Children Of The Corn

Nov 6, 2011 by

Or, to use a subtitle, who came up with this brilliant stupid idea?

The intent was there – getting together with friends and their kids so said kids can have fun. To create, as the Little Black Dress would say, “memories.” Sometimes it’s best to not go there, create the memory I mean. Because once it’s there, you never forget. And it takes decades of time before you can maybe laugh about it.

But no. We are going to create memories by golly. And so the three SONS of Thunder, the two SONS of Lightening, the DAUGHTER AND SON of Fire, along with the appropriate parental units, hit a fall festival.

And we’re actually having a good time and bonding and creating those memories. Until someone comes up with the brilliant stupid idea of trying the Corn Maze. I don’t know who actually came up with the idea, but I can assure you it wasn’t me.

Because we get to the entrance of the corn maze and the first thing they hand you is a flag on a long stick. And then you read a bunch of rules:  rules like don’t cut through the corn maze, stay on the path; don’t start a fire (I will come back to that one); STAY WITH YOUR GROUP (why yes, we’ll be coming back to that one too); don’t freak out because you are totally lost in a field of corn and are going to die as the corn stalks slowly bend toward you, wrapping their sheaves of gold ever so tightly around your body and take one of their ears of bountiful corn and ram it into your eye.

No, on that last one, you are supposed to remain calm and wave the aforementioned flag and someone will come to get you. Even if it takes a day or two. And hopefully before the corn stalks have done a number on you.

I bring up that last point because one of the more inquisitive SONS asked what I thought was a pretty smart question; namely, how long does it take to get through this pit of hell corn maze.

And the nice woman says some people have actually made it in about 10 minutes. And then she says some people … and she looks off in the distance, like she’s remembering something. Like a relative who died a slow and painful death.

Remember those memories I was talking about? Yeah, here’s why sometimes memories should not be created in the first place. Because we walk into the corn maze and the first thing I think of is that D-Grade movie, “Children of the Corn.”

It was decades ago, and as near as I can remember, it involved some children and some corn fields and some psycho minister. Thus the title, naturally. And basically, if you didn’t do exactly what the psycho guy said, you got sent to the corn field to be shucked.  Or stabbed to death with a bunch of ears of bountiful corn. Or something.

All I remember is 1. you never wanted to go into said corn field and 2. if you did get sent there, you were going to die a horrible death.

So I’m thinking about that as we walk into the corn maze.

And it takes about, oh, six seconds or so before the SONS of Thunder and the SONS of Lightening and the SON of Fire have totally violated Rule No. 3 – the one I put in big capital letters – STAY WITH YOUR GROUP.

As an aside, the DAUGHTER of Fire and her father went for a pony ride. She was the only smart one in the group.

Back to the maze of death. Basically, it takes another seven or eight seconds before the various SONS are all screaming each other’s names. Because they are already lost and a couple of them are already freaking out because some SON did not STAY WITH THE GROUP. And I look back and realize I’m only about 10 yards from the entrance to this incredible memory I got suckered into and I start walking back and The Dress looks at me and says, “don’t even thing about it.”


So we round up the various SONS complete with the STAY WITH YOUR GROUP lecture, which, as all parents know, is a complete waste of time. But as parental units, we have to give said lecture to show that we are, you know, parental units.

And that lasted about a minute – I mean the STAY WITH YOUR GROUP impact.

And suddenly we come to the proverbial fork in the road. And there’s a sign with a question and three possible answers. Depending on your answer, you go straight, left or right.

It’s at this point I should mention this pit of hell corn maze has a “theme.” Why a theme? I have no friggin idea. But the theme is “space exploration.” How does a pit of hell corn maze and space exploration tie together? Again, I have no friggin idea.

So the questions relate to space exploration naturally. And I’m just standing there waiting on the various SONS to tell us the answer because they are the ones in school and getting the education and should know this off the top of their heads because The Dress and I just wasted about a month of our lives building a space ship out of flour and salt and duct tape for some science project and as soon as we got them to school with said project they opened the car door and the project fell out and broke into a million pieces and our precious SON failed said project and we ruined his life forever.

And I’m still waiting.

There are some technological advances that I truly am thankful for, especially at times like this.  Because another dad and I do what any sane person would do in a similar situation – we pull out our smartphones and just Google the answer.

And we end up doing that on more than one occasion.

And that’s pretty much how this memory went. Some SON would violate the STAY WITH YOUR GROUP rule, everyone would start yelling and freaking, we’d hit another multiple-choice crossroad, Google the answer and move on. And the whole time I’m singing “children of the corn, children of the corn, children of the corn …”

Until the mother of the SON of Fire hits me in the arm.


So by now I pretty much have this “memory” seared into my brain. Time to get out. But of course we’re in the deepest, darkest part of this pit of hell corn maze and the wind is blowing and the corn stalks keep bending toward me and the sheaves are starting to wrap around my legs and …

I’ve hit my wall.

And I realize I have about 538 different ways to start a fire in my backpack, being the father of Boy Scouts and being prepared and all that. And I think if  I start a fire right about here, the wind will blow it and we can just follow right behind the inferno blaze and walk right out. And then I realize knowing my luck the wind will shift and the headline will read “Idiotic Dad Freaks Out In Pit Of Hell Corn Maze, Burns To Crisp.”

Somehow, after lots of googling, tracking down lost SONS and doing the whole STAY WITH YOUR GROUP lecture way too many times, we find the exit.

And I kiss the ground.

And I think the only thing that would make this an even super-duper gee-whiz bang better memory was if we had done this in the summer, in 100-degree weather.

And I decided I’d rank this “memory” right up there with sleeping in a cave.

The kind of memory where you think back and go, “been there, done that … and never again.”

But all the SONS said they had a great time. So I guess we’ll let them keep the memory.






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