Capitalizing on the Halloween consumer market but causing a community uprising in the process, one local store's lawn display featured a large inflatable holiday decoration comprised of two pumpkins and an extremely large, questionably shaped gourd.
Police in the suburban neighborhood of Royal Oak, Michigan reportedly received more than 300 calls asking for the removal of the "obscene" 12 foot tall object, while five automobile incidents were recorded at the intersection near the store.
"It does reasonably resemble the picture on the box", says "Halloween Time store owner, Marty Stickles, defending the product and his display. Sergeant William Peniston of the Royal Oak Police Department, also notably an associate minister at the Glorious Light Church, disagrees. "It doesn't look anything like two pumpkins and a long necked gourd", says Peniston.
Several interviews were conducted with shoppers in the area who had seen the display, but reactions were mixed. One man said, "Well, the shape of the pumpkins seems a bit odd, but the orange color is about right", while one woman offered a different view. "I could care less if that long thing in the middle is yellow and has a stem on the tip. I know what gourds look like, I know how long and smooth and firm and microwaveable they are, and that is clearly not a gourd".
"What in gourd's name is she talking about", replied Stickles with a grin. "I bought these things from the same inflatable supplier who makes Santa and Snowman lawn displays for Christmas."
When attempting to contact the inflatable supplier about the incident, no one would return our calls. Insiders at Holiday Inflatables, the manufacturer of the "Oh My Gourd" product in question say that a designer was recently fired over the incident. The now jobless man was later identified as Harden Steele, a former adult film star.