I am a Midwestern girl through and through. There’s no denying it–my quasi-Canadian vowels and insistence on thanking the bus driver always give me away. Being Midwestern means making vague, self-deprecating gestures with one hand, while voting against your own interests with the other. It also means going to corn mazes.
Are corn mazes fun? That’s a surprisingly philosophical question. The idea of a corn maze–wandering around in the dark, eating cinnamon donuts, giggling with your friends as you run up against yet another dead end–is certainly appealing. The reality, though, is often hellish. Blame it on my bad sense of direction, but I always end up stuck in a corn maze for three or four hours. During that time, I can’t pee, or drink, or stop to rest. I can’t even kill myself, unless someone invents a way to make a pipe bomb out of corn. I’m trapped. Stranded in purgatory without any hope of salvation. Buried so deep in crops that not even God can find me.
Here are some experiences I’ve had in corn mazes:
- I was trapped in a one maze for 2.5 hours while a group of boombox-wielding teenage boys elsewhere in the field played Gangnam Style on repeat. A monster jumped out at me and my husband, at which point my husband panicked and accidentally pushed me into a mud puddle. The monster paused for a moment to question my husband’s masculinity.
- A girl I was with suddenly got the runs and decided to crap in the middle of the path. We got lost and wound up walking past the same pile of crap five times.
- A golden retriever appeared in the maze, and my sister and I were so desperate that we decided to follow it, reasoning that the dog was bound to find its way out–because of its acute sense of smell, I guess? Eventually, the dog decided to cut through the corn instead of sticking to the path, and my sister swore at it.
Somehow, though, I always manage to forget all this by the time the next corn maze season rolls around. You know how a new mother’s brain floods with bonding hormones to efface the memory of her labor pains, thus encouraging her to breed again (or maybe not)? It’s like that. But with corn.
But I was with friends, several of whom are from China, and I wanted them to have an authentic Midwestern autumn experience. So into the corn maze I went.
And…it actually wasn’t that bad. I don’t know if it was smaller than the corn mazes I’ve been to before, or if my companions just had a better sense of direction than me, but we were out in less than 45 minutes.
So maybe the lesson here isn’t to avoid corn mazes. Maybe it’s to always enter corn mazes with people who are smarter than you are.