Sometimes I stay up late at night thinking about the meaning of life. Other times I think about what name I would use if I were to enter the adult entertainment industry. I think  “Maybe Randy Teriyaki.”

My friends,

This weekend Jameelah dragged me to a haunted corn maze. What is a haunted corn maze, you ask? Whenever I think of corn maze, I always think of some redneck at the breakfast table, saying “Maw, can you git me a bowl of that thar corn maize chowder?”

No, a haunted corn maze is a giant corn field where a path has been mowed, and scary effects and actors are placed strategically on the path so that groups of people can be terrified wandering in the dark among the corn rows around Halloween time. “Eeek,” I said, “I’m too scared! 30 bucks per person, that’s gonna give me nightmares for weeks to come!”

“But I want to experience being scared with you! We’ve never had that experience together before!” said Jameelah. As with every argument, I stood my ground, exclaiming that it was a waste of money when we could just stay at home and watch a scary movie rental. Two minutes later, we drove to the corn maze.

So we entered the maze in the dark. Some parts were lit with strobe lights. They were very creative in decorating the place and staging actors who were dressed like zombies and mad scientists. Coffins opened when we walked by. Shadows jumped out and followed us. At one point, it was pitch black, and some random girl from a different group grabbed my hand. At one point we walked through an abandoned school bus with fake corpses on the seat, one of which rose up and screamed at us. There were some guys wielding chainsaws. Jameelah was terrified, screaming at each turn, and having lots of fun. I felt bad, because besides being startled once a while, I was not scared, and that was disappointing to her.

Maybe I have lost some of my childhood wonderment, and that’s why I can’t be scared easily by pretend things any more. Now that I am older, I think real terror comes when you know there is no escape from a situation. I think I could design a very scary corn maze for much cheaper: You start at one end, and as you walk farther, a replica of your fridge opens and a low voice groans: “You haven’t cleaned me for a year!” A little further, and you encounter a sign that says “Palin-Limbaugh 2012!” Turning a corner, it gets pitch black, and a gloved hand reaches for you. “Time for your prostate exam!” By this time, I’d be peeing-in-my-pants scared. Kim Jong Il pops out, then you are showered by dozens of unpaid bills and some empty bottles of swine flu vaccine, and then, just when you thought the worst is over, a person jumps out with a calculator screaming “Do you know how much college tuition will cost when your future kids are 18?!” Eeek!

Those are the things that scare me, not fake zombies and severed heads. “Next time,” said Jameelah as she drove us back, “I’m going with someone who likes being scared. You’re no fun.”

Let me know what scares you.

Hugs and bunnies,

Randy Teriyaki

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