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Thursday, December 1, 2016

THE CORN MAZE CARNIVORES

Artist conception of a killer Pumpkin.
By Ted Colin
Associate Editor
Humor News Nuts Publications

This time of year, the corn maze is a popular stop for many people looking for some fall fun. This year I received a call from the Van Wooten farm which is located in Grand Traverse County. The caller was Mr. Van Wooten .He was very concerned that some of their guests have been going into the corn maze but never coming out. The parking area was full of vehicles and Mr. Van Wooten was afraid that he would have to take out a mortgage on his farm to pay to have all the vehicles towed away. I asked him how many cars and trucks he was talking about and he replied that at last count there were 37 abandoned vehicles. I agreed to investigate the mystery of the missing guest. Gerrard, a coworker, agreed to help me look around the Van Wooten farm.

The Van Wooten farm has one of the most popular and difficult to navigate corn mazes in the area. The Van Wooten family has been farming the land for more than 60 years. The farm house was big and white. There were two red barns and several other outbuildings and two silos at the end of the largest barn. The farm raised primarily corn but, the Van Wooten family also sold fruits and vegetables from their garden and mini orchard. When Gerrard and I pulled up the driveway we saw Mr. Van Wooten standing on his porch waiting for us. I almost freaked out when I saw all the vehicles parked to one side of the house near the entrance of the corn maze.

There were about a dozen high school kids and a couple of families walking into the corn maze. Evidently the maze was still open for business. Gerrard and I went up to the porch where Mr. Van Wooten was standing. Mr. Van Wooten was about 35 years old, clean cut with a clean shave. Mr. Van Wooten greeted us “Hello Boys. What can I do for you?”

I introduced us “My name is Ted Colin and this is Gerrard my associate. We are here to investigate the problems you’re having with your corn maze.”

“Well,” began Van Wooten, “the problem is that a lot of people have been going in but not too many ever make it out. I even sent my dog in and he never came out. I’d go in myself but I’m allergic to corn stalks. I get all itchy and watery eyed and break out in a rash. My wife handles the business at the maze. She’s busy inside now with some housework. She just took in some money from those people over there disappearing into the maze. I sure hope a few of them make it out.”

I asked Mr. Van Wooten if he’d mind us looking around the maze and he said, “Be my guest. I won’t even charge you. In fact, if you can solve the mystery I’ll let you have any vehicle on the lot if you know how to hot wire it of course. I already checked them all and the keys must have gone with the owners into the maze.”

Before Gerrard and I could enter the maze, a horrible old lady appeared at the entrance. She was so wrinkled it was hard to find her mouth and eyes on her face. She had less than a hundred long gray hairs on her head and her skin was as gray as her hair. Her fingers were long and bony with long jagged yellow fingernails on the tips. She raised a long bony index finger and she gave us a warning in a shrill, dramatically slow voice, “Many people go in this corn maze but, few ever come out. Be wary or you will be its next victims.”

“Thanks lady,” I said. Then Gerrard and I proceeded into the maze. We did not travel more than 20 feet down the maze when everything became suddenly dark. We turned around and the entrance to the maze was gone. Nightfall had come and we were trapped inside the mysterious corn maze. We continued down the maze and found that around each bend in the maze there was a single lit teakee torch. After about the second bend, we started to encounter Jack-O-Lanterns. At first there were just a few down each corridor but suddenly, there were dozens. Each corridor was only about 50 feet long so we were surrounded by Jack-O-Lanterns. Each Jack-O-Lantern seemed to have the same grimacing smile with long, saw tooth like fangs.

“Every time I turn around I end up with my foot in the mouth of one of these Jack-O-Lanterns,” complained Gerrard. “I hope we don’t get in trouble for stepping on them.”

Suddenly, we heard some screaming and yelling ahead of us. “Sounds like it gets spookier up ahead,” Gerrard observed. “The people ahead of us sound like they’re having a really good time.”

