Shrunken Apple Head’s Birthday!

I’m on my horrible laptop, swiping power from a friend’s generator. The storm knocked out our electricity, and it might not be back for a week. (Fortunately, that’s all the storm knocked out. Our problems are trivial compared to the total insanity surrounding us. Good luck to everyone who was affected way worse.)

It’s around 10 PM Tuesday as I write this – just hours from Halloween. Of course, Halloween has pretty much been canceled around here. Parents were encouraged to put the kibosh on trick-or-treating, though I don’t doubt that we’ll still get a few knocks tomorrow. Kids have been waiting a whole month for this candy, and like the Whos of Whoville, nothing can put a damper on their holiday spirit. If there weren’t giant trees falling at every other street corner, I’d admire the romance.

I feel a little guilty writing anything at all, because man, we are surrounded by some awful shit. Anything I put here would seem trivial at best, disrespectful at worst. On the other hand, if I don’t do this now, Shrunken Apple Head will spend the next twelve months pouting like a mofo.

Today was his birthday. Not officially, but when you’re an apple, even a late birthday is pretty incredible. Shrunken Apple Head first appeared in a 2003 X-E article, and then several times more in later blogs. This year, he turned 9. Even after all of this time, he still looks like Doc Brown.

As you may recall, Shrunken Apple Head is big on birthdays – especially his own. You’ve seen his parties on more than one occasion.

Last year, the shindig was legendary. Wacky hats, oodles of guests – even music! Shrunken Apple Head desperately wanted 2012’s party to somehow top it, but Hurricane Sandy ended that dream in a hurry.

Harley was the only one who showed, because Harley is exactly the type to say “fuck you” to a growling super storm. It was better than having no guests, but only by a little. The truth is, even if I make a big fuss over Harley, he’s kind of an idiot. He’s obnoxious, he burps a lot, and not ten minutes goes by without Harley breaking something.

You can see the despondence on Shrunken Apple Head’s face. This isn’t the kind of woe-as-me attitude that makes me a proud parent, but at the same time, I hate to see my kid/fruit so upset on his birthday. I hope Harley can cheer him up in between the emissions.

Hey now, that’s a start! Can’t believe Harley remembered the cake. Sure, it’s halfway melted, but it’s still a Carvel cake in the style of a jack o’ lantern. I don’t deny that this is an imperfect birthday party, but with a cake like that, things could be so much worse.

Shrunken Apple Head’s look of shock is easy to explain. He wanted his slice to include the cake’s “pumpkin stem,” and couldn’t believe that Harley ignored such an easy request. It’s his birthday, after all.

Actually, the green icing stem was in there, hidden in the mound of ice cream goo.  Shrunken Apple Head would notice it not a minute later, and while I can’t claim that he cracked a smile, he at least stopped telling Harley to “go home go home go home.”

“Who’s Hariey?”

It took a second for Shrunken Apple Head to realize that Harley mixes upper and lowercase letters with total abandon.

“Oh, this is from you.”

Harley nodded up and down.

“What’s with the Christmas wrapping paper?”

Harley nodded up and down.

“Why did you use from instead of love?”

Harley nodded up and down.

Oh, sweet Jesus. Harley hit this one out of the park. It’s the complete Shrunken Head Apple Sculpture kit — the one with Vincent Price on the box! The elusive piece of ‘70s magic that inspired Shrunken Apple Head’s birth to begin with!

Now he could make a whole army of apple friends. Apple friends who won’t skip his birthday parties over completely minor natural disasters.

“Thanks, Harley. This is the best present I ever got.”

Harley nodded up and down.

“This set comes with the fake hair, right? It’s useless without the fake hair.”

Harley nodded up and down.

As Shrunken Apple Head continued marveling at the possibilities, Harley attacked the cake. He was determined to get a portion of the nose, eyes and mouth, all on one slice.

He failed. It was mission impossible.

Happy birthday, Shrunken Apple Head. Happy Halloween, too. Now stop being a brat.


121 Responses to Shrunken Apple Head’s Birthday!

  1. Just got a very special Halloween dinosaur in the mail! Great way to wallow in the season!

    And fashionable!

