Guest Post: Kelly of Just Typikel, on the Corn Maze From Hell

photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc
photo credit: leg0fenris via photopin cc

So, when the kids are grown, you’re done being a parent.

guest postRight?

I sure hope not. Kelly McKenzie sure isn’t. Some of you know of her adventures on Just Typikel, Grown kids still give you plenty of blog fodder. That, plus Kelly’s mom, 91 and going strong, plays her part, too.

Kelly is a fantastic writer, and goes for broke when it comes to telling tales about her now-grown kids. And why not? What do you have to lose?

But even when the kids are big, and in driver’s ed or high school or just starting to shave their legs, there are always the old stories. The kindergarten tales that don’t go away. The middle school trips and matches and dances.

Today, she’s here on the CD to tell about a hellacious field trip when her kids were little. And I don’t mean hellacious like a perfectly-grilled T-bone or Jules Day singing “Eli’s Coming” kind of way. How, then? Read on and you’ll see.

Please welcome Kelly, and have a look at her other tales in Just Typikel.

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photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc
photo credit: demandaj via photopin cc

I can’t fault the teacher. Bless her. Ms. D has sent home countless notes advising the grade three parents of a potential crisis. It appears that the October field trip falls upon the same day as the school pictures so she’s simply trying to avert the concept of a corn maze field trip from hell.

The notes could not have been clearer.

“I understand that the students will be dressed nicely for their photos. Please provide a change of clothes for your child to wear on the afternoon field trip. With all the rain we’ve been having lately the corn maze is bound to be slightly wet and even muddy …”

Frankly I’ve found this constant messaging to be rather excessive. Surely one alert would be sufficient? Perfect Mommy that I am I’ve efficiently provided my eight year old lad with his standard pair of ripped jeans and an old sweatshirt. While it’s a certainty that his lovely photo garb of oxford shirt and pressed party pants will be jammed mercilessly into his backpack at least he and certainly the others will be appropriately dressed for this potentially mucky outing.


It’s obvious there’s been a serious disconnect. Did two-thirds of the class seriously not get these memos? My assigned carload is especially perplexing. Of the shiny haired seven passengers, six are dressed in their party best. The three girls are preening in their gorgeous velour dresses complimented by pristine white tights and matching patent leather shoes. Three of the boys are sporting crisp khaki pants topped by manly buttoned up shirts. My son has managed to change but he’s still wearing his good shoes. Of course. His boots and runners are tucked away safely at home.

I exchange worried looks with my fellow drivers – another mom and the teacher. Our panicked queries polite enquiries as to the whereabouts of the children’s “other clothes” are met with blank stares and carefree shoulder shrugs.

“I did warn them.” Ms D calls back over her shoulder as she ushers everyone to the door.

Our three cars arrive at the corn maze parking lot a mere 30 minutes later. Actually, “parking lot” would be a slight misnomer; “mud pit” being more appropriate. I take note of Ms. D’s decision to park out on the street. Of course. She’s driving her brand new Honda Pilot. If my car was new I’d do the same.

While it’s a tad alarming to observe the severely tilting, bordering on abject collapse, of the swaying and crumpled cornstalks at the maze entryway, I choose to view it as intentional. Deliberate spookiness for the customers. Obviously the interior paths will be groomed and well maintained. My passengers are oblivious and tumble eagerly out of the car, shrieking with delight for the entrance.

“Kelly, can you please stay here in case anyone gets separated from the group and returns to the cars? Janet and I will go into the maze with the children. I expect it’ll take us about 45 minutes.”

I fire my now unnecessary gumboots at my son. They’re a bit big but at least they’ll save his shoes. I’m happy to stay. It means I can hangout in the somewhat drier neighboring pumpkin patch.


I pass the promised 45 minutes with a hot coffee and a pleasant dearth of lost maze walkers. It’s so peaceful here. A little damp but serene. This is a delightful field trip. Well done Ms. D.

45 minutes stretches to an hour and ten. Hmmm. Perhaps my darling has chosen to lead everyone in games of cornstalk sword play. I do hope none of my white leotard girls have gotten involved. A speck of mud on those beauts would require serious soaking with the OxiClean.

The peaceful autumnal air is suddenly shattered with the sound of rabid squeals and distinctly piercing notes of pure hysteria. Wait. What? The bits I’m able to discern are beyond alarming.

“I thought we’d die in there!”

“I’m deaf! I can’t hear! What?”

“My dress is wrapped around my legs. I can’t walk. Help!”

And lastly. “Mom! Your boot fell off! I lost your boot!


My eyes now behold a vision impossible to describe. Bodies caked in dripping slimy mud lurch themselves towards my car. Hair, dresses, shoes are indistinguishable. There is only one dominate colour. Diarrhea Brown. Ms. D, taller than all the rest, morphs into view. I can just make out the blue of her eyes as the rest of her is cloaked in turbid matter.

Halt! Anyone travelling in my car stop now. Do not move until I have given you each a garbage bag. ”

“Oh Kelly. You have NO idea. Never again. Ever …” her grit filled voice trails off as she slithers for her car.