“I guess so,” I answered nervously. There just seemed to be something wrong going on. I wasn’t quite sure what it was?
I found that my feet and ankles were constantly ending up in the mouth of one of the pumpkin heads. I had to keep kicking the Jack-O-Lanterns off my legs like I have to kick off Madam Misty Merkel’s dog. You can’t go over to her trailer without her dog all over you. The pumpkins were even worse since there were hundreds of them and they were a lot bigger than the dog. In fact, as we proceeded through the maze the pumpkins we were encountering seemed to be getting bigger. Finally, we got to some that were as tall as our shins. These seemed to have some red liquid dripping off the fangs. Gerrard and I figured that red jelly must have been used to make people think the pumpkins had blood dripping from their mouths.

Around the next bend we observed what we thought were fake blood soaked body parts lying around. We saw a couple of heads, some arms and a leg were stuck in the mouth of a really huge Jack-O-Lantern which gave the affect that the leg was being eaten. Then we came to a dead end in the maze. We turned to walk back the way we came but, somehow hundreds of large Jack-O-Lanterns were blocking the path. They were crowded on top of each other so high they rose above the corn maze.

“Well, we’re trapped," I said. "What do we do now?”

Gerrard shoved some corn stalks aside and said, “I think we can just shove these corn stocks apart and walk right through these rows until we get to the outside.” Gerrard started forward and I followed. After going through about 15 walls of corn we were on the outside of the corn maze again. To our surprise it was still daylight out. The sun had not set after all. We had only been in the corn maze for about 20 minutes.
Gerrard and I went up to porch where the farmer was still standing. “We didn’t find anything,” I reported to the farmer. “Nice special effects though with the fake bloody body parts and all the Jack-O-Lanterns.”

“Body parts? Jack-O-Lanterns?” said Mr. Van Wooten with a surprised look on his face. “There aren’t any bloody body parts or Jack-O-Lanterns in the corn maze. All we have are teakee torches. We don’t even grow Jack-O-Lanterns anymore.”
“Then where did the Jack-O-Lanterns come from?” I asked.
“Well boys,” Mr. Wooten began, “years ago we used to grow pumpkins that could one day be carved into Jack-O-Lanterns. We sold pumpkins to people that came out here and we even supplied many of the grocery stores in the area. Then one day, my wife went crazy. She started smashing pumpkins with a baseball bat. She destroyed them. She destroyed the entire crop and over there where the corn maze is today is where we buried them all. That is our pumpkin cemetery. The rotting dead pumpkins have been good for the soil. That’s why we can raise such tall thick corn there for our corn maze. “

“What about the old lady we met on the way into the maze?” I asked.

“Well, there isn’t any old lady here on this farm. My mom and dad are in Florida and my grandma moved down state to take care of her grandparents. “

“Wow,” I exclaimed. “When we went in there was this really ugly, gnarly, wrinkled up old hag that warned us that we might not make it out. She was really horrible looking. Her skin was gray colored like she was a corpse and she was nearly bald. She must have been a hundred years old. She was a real ugly old witch.”

“There’s nobody around here that looks like that son. I’ve never seen anybody as horrible looking as you just described. Well, it seems we have some more mysteries. It‘s too bad you didn’t find out what happened to all those people. One good thing that happened is that while you boys were in the maze a local chop shop called and they‘re will to buy all these vehicles for $500.00 a piece. I guess I don‘t care if the owners are missing. I’ll do o.k.”

“I guess we’d better get going,” I said. Then, just as Gerrard and I turned around to leave, the ugly old witch was coming up behind us. Gerrard and I looked around for a place to run. “That’s the old witch!” I yelled. I looked up at the farmer and said, “That’s the one I was telling you about.”

“Why that’s not an old witch,” he said angrily, “That’s my wife!

I spent the next day nursing my black eye with a piece of steak over it. My swollen lower lip was not quite as big as it was the night before. My ribs were soar but I didn’t believe any of them were broken. What kind of makes me mad is that my friend Gerrard just stood there laughing his head off along with farmer Van Wooten as Mrs. Van Wooten beat the heck out of me with her baseball bat. Now I know how those pumpkins must of felt and why they wanted revenge so badly.

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