The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


October 31, 2012

BICKER: Knives are a girl’s best friend — at Halloween that is

CLINTON — I have been wielding a butcher knife like a mad woman this week. I can't control myself. My actions make Norman Bates in “Psycho” look sane.

Knives really can be a girl's best friend, just like diamonds, around Halloween. I've been using my handy, dandy butcher knife, along with some smaller knives, to carve pumpkins this week. After carving one, I found that I was hooked. I couldn't get enough. I loved cutting through my pumpkin's flesh and pulling out its slimy insides.

With my first victim, I decided to make a happy jack-o-lantern. I cut out her eyes, nose, a very broad smile and even a dimple to complete the look. As I stood back and assessed my work, I decided Michelangelo could not have done better. With a little bit of an inflated ego, I decided to grab another pumpkin.

As I sized up my next victim, with my trusty knives at my side, I decided to get a little fancier and a little darker. I grabbed a pencil and started to write the words C-E-M-E-T-E-R-Y across my pumpkin.

I didn't realize how long a word that was until I started carving each letter out. According to my watch, it took me about 45 painful minutes to finish those letters. After massaging a cramped hand for a few minutes, I carved some tombstones to finish it off.

In order to get the full Halloween experience, I borrowed some candles from my neighbor, Sandy, who lives a couple miles down the road. This really did the trick. Halloween came to life in a split second with the lighting of a match.

The smell of the candles sent chills up my spine as I turned the lights off. I then let out a deep laugh. I swear I could see my old dog's hair stand up on the back of her neck.

At that moment, I think Cordy thought I had indeed turned into Norman Bates.

If there wasn't enough creepiness in the air at my house, I decided to carve another victim Monday afternoon.

This time I decided to carve the letters, W-I-C-K-E-D, which was a lot shorter than cemetery. If you couldn't have guessed it, I did that on purpose. Why make the same painful choice twice?

After carving three pumpkins, I had a lot of pumpkin seeds on my counter. So, I decided to bake them. I covered a pizza pan with olive oil, spread out my pumpkin seeds, covered them with some more oil and sprinkled them with seasoning salt.

Since I had never baked pumpkin seeds before, I wasn't quite sure what temperature to set my oven.

Unfortunately, I set it a little too high to start off with. I cranked my oven up to 350 degrees. At first I thought I was hearing things, but then I smartened up and discovered the popping noise was coming from my oven.

My pumpkin seeds were popping right off the pizza pan and hurling around in my oven. To salvage my seeds, I turned the heat down. After that, my seeds settled down — lesson learned.

Baking pumpkin seeds creates a wonderful aroma. It's hard to describe, but your house will smell great.

I took handful after handful and stuffed them in my mouth. Thank goodness, Halloween only comes once a year.

Unfortunately, I think my knife wielding escapade is over for the year. It was definitely fun while it lasted.

Angie Bicker has been employed with the Clinton Herald since 2001. She can be reached at

Text Only
  • Dangerous Darkies Logo.png Redskins not the only nickname to cause a stir

    Daniel Snyder has come under fire for refusing to change the mascot of his NFL team, the Washington Redskins. The Redskins, however, are far from being the only controversial mascot in sports history.  Here is a sampling of athletic teams from all areas of the sports world that were outside the norm.

    July 29, 2014 3 Photos

  • Off and on the record Let us now praise anonymous sources.The new White House press secretary got into a familiar old spat with the White House press corps the other day over the use of anonymous sources.Josh Earnest — has there ever been a more perfectly named White Hous

    July 25, 2014

  • Be more informed

    Blame the city.That is a favorite pastime of many, including me at times. Driving over that pesky pothole or paying that annual property tax bill can lead to some choice words referencing the city. Nobody takes the brunt of being the scapegoat more t

    July 25, 2014

  • CCC thanks community, collaborators for successful movie night Clinton Community College would like to thank those who participated in the free outdoor movie showing of “Captain America – Winter Soldier” on the evening of Friday, July 18.We are grateful to have such wonderful community collaborators in the Erick

    July 25, 2014

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Better police needed for college teams enticed to cheat

    The NCAA once cracked down on colleges that went too far luring top prospects, then it targeted teams that lathered players with special treatment. That was until the NCAA's get-tough approach backfired, rendering it ineffective and creating an opportunity for those who want to play dirty.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Expectations too high for a rehabbing Woods

    Tiger Woods finished near bottom last weekend at Royal Liverpool, drawing out his drought of major tournament wins. Despite the disappointing showing, Woods' return to form remains a matter of when, not if.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Todd Akin's back again to talk of rape So, Todd Akin is back and he’s talking rape again.You remember what happened last time. The would-be Missouri senator torpedoed his campaign two years ago after suggesting in a TV interview that if a woman is a victim of “legitimate rape,” she is unl

    July 22, 2014

  • Sadness remains as two-year mark passes in cousins' case As most citizens of the Cedar Valley are well aware, July 13 marked two years since the disappearance of cousins Elizabeth Collins and Lyric Cook-Morrissey of Evansdale.The passage of time provides some semblance of healing, but the sadness, particul

    July 22, 2014

  • UI needs to keep its admission standards high There’s been a lot of talk lately — most of it coming from the leadership of the Iowa state Board of Regents — about the University of Iowa not being passionate enough about its recruitment of in-state undergraduates. Regent president Bruce Rastetter

    July 21, 2014

  • Vote fraud myths meet voting rights reality Before she was allowed to register and vote for the first time in Franklin County, North Carolina, Rosanell Eaton had to read the entire preamble to the U.S. Constitution out loud in front of three men in the county courthouse.Eaton is black. The thr

    July 21, 2014 1 Story


With the Clinton County Justice Coordinating Commission and the Clinton County Board of Supervisors discussing proposals to construct a new jail, do you think the time has come for Clinton County to construct such a facility?

     View Results