“omg. this girl is a wack-a-doo.”

-The Denver Post

Finally. Somebody has noticed my pumpkin. A major newspaper has mocked my belief that the picture on this pumpkin looks like Jesus.

I have sent pictures of the white pumpkin with the natural growth markings that look like a figure to quite a few media outlets now, with nary a word.

It’s no secret, I’m trying to sell it to fund my writer-induced-poverty and it doesn’t take a genius to see that I’ve been given a gift with this gourd. I’ve even received a bid on eBay for $100 so far (with 8 days remaining to place bids). And, for any bid above $100, I am going to give 10% of the profit to charity.

I’ve sent pictures of the pumpkin to several places:

I figured FoxNews would be interested, since we all know they are not a real news company.

I sent it to 9News in Denver thinking they might like to cover a local phenomenon.

Channel 4 also received a little email from me.

I sent it to Rachael Ray, thinking she might be able to help me figure out how to preserve this thing properly.

In case Rachael wasn’t interested, I sent it to the folks over at Martha Stewart, thinking she might be able to come up with a preservation method – or at the very least figure out a way to turn it into a tea cozy.

I sent it to the Boulder Daily Camera, figuring they might find it just wacky enough to print. (I forgive you, Daily Camera – with all the wacky in Boulder, this pumpkin truly is relatively unremarkable)

I have sent it to a couple of Motorhead fan sites. (What? If it’s not Jesus, it’s Lemmy, for sure.)

And on and on.

And of course, I have also plastered it all over my Facebook, sent out emails to friends (sorry guys!), and have even made an informative video in which I make the apparently blasphemous connection that my Jesus Pumpkin is on par with Mary Tortillas, Crucifix Cheetos, and Mother Theresa Cinnamon Pastries (my bad):


People have said it looks like the following:

  • Jesus
  • John the Baptist
  • Lemmy (From Motorhead)
  • The Hooded Led Zeppelin figure
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • A Wizard wearing the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter
  • The Gorton’s Fish Stick Guy
  • Swamp Thing
  • A Neanderthal riding a Woolly Mammoth
  • A Tramp (the lower face)
  • Mr. Ed
  • Jerry Garcia
  • Santa Claus
  • An anthropomorphic slug from Futurama
  • Moses
  • Methuselah
  • Tom Waits
  • Leonard Cohen
  • Hulk Hogan
  • The Grim Reaper smoking a joint
  • A Ringwraith

Anyway, like I said, I have finally been noticed by a major news source, and I’m stoked. I mean, sure the email came accidentally replied to me and was obviously not intended for my inbox, but that makes it no less of an endorsement, right? And I’m not that offended. I mean, they don’t know me from Eve. For all they know I am somebody who really truly believes with absolute certainty that Jesus has appeared to me on my pumpkin as a supernatural sign. I’m an absolute wacko. Or, “wack-a-doo”, to be more specific. And rightly so. I mean, imagine if I really *had* been a person with the belief. I deserved to be called a wack-a-doo by a major news source. I mean, what was I thinking?

Let them off the hook, you say. They didn’t mean to send you the email. It was something any of us could have done. Easy mistake. It was meant for someone else’s eyes. I even got an apology from the “Editorial Assistant” stating that they are rooting out the anonymous source of this offensive reply and that they will receive a sound talking to.

True enough. The Denver Post has every right to trash the religious beliefs or faith-related commentary submitted by its readers in the privacy of its own offices. Absolutely. Right?

Read the original story!

TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

ERIKA RAE is the author of Devangelical, a humor memoir about growing up Evangelical (Emergency Press, December, 2012). She is editor-in-chief at Scree Magazine and nonfiction editor at The Nervous Breakdown. Erika earned her MA in Lit­er­a­ture and Lin­guis­tics from the Uni­ver­sity of Hong Kong and to this day can ask where the bath­room is in Can­tonese, although it is likely that she will not under­stand the answer. In her dream world, she fan­cies her­self a kung fu mas­ter clev­erly dis­guised as a gen­tle moun­tain dweller, eagerly antic­i­pat­ing dan­ger at the bot­tom of every latte. When she is not whipping one of her 3 children and denying them bread with their broth, she runs an ISP with her husband from their home in the Colorado Rockies.