Garbage bags?  Perfect Mommy? Ha! Foolish Mommy more like. The concept of garbage bags never once crossed my mind. Just typikel.

Of the seven strangers who assemble at my car, which one is my son? Everyone looks the same. I can perceive only eyes and teeth. Of course, that’s him. The one missing a boot. Oh gawd. Please let Ms. D have extra bags. Please.

But no.  Ms. D naturally didn’t realize she’d need at least two per student plus multiple bags for the seats. She has only enough for her passengers. I watch in envy as each of her charges gingerly steps into an open bag and dutifully yanks it up to the waist. Once carefully positioned onto the seats they reach up and obediently place their heads through the newly created hole of the second one. They settle in, looking like mummified olives.

My seven charges squelch into the back of my car. With neither garbage bags nor towels or even saniwipes I’ll be cleaning this puppy for days. A wee voice pipes up from the murky depths.”My mom’s gonna have to get my dress dry cleaned a couple of times, I bet!”

No hon. She’s going to have to throw it out. Same with every single article of clothing worn by the rest of you.

But there’s an upside.  At least your families will have the lovely school photos to remind them of those once precious outfits …

Enough about me and the corn maze field trip from hell. I’m curious about you. What’s your favourite horror of a field trip? Can you top this one? If you’d care to share, I’d love to hear.

mud quote 

100 thoughts on “Guest Post: Kelly of Just Typikel, on the Corn Maze From Hell

      1. It was funny/horrible Yvonne. And between you and me I was beyond delighted to not to have partaken in the maze part of it. My pal Janet and Ms. D were still “sharing” gems weeks later …

  1. Oh, Kelly, I feel for you!

    On the upside, muddy fieldtrips make for interesting blog posts, right?

    So far my 6yo only had one, and he lost his hockey camp cap; the wind blew it into the river. He got over it.

    However I missed the memo that warned us Moms about the upcoming track and field day, so I sent him to school, in his usual clothes, backpack and snack box.

      1. Noooooooo …. the teacher should have sent home multiple alerts like our dear Ms. D. At least your son would have been well fueled for his race.
        Love the Swiss Forrest Gump comment Eli. Perfect.

  2. Kelly, what can I say, but I think you might have given me a glimpse into the future as I am chaperoning the school kindergarten trip tomorrow for pumpkin picking and it is raining today and supposed to be tomorrow, too. Think I will be heading to the grocery store for garbage bags today!!! 😉

      1. The field trip got postponed? Well you are one lucky pumpkin Janine. Good on you for stocking up on the garbage bags. I’d also suggest hockey tape for around the tops of the boots to keep ’em on during the pumpkin search …

      1. Absolutely. I’d be all for that survival course! As in my comment to Janine I would recommend the discussion of application of hockey tape around the top of each boot to ensure they stay on …

  3. Always carry trash bags. Got it!

    Craziest corn maze ever was on a date – we ended up stuck in a ditch in his jeep afterwards. He called a friend for a tow while I insisted that if he turned the wheel and backed up, his jeep could get out. Help showed up, made the same observation I did, and we got out easily without the tow. *facepalm*

  4. Hmm…no, you definitely take the prize here. But garbage bags…genius! How is it that a reasonably-intelligent and well-educated woman like myself can’t think of these things??? Genius!
    I am dreading a future trip…to the aquarium this year. All good. Inside. Climate-controlled. But an hour plus away on a highway with 100 first graders??? What the hell are people thinking? Oh, and it’s in a pretty crappy city, too. Surely we could look at fish closer to home…sigh. At least I’ll be going along and can keep my hairy eyeball on my kid all day long. All. Day. Long.

      1. Bussing it? Or going by car? Either way it’ll be a nightmare. I mean a delight. Lucky you Lisa. Might I suggest that you leave your coat in the bus/car? I always found those aquarium trips to be hellishly hot. Especially in the tropical fish section. Enjoy the day. All. Day. Long.

      2. Kelly, I believe we will be bussing it via charter-type busses. I suppose this is a good thing because I’ve done my share of rides on cheese busses over the years with a high school marching band and those should never be used for highway trips. Ever. Thanks for the coat tip!

      3. OH, so the sound of children’s voices will be enhanced in the aquarium? Also good to know. I would really prefer not to go on this one, but I’m that nervous mother who doesn’t want her kid on a bus on a highway going to a place over an hour away without me. No sir. Plus, I know my kid. If she’s going to get herself in trouble, I should probably be there to deal with it…

  5. The visual of the kids stepping into the garbage bags and being wrapped up before getting into the car has me laughing. Luckily, I am in the office alone at the moment!

    Not a horror story, but being a chaperone on a visit to the art museum with a bunch of second graders sounded like fun. They were learning about Ancient Egypt, so the docent was giving a speech about what was in the Ancient Art section they were about to enter. Not that any of the boys in the class listened…they were too busy snickering over the very visibly showcased nude paintings in the Renaissance Art section directly behind the docent.

    When asked later by his dad what he saw at the museum, M said: A sarcophagus, and boobs!

    I’m so proud.

