The Corn Maze

“Ready To Get Lost At Forneris Farms”?

We did!

I’ve been sitting in the house for too long, staring at all four walls recovering from my shoulder surgery. I’m back and at ’em now, veering from here to there, booking all comers, and when I found myself inside this morning…I STARTED TO FREAK OUT! I needed to go somewhere, but where?

Used to be I went to the movies. But that no longer makes sense. With untold hours of unwatched television on demand in the house, far superior to anything playing in the theatre. And I’m no longer twenty five, with my buds tracking me down to play on the weekend, as a matter of fact, I use the weekend as respite, I recover from the week. And everybody’s kids are out of the house and you get to a certain point where you’ve got no idea what to do with yourself.

And that’s when it hit me, I wanted to go to a corn maze!

I’d only been to one before, outside of Minneapolis. Where there was a tower in the middle in case you got lost, you could survey the landscape and find your way out, there was even an escape gate.

But not today.

Mr. Smartypants felt there would be no problem. If anything, I was worried I would go too fast, and that my fifteen bucks would be a gross overspend.

Boy, was I wrong.

So we drove to the edge of the San Fernando Valley. Where Forneris Farms had a cornucopia of Halloween attractions. Made me feel like I’d missed out. It was all about kids… Playing musical chairs with pumpkins, going on pony rides, getting their faces painted… But we were here for the corn maze.

So we paid our money and got our wristbands and the concierge gave us a map…

I don’t need no stinkin’ map!

And on the back side were clues. You see there were fifteen puzzles, and if you solved them you might win a hundred bucks, there would be a raffle. I didn’t want the money, but I did want the completion.

And the first couple of clues were easy.

But then I noticed there was a numbering system and we’d missed a few so I implored Felice to retrace our steps.

That was the big mistake.

I didn’t feel that bad at first, the woman with purple hair was confused too.

But then the sun came out and Felice started to wilt and I gave up on completing the entire puzzle but for the life of me I couldn’t find the way out. Having abandoned the map from the get-go, I had no idea where we truly were. Having not wanted to cheat, I was completely lost.

And the sorority sisters are marching by. As are the families with kids in tow. They weren’t stuck, what was gonna happen to us?

And while I stood there, contemplating the map, all wrong, it turned out, I asked this young Latino man if he had a clue. He did! He said we were in the “1”!

That’s right, at the top of the maze “2016” was spelled out. I thought we were far below that. So I asked, could we follow him?

Each of us has his own special gift. And this guy was a tracker nonpareil. He knew exactly where we were at all times. Well, he got stumped once, but he finally brought us to the exit.

I was relieved, but they’d missed a couple of puzzles and were going back in. This twentysomething and his tattooed wife and two young children. Isaiah took a liking to Felice, held on to her shirt. Funny how you bond when you’re in danger.

And as we sipped our lemonade I Yelped for lunch. I’m up for adventure. And the number one hit was Tortas Ahogadas, a Guadalajaran place only five minutes away.

The app took us there, but I was flummoxed by the menu, it was completely in Spanish! Never occurred to me this could happen mere miles away from my abode.

Then I looked around and discovered I was the outsider. All the faces were brown.

I also discovered I ordered the wrong thing. That you were supposed to get the grilled barbecue style taco. They grilled the whole thing, the tortilla too. It was kind of orange, and there were tacos on every table.

But my tostada was excellent.

But I had no idea when it would come. Felice jumped up to retrieve our food and it wasn’t there.

And that’s when the Latino man with stars tattooed up and down his arm leaned over and told me there was a number system, and to let him know ours, he’d notify me when our food was ready.

And I’m sitting there contemplating how the rich have contempt for each other, they’re busy pushing each other out of the way to get ahead, and every Latino I encountered was going out of his way to help me out, to be nice, to include me.

You live in the city and pay fealty to the media and you come to believe everybody’s a winner or a loser, that it’s a rat race with no normality. And then you venture out of your comfort zone and find out this is not the case. Made me wonder, had I played my hand wrong? Maybe it’s just about having a job, getting married and raising some kids, revisiting the world you once inhabited through their eyes.

Like the sandbox. I lived for it way back when. I had my special tools, back when they were made out of metal and not plastic. I can’t say I wanted to jump into the pit with the munchkins at Forneris Farms, but I was envious of their happiness. If only life were that simple. Maybe it is that simple and I’m just overcomplicating it.

One thing I know for sure is my life got way too narrow. That there are experiences for the taking right around the corner, if you can slow down and stop worrying if you’re on the guest list and be willing to be part of the throng, just like everybody else.

Maybe I’m a child at heart. Maybe you never have to go to a corn maze.

Maybe I’ve had better Mexican food.

But I had fun. And I realized you don’t have to be rich to be happy. And that we’re all in this together, and you’ll never expect who will lend a helping hand.

Forneris Farms – The Corn Maze

The pic is the actual maze we did today. You can see the “1” in “2016”!

Tortas Ahogadas Las Originales

You can see the barbecue style tacos in the pic at the top of the page!

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