For the Record: Turkeys on the straw
There’s a TV show just waiting to happen in a corn field in Fallon.
All it needs is some producers with a little too much time and money on their hands and a desperate network. Heck, forget the network and the money. Give me a videocamera and a slot on Channel 26, and I’ll give you Survivor of the Corn Maze.
This epiphany for great TV occurred last Sunday, when myself and three friends stopped in Fallon to tour a maze in a corn field. Actually, touring is the wrong word. “Wandering around blindly for an hour until the guide came to put us on the right track'” is a better set of words.
Our blind wandering was at a fairly leisurely pace. One member of our group, Kelli (we’ll go with first names, just like the Survivor cast) was wearing a brace to steady her surgically-repaired knee, so running amok was out of the question.
Instead, Amanda and I took turns deciding which wrong turn to take, having voted down the fourth member of the group, Josi, because she is younger than us.
And it was these ingredients that gave me the idea to mix Survivor and the Corn Maze.
We kept running into other groups, most notably a couple who looked less happy with each other every time we saw them.
The others didn’t give us any hints about what was around the corners they had just turned. Apparently, helping is not in the nature of corn maze wanderers.
I remarked about this to Amanda and began to speculate about what might make them more cooperative. Maybe if there were predators, say large snakes that would get after those who lingered in the corn maze, the groups would get more cooperative.
This is when the Survivor parallels really began to jell.
We could have teams that would be predators and prey, with the object being for the prey team to escape all the predators.
The prey, of course, would have to learn to live by its wits, and be fit and strong. Maybe some prey would have to be left behind to allow the stronger, more fit prey to escape.
Amanda and I looked back at Kelli, moving persistently along behind us. She had our flag, the flag we had been given to raise if we got really lost in the corn maze and needed some help.
We decided that if we were really playing Survivor, we would want to run off with the flag, but getting it could be a problem. We reckoned Kelli might poke us in the eye with it, and that would certainly not help us survive.
Our next step was to decide who else we could turn against. The logical decision was Josi, a conclusion that involved that old saw about youth and agility always being trumped by age and trickery.
The light turned mellow as the sun sank, and our thoughts turned to spending a night in the maze, being hunted by other Survivors. You could incorporate some children into that corn – maybe without even telling the Survivors -and have some mighty interesting encounters, I thought.
You could also add some nice Nevada touches to the corn maze, such as territorial property owners with aggressive dogs. Food wouldn’t really be a problem like on the real TV show unless the teams got tired of raw corn; maybe instead we could equip the prey with backpacks full of Taco Bell products, chocolate chip cookie dough and other junk food worth fighting for.
The more lost we got, the more of these promising touches we added to our Survivor of the Corn Maze concept. After an hour or so, when we had nearly found our way back to the entrance of the maze, the guide came out to, in his words, “at least get us on the right track.”
With this assistance, our journey got a lot quicker. It wasn’t long until we got close enough to the end to see the red letters reading “You made it!” through a few rows of corn. I followed Amanda off to the left. We both ignored Josi, who said the opposite way was right.
After verifying left was not right, we went right. Josi, the heretofore outvoted teenager, barreled ahead and of course was first to see the sign welcoming us to the end of the corn maze.
I knew she was right all along, and I tried to tell her so, but somehow she just didn’t believe me. I think she thought I had an ulterior motive or something.
Where in the world would she get an idea like that?