Friday Night: "In Which Amy Intentionally Gets Lost"

Barbara, Jason and I went up to The Great Corn Maze of Vermont in Danville. We decided the “starlight” version (as opposed to the more regular “daytime” option) would be more fun and challenging. The drive up was long and lonely. We had to take an interstate to a route, then another route, then a paved road, then a dirt road and then another dirt road. Towards the end of the drive, my excitement starting giving way to fear.

I asked Barbara, “What if, when we get there, we hear screams coming from the maze? And then, when we ask someone about it, they’re like, ‘Uh… it’s just a haunted maze. Hurry up, get inside.’”

Finally we get there and are relieved to see about 20 other cars parked in the field. The nighttime maze opens at 6pm and ends at 10:30pm. We arrived at 8 and already some people were coming out.

We pay for our tickets, get glow sticks to wear around our necks and enter the maze. The corn is thick and about 12 feet high. We can hear other people talking and laughing, but cannot see them through the corn. Barbara, Jason and I each decide to take turns leading. Barbara goes first, with Jason right behind her and I bring up the rear. I resist the urge to turn around. Left, right, around. I’m already lost.

Do you know what not to say while in a corn maze?

“Hey, you guys remember the movie Signs?”

Everyone ends up spending the next ten minutes looking for alien legs disappearing into the crop. Great.

Barbara brings us, somehow, to a bridge. We climb the steps look out over the cornfield. There’s only a half moon out tonight but it’s bright enough to illuminate everything. There’s a man, one of the maze helpers, leaning against the railing.

“Congratulations,” he says, “You guys are on the right track. You just come into the maze?”

“About 10 minutes ago,” I say.

He nods his approval. “Keep up the good work.”

We cross the bridge and descend back down into the corn. It’s my turn to lead. Left or right? Left. I move this way and that, completely unsure where I’m going. Barbara mentions some bullshit about “following the moon”. I know that she only got us to that bridge by pure chance. Now, just one more right and-

“Weren’t we just here?” Barbara asks me.

Yes. I remember that corn stalk lying across the dirt path. I say nothing, though, and lead us off in a new direction.

Eventually, I have no idea how, we reach another bridge. This time, there are 5 helpers standing on the platform talking. We cross and it’s Jason’s turn to lead.

Here in this new section of the maze, there are many people wandering around. I guess no one can find their way out. We pass a man and a woman in the midst of a fight.

“We’ve been here before,” she whines.

“I don’t think so,” he says, but sounds unsure.

“I remember that rock!” she says, pointing to a small stone.

We leave them to their fight. Walking to the end of a path, we turn right. We see 4 small boys coming toward us.

“Hello. Hi. Hey. Hi,” they say and keep on marching.

It makes me feel uneasy to be moving in one direction and have other people moving in the opposite direction. Obviously, one of us is going the wrong way.

We go up an incline and the moon is so bight in our eyes, it’s impossible to see the path in front of us. Jason takes out his flashlight, which we hadn’t needed up until this point, and swings the beam from side to side. Right turn. Left turn.

“Okay,” I say once Jason has lead us in same circle for the third time, “it’s Barbara’s turn to lead now.

Using her “follow the moon” technique, she’s able to lead us to the same dead end twice.

“Out of the way, Kimosabe,” I say. “My turn.”

Barbara soon gets tired of my running/standing and scratching my head technique and pushes Jason to the front.

“Well look who it is,” he says, as we pass the same 4 boys again.

“Hey. ‘Sup. Hi. Hey.”

Throughout the maze, if you’re having trouble finding your way out, there are wooden posts here and there which have an arrow pointing you in the right direction. A wooden panel, painted to look like an ear of corn, is nailed to the post. One must simply slide the corn out of the way to reveal the arrow underneath.

We arrive one of these posts, which we had already passed a few times. Discreetly, Jason looks to see which way the arrow is pointing and we move off in that direction.

We need to use one more wooden post before we make it to the bell at the end. I’m so exited to be done with the maze that I tug on the rope three times. Barbara rings the bell once. Jason, on the other hand, rings the it 8 times before Barbara drags him away. Outside the exit, three of the maze workers are present to congratulate you on making it out (alive). We’re informed that there are a few games to the right, in case we’re interested.

“And then you just need to go back through the maze to get back to your car,” one of them says.

I look him in the eye. “Are you shitting me?” I ask. “We have to go back through there?” I jerk my thumb over my shoulder.

He lifts his hands and makes a motion to ease my hysteria. He says, “No, you can go that way,” and points to another opening. “It’s a more direct route back.”

Oh. Whew. If we had to go back the way we came, we wouldn't get out of the maze until morning.

The games to the right consist of a riddle and a tiny maze of hay bales. For this maze, you have to enter and navigate your way to the exit going straight and using right turns only. It was fun.

As for the riddle… I’ll try to replicate here it as clearly as possible:

There are 4 men that are about to be eaten by a Minotaur. The are named A, B, C and D. A and C are wearing black hats while B and D are wearing white, but all they know is that there are TWO white hats and TWO black hats. A is facing toward B, C and D (and vice versa), but here is a wall between A and B. It looks as such:

(A)-> || <-(B) <-(C) <-(D)

One of them must call out the color of his hat to save them. If he’s wrong, all of them will be eaten.

Who calls out the color of his hat? Why is he 100% sure of the color?

Answer: (highlight the area below)

C calls out “Black!”. A and B are staring at a wall, so they have no idea what color their hats are. D can see B and C, but realizes he has a 50/50 shot at guessing what color his hat is (because he also cannot see A). Thus, because D doesn’t say anything even though he can see what B and C are wearing, C knows that he must be wearing a black hat. D would have said “Black!” if C had also been wearing a white hat like B.

We ran through the direct route back to the parking lot and started the one and a half hour drive home. I think we got back at midnight.

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