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Navigating through a corny maze

At a corn maze with five other parents and 11 kernels off the old cobs, the farmhands tilled the fields of green in our pockets, and we paraded into the unknown, staggered like ears on a stalk. Similar to a well-known horror movie theme, the corn closed behind us, obscuring the entrance.

Forward march.

The 4-year-old kernel cracked first. She looked about herself, panicked, cornstrophobic for certain. I got jittery, too; especially when people following me disappeared, one by one. It being October and all, I grew intensely corncerned.

Where had everyone shucked off to?

Cornreening around a bend, only to find numerous trails from which to choose, I looked skyward, to cornfort myself. A man in a 20 foot tall corntraption stared back. I ducked my head, but the Watcher spotted me anyway.

Faster and faster I scurried like a field mouse along the cornvoluted trail, stopping to listen for voices and look for clues, then darting again, while the Watcher watched. Then I saw it, an opening in the narrow passage. I rang the victory bell with gusto to signal to the Watcher that I had won.

My husband stalked over. "You finally made it out of the mini-maize," he grinned, his eyes saying, You're a cornflake. What took you so long; his mouth asking, "Ready for phase 2?"

I corntritely decided to sit and cornsume some water and nibble crumbs of cornbread, while the rest rambled into the cornsiderably larger maize. But before I could regroup, corn-fed Cornelius, the corn-cop, swaggered over with five corncuffed kernels. The Watcher had spied them rocking the corncrib. Cornelius said they had cornfessed to their crimes, and banned them from further crop circles, unless accornpanied by an adult.

The incident caused great cornflict amongst the boys. All shouting at once and pointing at the same 8-year-old, my crosspollination product, the kernels corncocted a mighty tale of cornruption. I cornected the dots to come to the cornclusion that my child had started taking furrows less traveled in his corncentrated efforts to master the maize.

I cornered him with a glare of cornsternation. "Breaking the rules affects more than just you," I schooled him.

"And now we can't corntinue," wailed the others.

"Apologize to your friends," I scolded, making him face the cornsequences of his actions.

With their pitiful bellows, they cornswaggled me into cornducting them back into the maize. Then I made the miscornculation of letting five 8-year-olds navigate.

After cornsiderable time retracing the same routes, I neared a cornplete corniption. I really, really, really needed to use the cornmode. I found myself evaluating each cornrow in terms of whether the Watcher could see it from his perch. I wanted to shout, "Corn you see me now? How 'bout now?" until I found the perfect planting plot.

And still the boys meandered in cornfounded courses, and me unable to cornmunicate with anyone on the outside and none with me suited for a recornnaissance mission. Sensing my desperation, a keen kernel corntrived a plan. "Let's do something bad. Then corn-cops'll come!"

Yet, I am the cornsummate regulation follower, lacking the cornstitution for cornpuffing out. I tucked my corn silks behind my ears and took corntrol.

With renewed cornviction, I plowed through the maize, corntent to let a kernel chatter corntinuously about how we would go faster if a monstrous cornstruct of his imagination chased us.

Despite the cornplexity of the tangle of tracks, I located the root path that led straight to the port-o-potties. (Corny, I know, but less cornpelling if I plucked even one ear from this cornposition.)

Web posted on Thursday, October 18, 2007

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