America is in the throes of a maize maze malaise: People keep getting lost in corn mazes and calling 911.
The cool kids at Modern Farmer report that there's an uptick in panicky emergency calls from $12-a-head visitors to California's Guinness world-record-size Cool Patch Pumpkins corn maze. Open till 8, agro-labyrinths like this one get dark, cold, and lonely to a bewildered city-slicker who finds neither humor nor poignancy in the phrase "tourist trap":
No one drove that home more than a family in Danvers, Massachusetts, who set the gold standard for corn-maze 911 calls back in 2011. With sunlight fading, closing time passed, and the seven-acre Connors Farm maze proving no humdrum conundrum, the party of four called in the search party. What ensued was a recorded call that will live long after the corn that inspired it. A few excerpts:
Wife: "I'm really scared. It's really dark and we've got a 3-week-old baby with us."
Cop, after asking wife to hand the phone over to her husband: "Can you just calm your wife down and reassure her help is on the way?" (Cop: not a card-carrying feminist.)
Husband: "I just can't believe they didn't send anyone to come and check on anybody, the people that run this."
The couple was rescued by a K-9 unit (just 25 feet from the street!), though not before the woman delivered this final gem:
"We thought this would be fun. Instead it's a nightmare. I don't know what made us do this."
This used to be a country where people took their terror and loss of control over external circumstances in stride. What happened to you, America? Was it the hippies and the free love and the iPhones and the Candy Crush? No wonder we lost in Iraq.
[Photo credits: AP Images]