Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Corn maze

The Sunday School director and I took the teens and a couple of ten year olds to a corn maze this evening. For the uninitiated let me expand on exactly what a corn maze is. In brief, the corn maze is a tool of the devil.

Basically the experience amounts to wandering for four hours in the dark through tunnels cut in an endless cornfield, being jumped at random by guys in ski masks or clown make-up bearing running chain saws and or zombie looking creatures with red eyes waving (plastic) hatchets and swords. I'm pretty sure the ultimate goal is heart failure and death for the weak, thus fulfilling the farmer's sacrifice to the corn god, or perhaps, he just wants your soul in return for a quick exit. But I could just be being dramatic. It could be that the farmer is a sadist who simply enjoys torturing youth directors.

For a while, you take all lefts as one of the more self-assured sounding teens tells you and all seems well, but you lose sight of the entire group of them and wander (left) in the dark as they have the cellphone that's doubling as a flashlight and you have nothing. And then you try to sound cheery when the seventy-something year old woman you're with--the very slow feeble reason you got left behind--wonders if when they close the place if they search for stragglers or if they leave them to wander out at dawn on their own. You try not to remember everything you've ever read about cornfields and you especially try not to think about anything you've read by Stephen King about cornfields. But since you've become convinced, after two hours taking lefts, that you actually brought the children of the corn with you and you're also pretty sure they're already out, sitting somewhere eating popcorn and laughing at the old people they left behind, you can at least be sure that they won't be party to your demise. But you might be party to theirs, if you ever get out.

After the third time you pass the young man in the hockey mask with bloody hands, holding a roaring chainsaw, you finally spot a grown up in a uniform. At last! Someone who speaks your language. Since she's wearing a policeman's badge, you're sure she could never tell a lie and you ask her for the way out. Smiling reassuringly, she shows you a lovely patented map that tells you that all you have to do is go right for the duration of trip. Grateful and secure in the knowledge that you're finally on your way (an officer of the law, after all, told you so), you plunge into the darkness with renewed vigor.

The map is a patented lie. Another hour of going right, you wind up taking to one dead end after another and wander back past the nice young man with the hockey mask, the blood on his hands, and the roaring chain saw.

This time the seventy year old lady with you places her hand on the young man's chest, who is startled into turning off the chain saw. She looks past the Freddy Kruger mask, the blood dripping from his nails, and asks in a weak small voice for directions to the nearest place to sit down.

Freddy Kruger mumbles in a gravely voice, and points, gestures in circles, making lefts and rights with his hands, nodding or shaking his head at your questions.

If it's possible to look monsterously sheepish in a hockey mask, he manages it as the lady pats his shoulder and assures him of what a good boy he is. She then leads the way to the exit, slowly and carefully picking her way along the path. But you're patient with her. She, after all, is much older than you are and is probably exhausted and might need some help sitting down somewhere.

But something happens to her as you both hit the bright lights of the parking lot. She takes on a new increasingly quick stride, picking up speed, until she's half sprinting toward the group of youth waiting for you by the cars (with empty popcorn bags).

And wants to know if anyone wants to go again, her treat.

If anyone knows a good exorcist, I'm taking applications.


Debby said...

I've never been in a corn maze, but they're pretty popular here. I don't like scary stuff.

Isn't that ironic?!!!

Mary, gotta say, lately it seems like you're becoming empowered or stronger in yourself somehow. Not sure what's going on in Missouri, but maybe you could box up some of whatever it is you're having, and send it overnight express........


Big Plain V said...

Your well-crafted words brought back every horrific corn-maze experience I've ever had.

To me that's just not entertainment.

Mary Paddock said...

Debby--Thanks. I'll be happy to send you anything I have that would be of use. Frankly, I think you could use a baseball bat for a doctor or two and I have lots of those. :)

Ray--I don't find it as scary as I did simply exhausting and irritating. Maybe they're more fun when it's light out and there's no monsters. The only time I really jumped was when I was coming out of a tunnel lit with a strobe light (those I do hate) with bubbles flying and a guy with a mask stepped out of the darkness. The others simply amused me because I knew they were coming. My youngest, who is kind of fearful and hesitant on his own, needed me to stay calm so I did.