Westlawn Dining Hall hosted a competition throughout the month of October in which students were challenged to guess the weight of a large pumpkin. On Oct. 26, the pumpkin mysteriously disappeared. Now, in an exclusive inside scoop, the thief comes clean. 

A giant pumpkin. About 98 pounds. Where would someone locate a pumpkin of this heft? Hard to say.

I wanted it.

I needed it.

The orange monstrosity sat before me, ever-tempting me.

I woke up early the morning I did it.

7:30 a.m., to be precise. My roommates had an 8 a.m. class, and they woke me up. My eyes were groggy when I walked out of my room. Time to go to breakfast for the first time in months. 

When I got into Westlawn Dining Hall, there were no potato triangles left. Only a few oily crumbs remained.

The 98-pound, student-signature covered pumpkin coaxed me.

I felt it in my arms. In my bones. In the crisp fall air. The time had come. I walked back to my dorm at a casual, if slightly increased pace. I didn’t tell anyone what I was about to do. Any fame or attention was undeserved until I had results.

My keys — misplaced. Had to borrow my roommate Evan’s car without his permission. Sorry, roommate.

Just kidding. Not sorry. I did what I had to do.

I pulled his car up to the side of Westlawn at the front of the turnaround. I put the car in park, and opened the back door. Entering the side of the dining hall, my heart kept a normal pace. Well…maybe just a few beats above normal.

No one was at the front desk. Perfect timing. I reached out my arms towards the pumpkin, and lifted it up like a little baby. A 98-pound baby; more like an 11-year-old child, perhaps. A sixth grader. No matter. Adrenaline and hubris carried that pumpkin out to Evan’s car.

It took me forever to get that right turn.

Back to the parking lot. I parked in the Resident Director designated spot, just for a few minutes. The laws of nature no longer applied to me. The walk up the staircase felt like months. My armpits were sweaty. My veins were popping.

About 10 minutes later, someone snatched it from my room. I had posted the pumpkin on social media, and its location was made too obvious. My hubris had bested me once again.

A few days later, I was finally able to return the pumpkin.

The huge, orange (with a little white spot that must have been touching the ground during the growth process) 98-pound pumpkin was back where it rightfully belonged.

Let this be a lesson. That pumpkin belonged to the people. Its few days in the wilderness may have been unexpected. I took that pumpkin, and no one could stop me.