Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Shucking with your friends.

This Saturday, because our friend Liz was in town, some high school friends of mine - who usually post comments here on the blog, anyway - gathered in Canton at the Cagle's Dairy Corn Maize to traverse the 50-acre maze, eat some country-fried funnel cake and spend the day together. I took one of those cheap, disposable cameras along with me, occasionally forgetting to charge the flash, so all my photos came out looking like some blurred, hazy Sheryl Crow album cover. (OK, they're out-of-focus, taken while I was wandering blindly through that damn maze for 80 minutes, but I prefer to think of them as intentional and artistic.)

This is my friend Dena, who inadvertantly caused most of the people gathering at her Smyrna home to be late by accidentally giving them directions to an imaginary subdivision. (Dena is not actually taller than the corn. She's on a bridge in this one.)

My friend Steven, on his way to Dena's house, said he had to stop at both a Hispanic grocery store and a yard sale to get the right directions.

One of the women at the yard sale, he later related, said to him, "Honey, I don't think the girl who gave you these directions wants you at her house."

Concluding the story while wandering the maze, Steven said to us, "I always love being mocked at a yard sale."

Before we entered the Maize, which was largely filled with church groups and people with their kids, we jaded almost-thirtysomethings were told the official Maize rules by dairy officials. We were not allowed to pick the corn. (Fine.) We were not allowed to throw the corn at each other. (Fine.) We were not allowed to eat the raw corn. (Fine.) We were not allowed to beat each other up or anyone else in the maze. (Um, OK.) We were not allowed to litter. (OK.) We were not allowed to drink or smoke or use drugs while in the maze. (Um, if you insist.) We were not allowed to use foul language while in the maze. (OK, this is going to be a problem.)

The Maize, we were told, is policed constantly by "Corn Cops" who would punish us. (Upon hearing this, Liz the college prof mutters, "Did he just say 'Corn Cop'?) We could get ejected from the Maize at any point for bad behavior by these Corn Cops. (I hear Liz say, "I wonder if they're in uniform.") The Corn Cops were also there in the maze to help us find our way out. (Liz says, "Oh, I've GOT to get a photo taken with a Corn Cop.")

As you can see from the resulting photo, the Corn Cops only wear Dairy Staff T-shirts. I think Liz was a little disappointed, and I think this particular Corn Cop could tell that she wasn't flirting with him as much as she would if he'd been in uniform. (In her defense, he was a teen.) As a result of Liz's lack of enthusiasm for his Corn Cop prowess, this particular Corn Cop gained his revenge by giving us bad directions, though actually not worse than Dena's, three times.

As we wandered by the Corn Cop after yet another wrong turn, I looked at him and said, "You have a sick sense of humor."

The Corn Cop replied, "Hey, I'm in this corn all day. I have to do SOMETHING to entertain myself."

My friend CJ's wife Solenn, whom some of you readers may remember from other blog posts, was initially selected as our leader and given our team flag. She thus led the way as we walked into the Maize. (Of course, she didn't notice that there was a map on our team flag until we were far into the maze, but oh well.)

We were able to figure out a way around the foul language ban by using corn-based euphemisms.

For instance, I would say to Steven, "Hey kid, go shuck yourself!"

And he'd reply, "Suck my cob, Benjie!"

And I'd say, "No way, dude. I don't want to taste your corn seed."

Eventually, this caught on amongst the group.

CJ, Vic, Liz and Dena, I believe, started making naughty corn references.

The whole trip through both phases of the Maize took us 80 minutes, as I said. (Though Liz told us all to lie and say we finished it in about 20, so people wouldn't think that we weren't worth our college degrees.)

Then, after we left the wholesome land of the dairy, we all went to a good Italian restaurant and got drunk off bottles of Chianti.

It was a very, very good day.

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