Sunday, October 26, 2014

the further adventures of tiny, amazing Lola

Recently we ran across some art Lola did when she was younger.  She turned her name into an acrostic:

Legally a minor

Iris and I were slayed by the first L and fell about laughing.  "Really, Lola? That's what you thought was the most important thing about yourself?"  Luckily Lola had a sense of humor about her younger self as well and didn't take offense.

On Friday Lola had no school, and I took my tiny, amazing, legal-minor to a corn maze.  I felt ashamed of never having had this American experience.  It must be a midwestern and western thing, as we had lots of corn in New England growing up, but no corn mazes. My Puritan ancestors would have been horrified at the idea of wasting good corn on fools traipsing about idly.

At the corn maze, Lola and I got lost quickly.  We attempted to use our powers of memory and reasoning.  These powers were evidently too weak.   Lola asked with trepidation, "What if we don't find our way out?"

I reassured Lola.  "If worst comes to worst, we can make our way between the corn and get out.  We will do our best to gently bend the corn and not trample any.  And we have water."  We soldiered on.

At some point we came upon one of the two viewing platforms, where you could climb out a flight of stairs and look across the maze.  We decided to skip it, because we thought it would be cheating, and we regretted that as we wandered on in the maze.  Later we talked sorrowfully about that platform as we trudged on.  "I thought we were going to see it again," I said.  "I can't believe we didn't circle back to it."

Still later we came upon a viewing platform, and we were excited.  We climbed up and learned that using the viewing platforms was not cheating.  The corn maze paths were so narrow that all you saw from up in the air was a solid field of corn.  We did figure out, however, that we were on the very same viewing platform we'd scorned earlier and had been wandering around in the beginning of the maze for a whole hour.  Online we had read that the typical person spent about forty-five minutes in the corn maze, but we were not typical, and we were atypical in a bad way.  We decided it was time to adopt a basic strategy and turn the same direction at every single intersection.

After a while, we found ourselves back at the very beginning of the maze.  This was disheartening.  We were out of the maze, but we knew we'd only experienced the first third of it.  The lady who sells tickets to the maze also felt sorry for us.  "Did you try always turning left?"

"We started always turning right."

The woman shook her head sorrowfully.  "You could try again."

Lolz and I looked at each other.

"If you're going back in, you might want to do it before these kids start," advised the woman.  A huge group of tiny preschoolers was advancing upon the maze.

I grabbed Lola's hand and we ran in.  We methodically turned left at every crossing, which felt efficient but when we reached the first viewing platform (our third visit) we found the preschoolers.  They had beaten us there.  Disheartened we trudged on.  "We are people of the corn," we said.  We tried to sing a song the Sober Husband is fond of about a chicken in the corn, but we didn't know enough of the lyrics.  "Chicken... corn... la la la la," we chanted.

Eventually we came to another viewing platform, and we clambered up. "It's the same one," said Lola pessimistically.  "No, Lola, look! We're closer to the trees.  But where's the other one?"

"They took it down!" said Lola wildly.  "They took it down while we were in here!"

 We scanned the field.  Then a man came into view, climbing up on the other platform.  "Oh, there it is," said Lola deflatedly.

We climbed down and finished the maze.  We could see from how pristine the paths were that most people didn't reach this part of the maze.   When we left, the ticket lady congratulated us.  The woman selling pumpkins said, "You wouldn't catch me going in there.  How long did it take?"

"An hour and forty-five minutes," we said shamefacedly.

"They'd have to get me out the next day," said the pumpkin lady consolingly.

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