Punkin Chunkin 2010 or bust
by Jennifer Cohron
Jul 18, 2010 | 2592 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
I never liked science in school. The material always bored me.

I could only memorize that energy is the ability to do work so many times between first and twelfth grade before I stopped caring.

What my teachers should have told me is that I could use science to do really cool things, like chunk a pumpkin over 4,000 feet or launch a Port-o-Potty.

Zac and I recently saw both of these amazing feats on the Science Channel.

Why was I watching the Science Channel if I don't like science? Because I'm too cheap to pay for the good satellite package.

The reasonable rate that our satellite provider offered as a one-year special ended around the time that Wyatt was born. Since most of our nights are spent entertaining him and vice versa, I chose not to pay $80 for programming that we don't have time to watch.

The basic package that we have now is limited to local channels, kiddie shows and networks like DIY, Food and HGTV.

The change hasn't bothered us much. In fact, it's been good for our relationship.

Zac is usually in charge of the remote, so we used to watch a lot of sports and shows like "NCIS" and "House." If a particular episode was grossing me out, we would put on one of my shows.

Either way, we may have been watching TV together but one of us was bored.

Now that we have fewer channels and time alone is more precious than it once was, we make an effort to watch things that we can enjoy together.

That's how we happened upon the Science Channel one Saturday night. The first show we tuned into was called "Punkin Chunkin."

I imagined big, burly men would spin around a couple of times with pumpkins and then heave them over a pole vault. I was delighted to see that the pumpkins were catapulted instead.

Actually, only some of the pumpkins were catapulted. Others were shot out of air cannons with awesome names like "The Big 10 Inch" and "Second Amendment."

The Punkin Chunkin World Championship is held each year in Sussex County, Del. The Science Channel's website describes the competition as "a three-day festival where hardcore engineers and backyard tinkerers trailer their gigantic, homebuilt contraptions with one common goal: to launch 8- to 10-pound pumpkins as far as mechanically possible."

In case you're wondering, the current world record for pumpkin chunking is 4,438 feet.

Just when I thought "Punkin Chunkin" was the best science show ever, "Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships" came on.

This show introduced us to the crazy characters who meet in Lucerne Valley, Calif. each year to launch their homemade rockets. Of course, most people are there to see how high and fast their rockets can fly. But the best event of all is called Low Altitude.

The goal of this competition is to have the rocket that reaches the lowest altitude over 100 feet. What's the fun in that? Well, it is fun when your rocket happens to be a Port-o-Potty or washing machine.

We watched them launch everything from a coffin to a Christmas tree. One man sent up his friend's ashes so they could hit the heavens and then scatter across the desert floor.

As an added twist, these objects must carry a parachute because they'll be disqualified for smashing into dozens of pieces upon landing.

Needless to say, Zac and I will be watching "Punkin Chunkin" and "Large, Dangerous Rocket Ships" whenever we can.

And as a side note to our neighbors, don't be alarmed if you see pumpkins or an old shopping cart flying over our house. We're just practicing.