Rural areas like Northeast Missouri are prime territory for corn mazes, such as the Clear Creek Maze north of Hannibal and the Swinkey Corn Maze near Monroe City. I have great memories of prowling through the corn maze at Shryock’s Callaway Farms near Columbia with some Mizzou friends (who did not grow up in the Midwest, making it 10 times funnier). They’re a fun, rustic and slightly spooky way to enjoy the autumn chill before the harvest.
Half the fun of visiting a corn maze is getting lost, as far as I’m concerned, but not everyone shares my view.
WCVB-TV in Boston reports that a couple with a newborn baby called 911 after getting lost in a Massachusetts corn maze after dark. The young family was terrified and needed help from a canine officer to find their way out. Click here for the video on CNN.com.
I really don’t know why a person would go into a corn maze with a child that small, but that’s beside the point. This young family apparently didn’t know about my three cardinal rules of corn mazes:
• Always, always, ALWAYS bring a flashlight.
• Make frequent use of the nice little courtesy maps. Now, maybe this family was using a map, and maybe they weren’t; it’s not a guarantee against getting lost, since corn mazes are designed to be confusing. But the first time I went to Shryock’s, I seem to recall the lone guy in our group (somewhat stereotypically) refusing to let us use a map, and we were lost for 2 1/2 hours.
• If you do get lost, try not to panic. Deploy your greatest weapon of all: your sense of humor. Oh, the one-liners that resulted from that 2 1/2-hour wild goose chase.
I’m glad to see that this young family got out safely. But if you think you, too, might have to call 911 to get out of a corn maze, I might suggest a less stressful Halloween pastime … like eating candy corn.