Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Much More Amaizing Time

Last year, a very tricky maze won. Eddie and I found the end of the maze at Queens County Farm, but did not find all the mailboxes and clues for the crossword puzzle. You see, the object of the maze is not only to finish, but also to find the clues and the checkpoints. So this year when we saw it was a baseball theme, Eddie said we had to go there. I think baseball was only one reason; the other was that he's competitive and needed to beat the maze. I actually wanted to beat it, too.

We got there and saw the same crazy woman in the parking lot who hit the car last year. She waved us in as we followed a car with a driver who had no clue how to drive. I'd let him turn in front of me to go into the lot as to avoid his hitting my car. Then I got stuck behind him as he ambled in and did not know how to park. A few too many minutes of waiting and shaking our heads as the two parking attendants told him to back up and try again so he didn't take up three spaces with his little car. We got out of the car and walked away quickly to avoid being near them.

We went directly to the maze. We got our flag. We listened to the directions. We punched in and we were off! We found a lot of the mailboxes quickly. Really quickly. We kept commenting on how this maze was much easier than last year's. We sang along to Michael Jackson and Wham being pumped through the sound system. Every crossword clue was something about the history of baseball. The maze was shaped like a stadium with a batter and a bat and a dugout, so each section was colored and called something like outfield or infield or stadium. We found seven of nine sections.

And then we hit a wall. We walked in circles. We passed by the same sections over and over. We saw some of the same people over and over. We heard the guy on the mic at the end of the maze announce groups who were finishing and how quickly they finished. The sun came out. It got really hot. Once again, it was an October day and I was in a corn maze wearing a tank top and sweating my ass off.

We reached the "this isn't fun anymore" point. We weren't bickering with each other. We were both kind of yelling at the maze. It was the maze's fault we couldn't find our way to the other checkpoints. This year, we couldn't even find our way out--the check points and the out were in the same place this time since we'd found most of the other sections in order. So finding out would include finding the checkpoints.

I was entertaining people along the way as we passed by and I grumpily mumbled This is just impossible and There's simply no exit to this thing. Eddie kept saying things like No, we went that way and No, we went that way and No, we went that way.

Then we bumped into a large crowd of people going in all different directions in the middle of the maze. Two of those people were women who worked there who we'd passed by no less than eight times. She asked, So you guys need some help finding 5 and 7? I was like, Five, yes, just five and we'd be happy.

Basically, she was saying, You guys are totally missing where you need to go and you're never getting out of here if we don't help you and we don't want to see you pass by us again and even children are finishing this thing faster than you are so let me just tell you where to go.

She pointed and said, You might want to go through that way.

I really think the maze was rigged. We went into the place she told us to go and we were like, We've never been here! How did we miss this? With all of our twisting and turning, we'd managed to miss one path, the path that would get us out. I don't think it was there when we started. I think it closes and then opens up when you get to the point of feeling like an idiot.

We found checkpoints 5 and 7 very quickly and then found the end. We talked to the guy on the microphone who asked us how long we'd taken and we didn't want to tell him because we were simply ashamed. He said it was a respectable time since we'd found all the clues and checkpoints. We were average. Hooray for average.

He was wearing those shoes that have little slots for each toe individually. They freak me out. We left quickly. When we handed back our flag, the flag taker reassured us that our time was respectable for finding all the checkpoints and clues.

Aww, the staff has obviously been trained to treat everyone as if they are in kindergarten. Everyone is a winner! Everyone gets a prize!

We picked a pumpkin and checked out the animals after we rubbed off the shame. Then we headed home to carve a pumpkin and bake up some seeds to complete a fall-filled day.

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