  2. Hi, Matt! My Halloween was great, even though not all of the houses on the block were open (due to Hurricane Sandy). I dressed as Miyuki Hoshizora from Smile Pretty Cure in her Snow White outfit from the 3DS game, with me carrying a stuffed animal of the series’ mascot, Candy, and the Smile Pact.
    Oh, and my sister saw some kids watching Garfield and Friends in their car when she was driving with my dad to get pizza for dinner. In case you want to know what episode they were watching, it was the second part of Snow Wade and the 77 Dwarves. And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Garfield and Friends watched in someone’s car. Two months ago, I saw someone watch the episode “Beach Blanket Bonzo” in their car. I guess Garfield and Friends is recently starting to get popular again due to the two sightings of people watching it, and some kids in my Spanish class saying the “lays an egg” line from “Wade, You’re Afraid!” over and over.

  3. Happy Halloween, Matt! Thanks for making this holiday even more enjoyable every year. I vow to step up my game next year!

  4. Happy Halloween Matt! Thanks for making this holiday even more enjoyable every year.

  5. Happy Halloween to everyone! Wishing everyone on the East coast a much better upcoming holiday season.

  6. I usually like to read all comments before I post, but I haven’t got the chance on this post.
    Happy Halloween! It was a simple one here. Took the kids out and put out the standard decor.
    Also, loved the “countdown”. I’m a poor person now, so I don’t get to buy all the fun stuff about holidays. I loved seeing all you took the time to show us and review. And Apple head being nine makes me feel really old.
    On to T-givs! Crossing my fingers for another parade review.

  7. As a Katrina survivor (and a Gustav survivor… and an Irene survivor… I’ve done this a few times, is what I’m saying), I totally sympathize with you Matt. The next few days are going to suck and before it’s over you’d be willing to commit acts of demon sacrifice just to get your life back to normal. But it will get back that way, I promise. Thanks for giving us something to smile at while your home is in such turmoil. Take care of yourself, man.

  8. I would like to wish Shrunken Apple Head a happy birthday. And I would like too see him take the opportunity to create his very own shrunken apple bride with the great birthday present that he received.

  9. But…but what about Mr. Weird Potato Man? Looks like their “friendship” hardly lasted a year.

  10. Today is my b-day! (November 1st)

  11. Happy Birthday, Gralf.

  12. Happy November everyone! Hope everybody had a great Halloween. This was the first time my wife and I had a house, so we decorated and handed out candy. Had maybe 30-40 kids and almost ran out of candy! Most of the kids were dressed up, though there were a few “lame Tshirt” costumes. It was great fun!

  13. Happy Birthday, Gralf!

  14. My, he’s gotten old. Don’t tell him I said that though. Has he tried an exfoliant for his burnt-like complexion?

  15. Got my poster, Thank you Matt, your artist definitely has some skills. It was great taking the kids around the neighborhood last night sometimes its the only time you get to see neighbors and family friends all year.

    Lets hear it for a holiday that makes it ok just to show up at each others doors and exchange entertainment for candy.

  16. Happy birthday Gralf!

  17. I have not gone back through all of the comments so someone else may have already caught the fact that there are 10 candles on the cake instead of 9. Someone needs to work on counting with Harley! ;-)

    Hopefully you will have power again soon and can get back to normal(ish) life again. I am happy to hear that you fared well in the storm. Did you end up with any trick or treaters?

  18. Hi Matt,

    Long-time reader/lurker, first time posting. I can’t believe I’ve been reading your site for at least a decade. (I was reading for a fair while before Shrunken Apple Head was born)

    I just wanted to thank you for being such an important part of my life (especially at the Halloween and Xmas seasons) for the past 10+ years. I was a high school sophomore or junior when I stumbled on your site, and now I’m through 2 degrees, and getting married. XE and DD have become a small but significant part of who I am today. Thank you :)

    Danny

  19. I just threw my Halloween punkin out into the woods behind the house, as I do every year. Sorry to see the old guy go. He held up pretty well considering I carved him about a week and a half ago. There have been years when that sucker basically liquified and I had to literally scrape it off the porch with a shovel.

    My Halloween is now officially over.

  20. @DJ D, at least your pumpkin lasted more than a week! I carved a massive pumpkin and even sprayed him with some stuff that was supposed to preserve pumpkins and he still crapped out 2 days before Halloween. Guess I just carved him too early.

    My wife told me to get rid of him because he was turning black (with mold) and had ants all over him. I picked up the pumpkin and it was all soggy and sloppy…it had rained the night before and he just soaked it up like a sponge! Poor guy, never had a chance.

  21. Didn’t do a Jack this year, but last years had ended up in the back yard, and flattened out, dried up, and disappeared that January.

  22. Even though its November 2nd, I have the overwhelming urge to make my own shrunken apple head. Like, two of them. I have never done this activity, but the exotic allure of shrunken heads calls to me.

