Linus: There are three things I have learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics and the Great Pumpkin.

Soon-to-be-former candidate for President and recreational pharmaceutical consumer Michele Bachmann was in her home state of Iowa Tuesday night to make an appearance at a Satanic Halloween pumpkin patch and maybe scare up some quick cash in an effort to keep her campaign afloat. And she might have slipped into town and gotten away with it too if it weren’t for those meddling college kids:

Representative Michele Bachmann is committed to crisscrossing Iowa to personally impress as many voters as possible, but it is a good bet she won’t be returning to this college town any time soon.

Some 50 students from Grinnell College showed up at Carroll’s Pumpkin Patch on Tuesday evening, where Mrs. Bachmann had scheduled a fund-raising event on behalf of a conservative Christian group, the Family Leader. Soon after, police officers arrived and threw a cordon sanitaire around the students while Mrs. Bachmann toured the baby goat corral and pumpkin-washing station.

A few students, who had been alerted to the visit by an e-mail from the campus Democrats, unfurled signs protesting Mrs. Bachmann’s opposition to gay rights (“Pumpkins are the Gayest”). But there was no chanting and no heckling. Most students said they had come to hear her speak and to ask a question or two.

“Grinnell’s known for being a very liberal and politically active campus, but we’re very peaceful,’’ said one student, Jillian Johnson. “We weren’t going to throw anything. We just wanted her to talk to us.”

As students milled about waiting for the event, which was to start at 5:30 p.m., officers stretched yellow police tape across part of the farm, a popular family destination with hay rides and pumpkin picking.

Mrs. Bachmann’s spokeswoman, Alice Stewart, denied the police effort had anything to do with the students.

Nope. None at all. It was a crime scene:

But Mrs. Bachmann skipped a planned appearance in a hayloft festooned with her campaign banners, where students filled many of the seats. Instead she met privately in the home of the farm’s owners, Joy and Danny Carroll, along with supporters who had contributed to the Family Leader. Earlier this year Mrs. Bachmann was one of only two presidential candidates to sign the Family Leader’s Marriage Pledge opposing gay marriage, abortion and “Sharia Islam.”

Asked why she was avoiding the students, Mrs. Bachmann said, “This was never intended to be a big public event.”

Mr. Carroll, a former state representative, said the event was hastily re-organized so that donors to the Family Leader “had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Congresswoman Bachmann.’’

Michelle and the Carrolls probably spent the evening sitting around discussing pressing pumpkin grower issues like the scourge of squash vine borers, black rot, and sharia islam. Besides, there was a chance that all of the college students were lesbians. Even the guys.

Especially the guys…