Commentary

printed 05/03/2019

The idea that staging Punkin Chunkin in the inlet parking lot would be good for Ocean City requires some thought, especially since critics of the proposal have already begun to chirp about it.

If the event obtains permission from the Coast Guard to fire some 300 orange orbs up to 4,000 feet out into the ocean, and if all other regulatory bodies that might have a say concur, the primary issue to be considered is what harm would this do?

Despite the argument that throwing anything in the ocean is bad, pumpkins apparently won’t do anything other than absorb poisonous heavy metals already present in the marine environment because of other sources of pollution.

That absorption will only occur, according to studies of this fruit’s ability to clean up drinking water, if the pumpkin breaks up on impact. Otherwise, as many elementary school experiments have shown, pumpkins float. And that means, pumpkins that don’t break up in flight or otherwise, can be collected and returned to shore if necessary.

Concerns also have been expressed that there’s a degree of rowdiness associated with Punkin Chunkin fans because of their likely consumption of alcohol.

Bear in mind, however, that the people most likely to attend the event will be the same ones who visit here in season and take advantage of the resort area’s 80-plus liquor license-holding establishments.

Besides, November isn’t so bustling with activity that the police department can’t handle even a good-sized spike in the weekend population.

Then, too, some people believe that Punkin Chunkin just isn’t appropriate for the kind of resort they’d like to think we have, but haven’t had since at least the late 1960s.

So let’s review: no harm done to the ocean environment and no difference in the sort of people drawn to town. Add to that it’s a family event, with no excessive noise, guarantees regional television coverage and maybe more. Just one more thing: it sounds like fun, which should align nicely with Ocean City’s new “The Fun Family” ad campaign.

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