72 responses to “Erika Rae Endorsed by the Denver Post

  1. Simon Smithson says:

    This is a good day.

  2. Zara Potts says:

    I think Wack-a- doo is a great thing to be called.
    My Grandmother always used this particular term and she was awesome.
    Ergo – you are awesome too.
    Wack- A- Doo 4 Eva.

  3. Quenby Moone says:

    I love it when the completely insane stories have addendums! This is awesome.

    I met you, and I’m pretty sure everyone at the table that night would proudly wear the moniker Wack-a-Doo. It’s a badge of pride to be tapped by a news source with such a title.

    All Hail Wack-A-Doo!

  4. Lorna says:

    That’s exactly why we love you, Erika Rae! It’s your whack-a-doo that keeps me coming back to read your posts. You can bet I’ll be a purchaser of your book too.

    I’d love to bid on your pumpkin but we seem to be in the same economic condition. You’re a writer, we’re in construction. Boo hoo hoo. :'(

    We’ll persevere. I’m certain. You’ve been given a sign.

  5. […] (Want more to the story? The Denver Post just gave me quite the endorsement.) […]

  6. Judy Prince says:

    What would Jesus do about your being called “wack-a-doo,” Erika Rae?

  7. Beanie says:

    In case the pumpkin doesn’t sell, here are two other potential marketing opportunities:

    1. You could make a game for the iPhone: “Whack a Doo”? You will need to create said Doo and then Whack at it! Hmmm… what if you Whack pumpkins with religious symbols, like the one you found — the most challenging level of course would be the fatwa-inducing mohammed gourd. That is, if you want both the publicity *and* to go into hiding the rest of your life.

    2. There’s some poetically synergistic story since you are a wack a doo who used to use minipoo?

    I’m just sayin’. 🙂

    • Erika Rae says:

      Beanie, you’re brilliant. Except for the Mohammed gourd. Avoiding that one like a polka dot burkini. Moving on. I think we may have to work wack-a-doo and minipoo into my memoir title. It has a certain ring to it.

  8. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Who the hell says “Whack-a-doo” in Denver? I’ve lived in this state for 12 years and I’ve never heard that. I think that’s another miracle. The Holy Ghost Pumpkin stretched its hand (between puffs, of course) from your heaven-proximate boist up in the Rockies towards benighted Denver and said ‘Dude. I got marionette hoodoo over these punks. Watch me make them say “Whack-a-doo”‘

    I wonder what will be the next miracle.

  9. Uche Ogbuji says:

    Oh yeah, and I mentioned “This is Sparta” yesterday. Now *this* episode definitely calls for a techno remix video. Maybe you could use the old Agadoo song by Black Lace.

    Wacka-doo-doo-doo, push pineapple, shake a tree. Wacka-doo-doo-doo, ’cause it’s Jesus that I see…

  10. Aaron Dietz says:

    Hunter S., maybe? Or Hendrix. I see Hendrix a little bit.

  11. Lisa Rae Cunningham says:

    dippity-do leads to wack-a-doo. it’s finally time to thank your mother.

  12. The FBI was reported that Paul Krassner was “a nut, a raving, unconfined nut” and he’s been a popular counterculture figure for decades. He even named his autobiography after that assessment.

    I think you’ve just found the tag that has ensured your immortality.

  13. Sarah R says:

    Mrs. Rae,

    I sent you an email but haven’t received a reply yet, so I am taking a moment to write this here. First and foremost, I believe you are blessed among the blessed in receiving this gift from God. I have often longed for such a sign myself but have not been touched in such a way.

    I was incensed to read that the Denver Post would act in such a manner towards your spiritual beliefs. Had I gotten an email like that, I would have been traumatized I think. I sent a letter to the Editor of the paper and, as I indicated in the email, was shocked to get his reply. I feel I must confront you about what he said.

    You are pretending that the paper said something that it did not. I know this, because the HEAD EDITOR of the paper said that you were making this up. This is an exact quote, ma’am:

    “It is an internet fake. It never happened. Thanks for the email and the opportunity to correct this impression”

    The editor”

    The Lord has bestowed upon you a gift, a sign that He is ever so close at hand, and you respond by bearing false witness towards another human being in an effort to get attention?

    I feel as if my faith is being questioned by all of this, but I shall not waver. May God give me strength.

