Madness reigns supreme in the world today, and then there is the Chagrin Falls’, bubble where the living is easy, nothing bad ever happens and it’s always sunny and 80 degrees.

We may not have problems like hunger or homelessness or the targets of genocide, but we do have our crosses to bear.

Every year at this time we are victimized by roving bands of bubblers (the children of bubbleheads) who nightly crisscross the land stealing Halloween pumpkins from porches and doorsteps for the purpose of rolling them down the town’s steep Grove Hill.

Many of us are infuriated by the annual prank and loudly and indignantly proclaim the activity may be tradition, but it’s still stealing and thievery is a crime. The perpetrators should be arrested, charged and either be sent to prison and suffer heavy fines.

Using time and energy to fight the beloved, unsanctioned is to spend time to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. It’s futile.

You would think after nearly half a century, people would have caught on by now. October is traditional pumpkin stealing season in bubbledom. Yet year after year they put out pumpkins and every year they are stolen.

We are told kiddies weep and wail at losing their pumpkins and are damaged for life, at least according to their parents who quote spending enormous amounts of money on pumpkins only to have their purchase snatched away in the night.

Dealing with the beloved (by some) tradition does not require knowledge of nuclear fission and the learning curve is not that steep. Don’t want your gourd gone in the gloom? We have some helpful hacks.

Number one: Bring your jack-o-lanterns inside in the setting gloom.

Number two: When shopping for your family pumpkin, buy another for the roll and mark it with a funny invitation to steal. With luck, the young felons will take the right one and not both.

Number three: Children saddened by the loss of their pumpkin will be comforted with the story of how only the very best are taken to participate in the roll and how proud they should be.

Number four: Who buys expensive $10-$20 pumpkins only to deface them? Try Drug Mart or Marc’s. The prices are more reasonable.

Number five: If you have little ones coming up through Chagrin Falls schools remember that while you curse it now, you will defend it later when your kids get to pumpkin roll age.

Until this year, the pumpkin roll has gone largely unpunished by the authorities. But some among us have said they sense a change coming for the beloved tradition. Maybe even its demise.

Police arrests of rollers are rare, but this year there were two mass arrests in Chagrin Falls and Solon with several would-be rollers charged. Here are some tips for the kids:

Number one: It’s a Chagrin thing. Take pumpkins within the Chagrin Falls school district only. Kenston, Orange and Solon people don’t understand and they shouldn’t have to.

Number two: Leave a thank-you note. It’s the considerate thing to do and think how surprised the “donors” will be.

Is the Grove Hill pumpkin roll fun or is it a felony? The argument has raged on for decades. Here’s the thing, the pumpkin roll is a force of nature and lo to the senior class that caves to the pressure and sits it out in the year they are in charge.

It may be of some comfort to know that pumpkin stealing is not a gateway crime to grand theft auto or bank robbery.

In fact, there are former rollers who are now pillars of the community. We know several police officers and firefighters who were champion stealers and rollers in their day including a top cop from a neighboring town along with district school teachers too.

So, everyone take a deep breath and thank whomever it is you pray to that you are not homeless, hungry or the target of genocide.

Plus, Halloween and the pre-holiday pumpkin roll will be over soon (if not already) and those stolen pumpkins you are missing would have begun to rot anyway.

A veteran reporter and columnist, Barbara Christian has been covering Chagrin Falls since 1967 and is currently responsible for Chagrin Falls village events, government and school board news along with her weekly column "Window on Main Street."

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