if you ever have the opportunity to see one of these exhibitions, I highly recommend it for an unusually good time.
Our annual picture of Ty at the Pumpkin Festival


NV said...

Awww ... Look at little Mister Ty. Can't believe how much he is growing. Good golly!!!

I SAW one of the Punkin' Chunkin' people Sunday morning!!! Their truck and ginormous trailer were taking up two bays at the Wal-Mart service center when I went to take Ladybird to get a new headlight.

scrambledhenfruit said...

Awww...I've seen Punkin Chunkin on TV but never in person. So cool!

Anne said...

I insist on a tractor pull next time I visit. I've been neglected in this regard! :)

Though this looks super fun. I want to fire one.