    • Richard Cox says:


      I’ll be curious to hear what the editor has to say when he tracks down the person who replied and is now trying to cover his/her tracks.

      All glory and honor is yours, Sarah, for bringing this response to light.

    • Erika Rae says:


      I’m confused. Did the editor think that the pumpkin is a fake or that the email I received from the Denver Post is a fake?

      I assure you, I didn’t make either thing up.

      Look, I don’t know if that image is really a sign or not – but it did seem to speak to me in a time when I needed it. I don’t know if it’s from God or just a random act of nature. The image on the pumpkin, though, is 100% verifiably from natural growth striations – and nothing by human hand. Probably I’m not the best person in the world for it to have appeared to. I’m no saint, but you know what they say about God and mysterious ways and all that.

      As for the Denver Post, I explained above that the quote was not something printed in their paper, if that’s what you’re thinking. I had submitted my story to them – quite sincerely – and I received an email back from the generic Denver Post newsroom email address that said those words. No more, no less. I ASSUME that it was sent to me by mistake – no doubt intended for someone else and accidentally “Replied” to me. Here’s the original text of the email:

      From: “DP Newsroom”
      To: “Erika Rae”

      omg. this girl is a wack-a-doo.

      —–Original Message—–
      From: Erika Rae [mailto:[email protected]]
      Sent: Wednesday, November 10, 2010 10:09 AM
      To: DP Newsroom
      Subject: Jesus pumpkin

      Hi Denver Post Newsroom:

      First, I know this sounds a little wacky, but just bear with me. (I
      know how you guys love unusual stories)

      I have a white pumpkin, which my mom brought me straight from a
      pumpkin farm. On the side of the pumpkin, appearing in the natural
      growth striations, is a figure. (Photo attached below. Face is upper
      left – in profile – not the freaky one in the center) To me, it looks
      like Jesus, although I’ve gotten some pretty funny other explanations,
      as well (the ghost of Jimi Hendrix with a joint hanging out of his
      mouth, Jerry Garcia, Lemmy, the Led Zeppelin guy, etc.) Anyhow, I’m a
      writer and am the nonfiction editor for a site called
      TheNervousBreakdown.com, so you can see my story and a special video I
      made about the pumpkin in the links, below (and yes, I’m selling it on
      eBay – what? I’m a starving writer! Anyway, I have 1 bid so far!).

      If you’re interested in talking more about it, I’m (obviously) game.

      Thanks for your time,

      -Erika Rae

      Anyhow, that’s how it played out. I did get an apology from an Editorial Assistant. I’m shocked that a representative from a so-called impartial paper said something like that about me, but hey. I guess I did expose myself by submitting something so personal.

      • Uche Ogbuji says:

        Whoa Baby!

        *Goes to get popcorn*

      • Sarah R says:

        First and foremost, you must believe that it is a sign. Never doubt the power of God and His ability to show Himself in unusual ways. You’re attempts at deception are are not as incredible.

        I have to tell you, as I mentioned before, that I have been in communication with the Editor of the Denver Post. I don’t know how to format this to look like yours does, but these are his words when I told him that I told you he said you were lying:

        Subject: Re: I am upset
        Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2010 22:37:45 -0700
        From: [email protected]
        To: Sarah Ranier

        I did not say anyone was lying. I just said what she thought was a fact is not true. If you or anyone else can factually prove it is true I will beg your pardon and rectify the situation. Have the person produce the email and I will follow up. There is a name attached to al emails. We can discover who sent it. I am the editor of the paper and I am confident it didn’t happen but I can always be proved wrong. I was just trying to give you factual information since you brought that to me. I would never call anyone a liar unless I had reason to question their intent.

        Now you tell me who is making this up? You, a writer of fiction? Or the EDITOR of a major newspaper that focuses its efforts on reporting FACTS after investigating them. I can promise you that after praying about this, I feel God assuring me that this man would not lie.

        Your punishment for using God’s name in this way could be eternal, though your fate lies in His hands and not mine.

