The largest pumpkin ever measured weighed in at 8,467 pounds. It was grown in 2003 by a Lewiston, ME bank manager named Trent McCaffrey. An amateur gardening enthusiast, McCaffrey had no intention of competing in state fairs, let alone producing such a mammoth specimen. In his many interviews, he insisted that he did nothing unusual — "Just Water And Fertilizer," as the headline in the Lewiston Sun Journal put it. At the time of its harvest, the pumpkin stood over 8 feet high, and had a circumference of just under 34 feet. Neither McCaffrey nor the local authorities had the means to move it, so an Apache helicopter was brought in from the Maine National Guard to airlift the pumpkin onto a flatbed truck. From there, McCaffrey began a triumphant march on the state fair circuit, crushing the competition (literally, in several cases) from Massachusetts to Wisconsin.
As the pumpkin mowed its brutal swath from fair to fair, controversy began to surround both it and McCaffrey. Debate raged throughout the competitive vegetable world, while increasingly heated rancor met the pumpkin at each stop. Many wanted it cut open to prove that it wasn't fake, while others wanted it preserved whole to be displayed at the American Museum of Agriculture. McCaffrey finally relented, largely because his employers were growing weary with his leave of absence.
And so, with great fanfare, the pumpkin was carved at a fair outside Madison, WI. The innards were indeed the genuine issue, complete with seeds large enough to be toilet seat covers. About half the fairgoers took it as a sign that God exists. The other half took it as a sign that God so does not exist. Like, at all.
When asked how it felt to be vindicated, McCaffrey said, "I'm sorry, can you repeat that? I couldn't hear you over the sound of me growing the biggest effing pumpkin in the world. It's pretty loud, you know, breathing life into the largest goddamn pumpkin that ever existed, ever, in the entire evolutionary sequence of gourds. So you'll have to speak up. Talk directly into my ear. Terribly sorry."