Friday, October 24, 2008

A-Maize-ing Politicians

Today I took my family to a pumpkin farm just a couple miles from our house. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and, most importantly, there were lots of pumpkins. Little did I know when we arrived at the farm that we would also be given a crash-course in Presidential Politics. The lesson was kind of corny, but all in good fun…

Of utmost importance for my children was finding a perfect pumpkin, which required a short hay-ride to the pumpkin patch (which wasn’t really a patch at all, at least not in the traditional sense of the word. It was just a large open field. No pumpkins were ever grown there. Instead, migrant workers brought thousands of large orange pumpkins into this place on trucks, but that’s beside the point). It wasn’t until we had all found [and paid for…ouch!$!] our pumpkins that our political education began. We had some spare time and decided to have a family adventure in the farm’s big corn maze, which ended up being the weirdest, coolest, and most political pre-Halloween thing I’ve ever done…

Believe it or not, the picture shown above is an aerial photo of the corn maze. Yes, believe it! Some nutty farmer turned his acreage into a giant rock-the-vote campaign. It was so bizarre. Here are a few observations from my experience in the presidential corn:

1. The corn on the northwest edge of the field was noticeably older, like it had been planted much earlier in the season. That was helpful. Simply by it’s age I knew it must have been the McCain section of the maze, and I was better able to orient myself.

2. The farmer who mowed this thing obviously doesn't know much about the political spectrum: he put Senator Obama on the right and Senator McCain on the left. What it should have been was McCain on the left and Obama on the FAR-left.

3. Although the stalks of corn that made up McCain were starting to wither, they did look tough, as though they’d weathered a lot of difficult storms.

4. Obama’s corn looked nice and new and shiny, but the stalks were kind of weak.

5. The largest vacancy in the presidential corn maze: Obama’s head (hey, that's not a slam on Obama, just the cornfield caricature of him ;-)

For what it’s worth, we had a really fun time. Both candidates stood tall as we ran all over them.