Let’s go to a corn maze, they said. It’ll be fun, they said.

Liz Marsh
Liz Marsh

Once again I find myself trudging through a dusty field in the unrelenting September heat (thanks, global warming!) staring at endless rows of corn. Several important questions running through my mind.

How did I get here? I did not express enthusiasm for this plan. I distinctly recall replying to the group text, “I find corn mazes to be unspeakably dull.” And yet, here I am.

Why am I sober? The only thing that can make a corn maze less insufferable would be to navigate it with a tasty fall beer in hand. On that front we all failed miserably, none more so than the Chatfield Botanic Gardens, who thinks it’s appropriate to send a bunch of sober adults wandering through corn fields.

How will I get out? This is my fault, I knowingly entered the corn. I had such hope when we started, we were all so alive with possibility. We didn’t even bother to take a map with us. Fools. If we should perish here, it is entirely our own fault.

I start to consider our life-saving options. Obviously we can eat the corn if it comes down to it. How hot does it have to be to pop corn? No matter, surviving on popcorn without butter and salt is somehow more depressing than just starving to death.

If only there were a liquor I could make with corn … and then it hits me, my favorite liquor of all! “Don’t worry guys,” I yell to my friends, “we can make whiskey from the corn!” They look at me, confused.

I busy myself with thoughts of our emergency distillery until the most chilling thought of all enters my head. Night. Darkness in the corn. That simply will not do. I cannot spend any amount of time in this corn, in the dark.

I hear a rustling behind me, most likely a murderer or a wild animal. I freeze, glance behind each shoulder. There is nothing but corn, not even a breath of wind to explain the noise. I think of all the sounds that the corn must make at night. A howling perhaps? Surely the corn screams in the dark.

My friend Matt has offered to “Hulk” through the corn, Jeanine suggests we eat our way out. I feel we’ve made a grave error in allowing baby Josh to select our route. I look up at the setting sun. It may only be 4 in the afternoon but I can feel the daylight waning. The corn begins to close in around me.

Suddenly I see a familiar face. It’s the other half of our group, whom I had completely forgotten about in my corn-induced panic. Follow us, they say, we know the way out. A twist, then a turn and just like that, we’re out. There is no glory in our escape. I am now bored once again, yet I am also humbled by the corn.

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