Ramblings From an Apathetic Adult Baby

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Tag Archives: humor

I Really Need to Poop But I’m Lost in This Corn Maze

My son’s tugging on my sleeve, though I’ve resigned myself to the ground. Peripheral noise quiets as a Category Five stress migraine crashes into me. Forehead wrinkles tighten. Cool sweat pools. The stalks loom, laughing and rustling as I struggle and thrash. Mortified, my son orders his classmates to look away. The corn knows it has almost won.


You volunteer to chaperone a field trip and you think it’s going to be all “You’re my favorite parent” this and “Here’s my single mom’s number” that. Today, though, no matter how many rehashings I play over in my head, my now-stained backseat is still just that. Even though I told Kyle S. three times he needed to be careful with that juicebox.


I’d signed that permission slip for Farmer Jack’s Orchard without thinking. Sure, I’ll volunteer; I don’t anticipate fourth graders being hungry and bringing crumbly snacks or juices that stain into my car when we’re leaving directly after lunch. No teacher would ever think to saddle me with an EpiPen or other mortality based accountability. I’m sure there’s enough room in other cars for my group to return if I get sick. Or get diarrhea and have to go home and take, like, two showers. Everything in life always turns out exactly how you plan, remember?


Optimism, you’ve swindled me again.


The kids grow anxious. My “episode” has paced us behind the other teams. I tell my son to leave me. To go with the others. He’s in charge now. He asks if I’m dying. I reply, “Kind of.”


The pressure relents. Slightly. I feel like I’m passing through the eye of this personal hurricane. Culprits come to mind. Gas-station deviled egg. The lost-and-found cookie. Both plausible. They gave us those plain cake donuts when we got here. Dry and tasteless. An embarrassing excuse for empty calories. I’d regretted eating it before even taking a bite.


A positive identification won’t help my situation, but I just want something to blame.


I drag myself off the path. Into the shadows of the corn. I could try to run, or rather toddle. Do what’s honorable and try to make it to the Port-O-Potty. It’s a maze, though. The outhouse could be in any direction. Failure at this would mean public embarrassment and a far higher likelihood of earning a spot on the Sex Offender Registry. I’d be letting my son down. Not as a sex offender, but as ‘That Dad’ who pooed himself on a field trip. We’d have to move. No classmate could ever forget that. Not even if they wanted.


I’ve sweat through my blazer now. Pressure intensifies and the migraine returns. A tear wells. This is bigger than me. Yes, this time it seems monumental—once excavated, my skin will likely be noticeably looser. What I mean, though, is that I’m here for my kid.


Hence, I will remain in this corn thicket.


Time is a factor; strike while the iron is hot.


Crouched, Dockers lowered, it begins. Colonic coughing and vomiting. The EpiPen narrowly escapes tumbling into the quintessence of hot mess, almost resigned to being “lost” and never living out its purpose.


“How did our son, Kyle S., die? I left his EpiPen in the corn field. Why’d you do that? Well—and you’re gonna really laugh—but…”


I grew up to be a divorced dad pooping in a cornfield and it’s not nearly as bad as that headline reads.


I hear a rustle and freeze. It subsides and I resume breathing. Hadn’t considered wiping, but it’s become very necessary. Do I go husk or cob? Gritty or protruding? Horrible or possibly slightly less horrible? It’s an eerily familiar dilemma.


My underwear is back on, though I haven’t stood completely up. Kyle S. rounds the corner. Of course that idiot wandered off. He sees me and I see him. Cautiously, we stare one another down as I re-buckle my belt. I step out from the stalks.


His face sours after one whiff. I seize him by his shoulders, my dead gaze bearing down on him. “No one will believe you.”


Dragging him by his fruit-punch-stained fingers, I call out and catch up with my son and the other kids.





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“No, dude. Lindsey Teafield last summer. Ask anyone.”


“Nice, dude.” He nodded, impressed. “You hear that, Logan?” He looked over to the corner of locker room where Logan, the youngest and smallest kid on our team, was sitting. “Should be inspiring. Can happen to anyone.” He shot me a smirk.


“Please.” I said. “Look at me and look at Logan.” I ran my hand through my cold, sweaty hair, the odor of youth and hockey emanating from everything. “It’s not random. Sometimes virgins just stay virgins. Like Logan, or Coach Randy.”


Coach Randy had always been one to joke around—he’d said he’d buy us a keg if we won Districts or he’d ask for suggestions on drug dealers, always saying he needed a new “weed guy.” The Sunday after the homecoming dance he’d remarked that our goalie smelled “a lot like pepper spray.”


Everyone had heard my accusation. The locker room quieted. All eyes fixed on Coach Randy. He stopped untying his skates. I immediately regretted what I’d said.


Coach Randy wasn’t smiling. He locked eyes with me from across the room where him and Darren, his son and our star right-winger, were sitting. Everyone had stopped now. I felt my fists preemptively clench.


I knew he could tell I was afraid. He let my anxiety linger for another few seconds before cracking a smile. “I’m no virgin.” He let out little laugh. “Come on, guys,” he said, throwing his arm around his son. “I’ve got proof.”


Coach Randy stood up then and dug through the pocket of his jeans. He retrieved a smart phone and stumbled over to me in half-untied skates. Browsing, he found what he was looking for and nodded, assured. He tapped the middle of the screen and handed it to me.


There was now no question about Coach Randy’s virginity status.


Many more questions, however, sprung to mind. The cowboy hat and bandolier seemed odd wardrobe choices for Coach Randy in this outdoor amateur porn. It, also, was never explained why was he was periodically firing a handgun in the air.


Who was the woman in the video? She definitely wasn’t either of Darren’s stepmoms. Why did she have one of those racist, inaccurate Native American headdresses on? Theories on a kooky wardrobe coincidence, creative differences, or misguided political satire were all briefly considered. By the way, why was she referring to Coach Randy as “Zodiac Killer” whenever the camera panned to the date on what I presumed that day’s newspaper?


Coach Randy was a lot of things, but definitely not a virgin.



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