MUNCIE, Indiana—Oliver Butterworth, 47, sits up in bed with two broken legs at Ball Memorial Hospital, grateful to be alive. He is an award-winning pumpkin farmer and something of a local legend in Delaware County, recognized for growing enormous pumpkins, as well as being quite an avid stoner. His visit to the hospital comes on the heels of a mishap he had this weekend hoisting one of his blue-ribbon winning, state fair pumpkins that he and his brother had converted into a giant water bong.
“It was Saturday afternoon,” explains Butterworth, “and my brother Brewster and me had just finished with work and were smokin’ some White Widow joints in the barn shortly after. We inherited the farm from our father and we’ve been growing these huge damn pumpkins since long as I can remember… I grow the pumpkins now, and Brewster, well he grows the dank weed.” Oliver gestures toward the end of his hospital bed where Brewster, trying to sneak half-a-hit from his bowl, silently nods in agreement.
Neither of the Butterworth brothers could explain how Oliver got pinned beneath the 650-pound pumpkin bong, “but suffice it to say,” explains Brewster, “somewhere along the way the thing got rollin’ and we just couldn’t stop the mother.”
The pair say that the oversize, stony jack-o’-lantern ended up pinning Oliver to the ground as the two looked on in disbelief.
“I can’t tell you whose idea it was to turn one of our gargantuan gourds into a water bong, but it seemed like a great idea, something we’d make into a Halloween tradition for years to come,” says Brewster, still with a hint of a giggle in his voice.
A paramedic present at the scene reports that upon his arrival he saw “one man caught beneath the colossal fruit and another man backing a Bobcat tractor against the enormous weight, and both men howling with laughter.”
After several attempts, Brewster was unable to move the massive melon off his brother, finally realizing that the tractor was in neutral.
“I should be out of the hospital in a day or so,” says Oliver. “We’ll definitely be more careful next time. I can’t wait to get home and try it again.”