Paying $20 to get lost? No thank you.
This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
Fall is here and that means plenty of pumpkin picking, apple cider drinking and long road trips to catch the leaves changing colour.
Don't get me wrong, they have their charms. But, as soon as the leaves turn colours, it seems like my entire Instagram feed is full of people foaming at the mouth for the experience of a corn maze.
While I do understand the appeal of them, I've been to enough to know that this whole thing just isn't for me.
As someone who's been to many, and will likely go to many more, here are some of the reasons why I think going to a corn maze is a largely overrated experience.
You don't need to tell me that the fall in Canada is cold. And I'm smart enough to know that being in a corn maze, whether during the day or at night, exposes you to that cold as it's an outdoor activity.
There have been so many times I've been out in a corn maze past sundown, freezing cold, thinking to myself, "When will this be over?"
And when this cold weather combines with the rain, like it often does in places like the GTA or near Vancouver, it's especially unbearable. So you better bring those galoshes because you might be ankle-deep in mud.
The clues are confusing
I'm not entirely sure how common this is, but mazes I've been to in the past sometimes have clues as to where to go to get out.
And, maybe I'm just dumb, but these clues and their instructions are often way too confusing for me. Even sometimes when a clue says something like "turn right", it begs the question: Go right for how long? Go right until I see another clue? Which right path is the 'right' right one?
I'd rather try to figure it out on my own, thanks very much.
Other maze patrons
Another thing that makes a corn maze not fun is the fact that we have to deal with other maze solvers.
Some wiseacre kids are always wanting to jump out at you or maybe even purposefully tell you to go in the wrong direction.
And have you ever been to a corn maze that didn't have paths of tamped-down corn created by stampedes of impatient customers? No, I didn't think so.
They're often far from cities
Unless you live in a more rural part of the country, and even then it's not a guarantee, getting to a corn maze will nearly always require a bit of a drive.
Like a lot of people in their 20s, I can't afford to own a car so if I want to get to a corn maze, I have to rent a car or a carshare for multiple hours.
It's a pain! If you own a car, it's not that much easier. You still need to drive at least 40 minutes and that's not including potential traffic delays.
Ask yourself, is it worth it? Really?
Has anyone ever told you to "get lost?" How about "Get lost! Oh, and give me nearly $20?" No? Well if you've been to a corn maze, that's essentially what they're saying.
You're paying sometimes $20 for admission (on top of gas, food and more) to get lost for an hour or two.
I can do that for free by wandering into a part of town I've never been to. And yes, while one person's "expensive" is another's "cheap," there are a few other things I would rather spend my $20 on than being cold in a field.
They vary in quality
As a man that is slightly above six feet tall, there have been times when I've been to a corn maze and been taller than the actual corn.
And while that was a bad year apparently for that particular maze, it still wasn't fun to be able to see the endpoint the entire time. It takes the challenge out of the whole thing!
Of course, corn is a crop so its quality varies on a season-to-season and day-to-day basis. But, it's also hard to find a maze with thick bushels of corn that make the whole excursion fun.
They sow discord among friends
If you go with a group, or even just with your partner, whose directions you follow can become a huge thing.
Disagreements can arise on whether to go left or right and sometimes you'll find yourself following a friend you know is going the wrong way just to be nice.
Depending on the group, things can even get heated! Especially when everyone just wants to be done and drinking some hot apple cider.
I don't know about you, but I have yet to figure out a way to say "You have no goddamn sense of direction" in a polite way.
So, whether you like corn mazes or not, hopefully, this cri de cœur will make you see them in a slightly different way.