  23. Well it’s officially cold in my neck of the woods. I’ve entered the part of the year where I’m pouring myself things to drink in anticipation that I’ll be thirsty for something almost room temperature in a couple hours.

  24. DJ D & Church – I carved my jack-o-lantern 2 days before Halloween(I bought him about 2 weeks before that). He’s holding up pretty well. Yesterday I came home from work, and it looks like some little critter(not Harley, lol), was eating away at his jagged teeth. I don’t know if it was a squirrel or raccoon, or what have you. There was just a pile of chewed up pumpkin in front on him. It made me laugh though, because I have never had this happen before. Usually, the pumpkins stay on the table on our deck, but we had to move everything off the porch as we prepared for Sandy.

  25. @Jason, I probably should have waited 2 days prior but I’ve been crazy busy and just carved him when I had time…at least I took some video of the finished product to remember him before the ants ate his insides and fungus took over his entire body.

    I miss you already Mr. Pumpkin.

  26. Happy 9th Birthday SAH! Just got my Internet and TV restored after Sandy and this was the first web site I went to. The last thing I saw online was the Madd Matt Halloween party. Hope everyone effected by the storm wasn’t too bad off. There are homes around here (LI, NY) that have been flooded out or outright destroyed. We took the kids trick or treating and there were plenty of other kids out to so Halloween was salvaged for us. Thanks Matt for another great Halloween countdown!!

  27. Wow, Shrunken Apple Head is already 9. Where does that put him, in the third or forth grade now? Time really does fly. Before we know it he will be off to high school and learning to drive.

  28. I imagine Apple Head driving in a apple juice carton with Snapple bottle cap wheels. lol

  29. Happy birthday Shrunken Apple Head!!!!

  30. In the previous post we were discussing the sale of the Star Wars franchise to Disney. I don’t know if anyone did or didn’t see the news but I saw today that Lucas will be putting the money he makes from the deal worth 4 billion dollars into education programs.

    It may be still asking a lot but perhaps this could steer people away from using George’s name in the same sentences with the word “rape” in it.

  31. For my fellow New Yorker’s.
    *
    *
    *
    The governor’s office says the 5,000 gallon trucks will be deployed throughout the morning and that an additional 150,000 gallons of fuel available to restock them throughout the day.

    There is a 10 gallon limit per vehicle, and cars will be be able to fill up right off the truck.

    The trucks will be sent to the following locations:

    Queens Armory
    93-05 160th St.
    Jamaica, NY 11433

    Bronx Armory
    10 West 195th St.
    Bronx, NY 10468

    Brooklyn Armory
    1579 Bedford Ave.
    Brooklyn, NY 11225

    Staten Island/Elizabeth Armory
    321 Manor Road
    Staten Island, NY 10314

    Freeport Armory
    63 Babylon Turnpike
    Freeport, NY 11520

  32. Skip, you’re 100% right. He’s an excellent guy! I wonder if the sale includes merchandise right.

  33. Not sure but my impression is that it does which is pretty crazy.

    I’m kind of conflicted on the grounds that I think someone else needed to have a stake in Star Wars for the sake of the franchise but Disney, I have some issues with. For one, Star Wars will officially never be in the public domain now, however long that would have taken (a very good while) is now plenty of time for King Disney to rewrite the Copyright law. Speaking of which, Lucas was relatively lax on people using Star Wars in non-profit fan projects. Disney sues children’s nurseries and farmers with barns for murals.

  34. over murals.

  35. Happy SNT! Finally able to stay in for one Saturday.

  36. What’s everyone up to? SNT topic?

  37. I have the same feelings as Skip Howdy about the Disney/Star Wars thing. I guess I am both happy about it, and anxious/nervous about it…Yup, that sums it up.

    Happy SNT, people! I wonder what Saturday Night Live will be doing tonight – I wonder how dramatically the show’s sketches have changed this week due to the hurricane and everything.

  38. Such a great night of watching old episode of Good Eats and researching the best way to brine a turkey. And I may be drinking Christmas tea. The grocery stores have switched to holiday goodies and I was forced to buy a lot of it. A lot of it.

  39. On the way home tonight I saw two houses with their Christmas lights shining bright…I am so pumped! I already envy Bill for having holiday goodies…I just ate some grapes…not very festive.

  40. My power went out Monday but I finally got my power back on yesterday. It was probably the longest I ever went without electricity.

    Do yourself a favor…have a crank radio with cell charger stored. At least you’ll know what’s going on with the rest of the world.

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