Extreme Pumpkins

You’ve got to love a guy who’s thoughtful enough to share his recipe for making fake blood. Tom Nardone is the guy, equipped with jigsaw, router, power drill, kerosene-soaked roll of toilet paper and, of course, pumpkins. Extreme Pumpkins, which he started as a web site, is now a new book published this month by Penguin. It’s a how-to for the brazen vegetable carver who wants to make a splash, or maybe a thirty-foot tower of flames is a better way to put it.

I chatted with the extreme carver recently.

Tell me about the device you’re working on that shoots flames thirty feet into the air.

It will be propane powered and it involves a couple of propane tanks (one storage, one vapor) and a 110-volt solenoid valve. It should be really, really cool.

It seems like the big time is beckoning with this month’s publication of your book, Extreme Pumpkins. Has Martha Stewart called?

We are working with a couple of shows. Letterman is a target for the publishers. They think that David will really like my techniques. I am working on a top-secret project that we are trying to pitch to Letterman. If it flops and they don’t put it on the show, then I will release it to the world on the ExtremePumpkins.com website. I am hopeful that it will land me the free trip to New York though.

Martha hasn’t called (yet) but they did call last year and I did send them a copy of the book. It wouldn’t shock me too badly if they did. I would like to meet Martha because I think she is a lot cooler than most folks think. Her pumpkin ideas are really good. I saw a picture of her house where she had a giant serpent made out of about twenty pumpkins. It was bad ass.

Any suggestions for pumpkin carving music for inspiration?

The book has a top-ten songs [list] to listen to when carving. They are all punk. Here are the top five:

  1. “London Calling” by the Clash
  2. “I Wanna Be Sedated” by the Ramones
  3. “Kick Out The Jams” by the MC5
  4. “Search and Destroy” by Iggy Pop and the Stooges
  5. “Straight Edge” by Minor Threat

On your site, you mentioned moving to a new house recently. Do your neighbors have any idea of what to expect this Halloween?

I don’t think they know what they are in for. They should start getting some hints soon. The first pumpkins are coming up and they should be pretty gross.