Just another corny fairytale

Published 10:33 am Wednesday, June 15, 2005

By By Lee Weyhrich
Once upon a time there was a newspaper reporter who had a really bad tendency to get lost.
If he was sent, for instance, to find some type of landmark that "couldn't be missed," he invariably ended up someplace that hadn't seen human life since the explorer DeSoto came through.
One day a farmer by the name of Colvin Davis came into his office.
Davis told the reporter that there was a corn maze in Bratt that would make a wonderful story because it drew thousands of people from throughout the land that thought being lost was a fun hobby rather than a daily occurrence.
So one bright sunny day (last Wednesday) the reporter set out on a quest to find the legendary cornfield.
Thanks to large signs with arrows, finding the cornfield was the easy part.
The reporter arrived at the field feeling pretty much like Christopher Columbus must have felt when he discovered that a town in Ohio had been named after him.
Anyway, Mr. Davis met him next to the entrance of the cornfield maze and said a few very scary words.
"Why don't you see if you can get through and when you get done we'll talk," Davis said with a grin.
"Aren't you coming with me?" the reporter asked hopefully.
"Nah, you can do it," he answered.
But unfortunately he was wrong.
The maze was labeled with alphabetical signs, from A to D that let you know you were going in the right direction, and signs that said things like "this is corny" or "corn cob lane" to let you know you were painfully lost.
The reporter, still confident with the success he had in finding the cornfield, set out at the entrance and made it to the letter D before becoming hopelessly, painfully lost.
This near to the end of the maze it was only a matter of time before the reporter found his way through to the end, he reasoned.
A cold wind blew threw the field and the sky blackened as the gods of irony heard this thought. In the distance thunder rumbled and lightning struck.
At this point the reporter began to pray. It was a simple prayer beginning with "please God, don't" and ended with an Amen that was quickly followed by giant raindrops.
Gale force winds blew through the rows of corn causing them to fall down around the hopelessly lost reporter. Long stalks of corn bent down and shook their leafy fingers at him battering him and making it that much harder for him to find his way out of the maze.
Then the clouds burst open and rain flowed from the sky, but this was no normal rain. It was Forrest Gump rain as in, "There was fat rain, and skinny rain, and lit-tle bit-ty sting-ing rain, and sometimes the rain seemed to come from underneath," or something like that.
Basically this was Book of Revelations rain and the reporter was LOST.
Since he couldn't figure out how to get past D, he reasoned, he would retrace his steps, go back to A and come out the way he came in.
Unfortunately with corn stalks broken over and ankle deep mud covering up his footprints this was next to impossible to do.
Davis fearing that the reporter might have drowned came out looking for him and within moments the reporter was sitting in Davis' living room wearing an old pair of sweatpants and a Masland work shirt thoughtfully loaned to him by the kindly farmer.
It is important to note that the reporter is roughly 6'4" and 250 pounds and Davis is roughly 5'9" and maybe 160 pounds.
The reporter, of course, was me and while the first half of the maze was extremely enjoyable I have to say the last half of the experience left me a little wet.
Lee Weyhrich is the managing editor of the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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