      1. Oh the docent! What was he/she thinking of standing there? Bet there wasn’t a repeat performance in future. I mean standing next to a supine excessively wrapped mummy is somewhat different that standing next to a glorified buxom nude. Basic docent 101, no?

  6. LOLOLOLOL!!! Oh my gosh, to think you’ve gotten the goods with the ‘wait here’ line and hot coffee to boot, only to find yourself with a missing a boot and muddy children!! It’s so not funny (honest, I feel your pain) but so funny too (from an outside perspective, of course). 🙂 Totally heading over to follow your blog, this had me laughing loudly!

      1. Hi Rosey. Thank you. And thanks for popping over to Just Typikel. I really did luck out in the “wait here” department. It was so, so hard to keep that smug grin off my face when I saw everyone lurching out. I seriously questioned whether there was any mud left in the maze … Have to say the smugness vanished in a blink when it came to slooshing out my car however. Took forever.

      1. Still pondering that, Eli. Still pondering that. I mean the time it took to fumigate the car was WELL over an hour BUT I did get to miss out on all the “You’ve fallen! Are you hurt? Can you move your arm?” “Children just walk right through the puddle. The only option is to step deep into the corn rows and I’ll lose you …” stuff so hmmm. Yes, still pondering.

  7. I love Kelli and this story was one of the many reasons why!! Her stories usually make me laugh and this one certainly did (even though I also cringed just a bit!!.

    1. Oh Cassandra I wish. I, too, was driving a Honda Pilot and had the back row of seats up to handle the number of kids I was driving. There’s just enough room in the back for one middle sized child. Silly me – I should have sent my bootless lad there! What was I thinking?

  8. I can’t beat this story, Kelly! I give you props for even volunteering for this field trip. I try my hardest to avoid them because, well, I’m a horrible mom. But my car is clean.

  9. Great story Kelly ! So reminds me of my eldest daughter’s preschool trip to the pumpkin patch. Had been raining for a week, so a complete mud field. We had to hose off the kids before getting on the bus. Even after that, my husband was beyond shocked when he arrived in his brand new white camaro for pick up. Garbage bags were definitley used that day !!

  10. Oh yuuuuck! I would’ve had to go to my happy place fer sher. I don’t recall a field trip that could top your story. I guess there are three good things that came of it: 1. you can look back on it and laugh, 2. you got a blog post out of it! 3. you learned the garbage bag lesson

    Hi Eli! *waves*

  11. This is awesome! I bet, sadly, they don’t go to the corn maze anymore due to angry parents who threaten to sue/not fund the new gym expansion!

    I still laugh every year when it’s time for my kids to visit the town’s one room school house for a field trip. They are supposed to dress for the period. So that meant in 2nd grade my son wore a bandanna with a chambray shirt and jeans. Of course, he REFUSED to wear the bandanna around his neck. Nope, he wore it around his forehead ala the Bloods and Crypts. He was an historically accurate gang member of the one room school house!

  12. Anne Shirley watch out! Duck and Cover! Hahaha! Yes my son and yours would have been trouble together. Mine would have done the same.
    Is the corn maze trip still a go at my kids’ elementary school? Good question. My two were both in Intermediate the next year. Field trips tended to be on buses to music performances! My car and I were grateful. But then came the driving to games and meets – but that’s another horror, I mean story, for another day …

  13. I…AM…CHOKING WITH LAUGHTER!!! As one of the room mom’s on a zoo trip the “I thought we’d die” “I lost my boot” etc just made me howl. SO TRUE!! Oh, man. Bwahahahahaha. And then all the kids caked in mud needing to get in your car….Bwahahahahaha! And then all of this happening on PICTURE DAY! This is the best school field trip EVER!!! (and it sounds like it might have scarred Ms. D for life.)
    My worst field trip was walking 35 miles of North Carolina Zoo with ten 3rd graders under only my direct supervision…trying to help them answer questions for their worksheets….trying not to have them rush off and disappear forever (one of them was a runner who could not be contained)…oh, and it was 102 degrees. I have not volunteered to go on a field trip since that fateful trip. It was the WORST!!!! (Even Ashley says I looked shattered and broken when I pulled back in the parking lot at school) —Lisa

  14. Nooooooo how horrid Lisa! And you had a runner? I can so relate but I only had to look after my two and one other. We were at the Toronto zoo. Our host was flat on her back at home suffering back spasms so I soldiered out alone. 400 % humidity meant we just sloshed from ice cream truck to ice cream truck. It was SO hot. Animals? What animals?

  15. I would seriously pay like one thousand dollars for those photos! Oh my gosh, it’s horrible; but it would be so stinkin funny. Imagine looking back on them years later? I almost want to do this on purpose.
    So far we have not had any hobble field trips. I am a little jealous…

      1. There is a corn maze a mere 20 minute bike ride from my daughter’s college. Have I visited it? Thank you no. I shall leave this delight for others to photograph .,,

  16. Sounds like you’ve got the sweet part of the deal, waiting around. And now you’ve got a funny story to tell. I was looking forward to muddy photos, too… where are they?

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