        You say that you didn’t make up the pumpkin or the email, but I no longer know. It is wrong to lie to people, Mrs. Rae. So very wrong, indeed.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Wait. Are you suggesting that the editor of the DP is not a fiction writer? Are you suggesting that by virtue of being an editor, this person is truthful? Are you suggesting that by virtue of being a fiction writer, Ms. Rae is not truthful? Are you suggesting the Ms. Rae is not the editor of the Denver post? Are you suggesting that YOU are truthful? That you are not a fiction writer or the editor of the Denver Post? I mean, you could be anyone. You could be the only liar here. The internet is an interesting place. People can pretend to be all kinds of different people, can’t they?

          I can’t imagine, for the life of me, why Erika wouldn’t respond to your email. Liars, deceivers, impostors, OH MY! *sign of cross* *slam door*

        • Zara Potts says:

          All I know is that Erika Rae is one of the sweetest, most charitable, kindest, honest people I have ever met and it saddens me that someone who has never met her would make such uncharitable, unchristian, judgements about someone they don’t even know.

          Maybe this kind of attitude, Sarah – is why Jesus hasn’t appeared to you as you so fervently wish.

        • Sarah R says:

          I’m not certain how to make this stop, as I now get an email every time someone replies to me.

          Becky, I assume you were making an attempt at humor and not questioning my integrity. I am saying exactly what it sounds like. I absolutely do not think that the editor of a major newspaper would lie to me. Please don’t mock Christ with your “sign of the cross” comment.

          And to Mrs. Potts, I have prayed hard about my decision to confront Mrs. Rae about this. God has made me feel confident that she is making this up, and the REASSURANCES of the Editor at the newspaper are all that I need.

          And you cannot speak for Jesus. If Jesus chooses not to appear to me, who am I to question Him? He clearly has bigger plans for Mrs. Rae.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Truthfulness doesn’t derive from office–especially not job title. It’s an abomination of reason and any person with an ounce of sense in his or her head should reject it out of hand.

          I think the editor is probably not lying.

          I think the editor is not aware of what happened.

          Which is why he admits that he might not be aware of what happened.

          I would never, ever, mock Christ, as anyone here will be quick to tell you. Who I am very much willing to mock is you and the inexplicably, comically fervent, wild-eyed accusations you’re flinging at anyone who will stand still long enough to be hit.

          Stifle your pride and be careful where you cast those stones, Sister.

          Allow me to refer you to your bible. Ephesians 4:29

        • Sarah R says:

          I know my bible. Throwing verses at me does not make you right. I question your use of such verses, as God has commanded me to do.

          If the Editor is truly ignorant, why would he speak so definitively? He said, “I just said what she thought was a fact is not true.”. He said that.

          How is that unwholesome talk? God has entrusted me to rustle the bushes and send liars scurrying into the Light. In the end, that will build them up.

          Psalms 31:18 says “Let the lying lips be put to silence”

        • Gloria says:

          Wait… do you mean that every time you get an reply – – like this one here – – an email shows up in your inbox?

        • Gloria says:

          To be clear: every time?

        • Becky Palapala says:

          OH! Because an ignorant person never spoke definitively? REALLY. Lying lips be put to silence? Oh. Well, let’s just kill her, then.

          The contradictions in the bible are for Christians and theologians to figure out. Not me.

          I know that Erika is not lying, so one of a few things must be happening: The editor is lying, you are lying, the editor is misinformed, you are misinformed. This is logic. This is the way it works.

          If you want to sit here in front of God and everybody and say that God told you a person who is telling the truth is lying, you go right ahead. Either God lied to you or you heard him wrong. You are the only one here who is off-base. God as my witness. And I mean it.

          There is nothing else I can possibly say to help you understand that.

          I think you should sit down and think about what you’re trying to accomplish here and how well it’s working out for you.

          God knows you tried to do your part, no matter how clumsily. Sleep well knowing that. Certainly there must be a more fruitful battleground somewhere upon which to fight for the light. I think it would serve both you and God well if you were to go find it.

        • Sarah R says:

          I initially replied here because I heard the story of the Christ Pumpkin and was so incredibly excited to know that God was still giving people signs that He was near. When lies started being told, whether by Mrs. Rae (who I believe is lying) or the Editor (who would have come forth if he had made a mistake), I got upset. I feel like my faith is being tested. That is Jesus on the pumpkin, I know it.

          And then you intruded. Proverbs 26:17 says “Whoever meddles in a quarrel not his own is like one who takes a passing dog by the ears.”

          Why must you continue to grab this dog’s ears?

        • Erika Rae says:

          Um, wow. Sarah, you are doing a very good job with the task God has set you to do: bush rustling.

          I’m not really sure if I’m supposed to defend myself here.

          If it helps, I’m bothered, too, by that email you say he sent you. It seems a little harsh that the editor of the Denver Post claims so definitively that what I “thought was a fact is not true” – without investigating, I mean. It IS a pretty startling response.

          And I do, in fact, have proof. Both on the pumpkin and the email.

          I’m not sure about God making you feel confident that I’m making this up, though. That part seems a bit out of line – even for me.

          I wish you the best,

        • Erika Rae says:

          Oh – and sorry for not responding to your email yet, Sarah. I’m away from my own computer and am borrowing one without access to my email account. I will try to respond to you directly soon.

        • Becky Palapala says:

          Why would the editor come forth if he made a mistake? What on EARTH makes you think he is any more likely to do so then Erika?

          Intruded. Intruded on what? A public discussion on an internet message board?

          You wanted a private discussion and couldn’t get it. You made it public. Not me. If you’re going to shout like a lunatic into the middle of a crowded square, you’d better people will take notice. You must WANT people to notice. I noticed. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO SAY? We’re listening. You have my undivided attention. Rapt. Let it ALL out.

          Personally, I think you probably don’t have much to say at all. I think you’re bored and full of shit.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Damn. Gone through that titanic sized bowl of popcorn already. Off to get some more.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Actually, non-flip response required. Sarah, come on. The reason so many of us are “meddling” on Erika’s behalf is that we know her well, and we respect her utterly. We know very well that there is no way she is lying about the e-mail. The DP editor is not necessarily lying, but either he misunderstood your question, or he responded to you without first ensuring the facts. I guess I can understand that. He is bound to be defensive about such a silly gaffe by his staff, but I’m not sure how that gives you so much extraordinary certainty that the only plausible explanation is that Erika is lying.

          Oh wait. I remember that part now. You said you prayed and God told you so. Well the less I say about that, the better.

          You might want to consider this: If Erika was going to lie about an e-mail from someone at the DP, why would she invent one that said “omg. this girl is a wack-a-doo.”

        • Scott says:

          Because she -IS- a wack-a-doo. Duh.

        • Uche Ogbuji says:

          Hmm. Now that you put it *that* way 😉

  14. Irene Zion says:

    Erika Rae,

    You come out smelling like roses and they come off as idiots.
    I’d say it’s a pretty good exchange.

  15. Pssst, Erika, I think I have found my teacher from the freaky church school lurking in your comment thread. If she can autodraw the devil on a blackboard with her eyes rolled back in her head while singing Sandy Patti songs that’s the one!

  16. nick says:

    I love your pumpkin.

  17. Don Mitchell says:

    Erika, you know I was trying to punk you on bay, if punk is the right word.

    I think this Sarah person is doing the same. C’mon . . . Who among us is “Sarah?”

    • Erika Rae says:

      THAT WAS YOU?????


      The thought did occur to me it was a TNBer – of course! I should have gotten the Hawaii connection. Nice, Don. Nice. “I cannot tell for sure from your youtube video whether you really are a Christian. Anybody can say so but I don’t think you could hide if we could only pray together.”

      Oh man. You totally punked me.

      • Don Mitchell says:

        Ah, I thought you knew — I thought when I signed that second eBay email “Don” that it would be clear. Sorry. No, really.

        I was rather proud of that email, though.

        Now as for this Sarah sock-puppet — well, I’ve said what I think.

  18. Zara Potts says:

    The sideshow has moved onto David Wills’s post, Uche. Take your popcorn over there.

  19. Quenby Moone says:

    Who pissed in everyone’s cornflakes today? Is this International Hate on TNB Day and I missed the memo?

  20. It does sort of look like Jesus or the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz wearing a Jesus robe. Congratulations on being called crazy.

  21. Brin says:

    You’re awesome. I haven’t slept in a week, but I suspect I’ll be even more enamored with you once I have.

  22. […] more to the story? The Denver Post just gave me quite the endorsement.) This entry was posted in Blog and tagged angels, demons, devangelical, Erika Rae, evangelical, […]

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