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Gentleman in a Cornfield

Updated on April 21, 2011

Friends don't let friends drive hungry

  Gentlemen in a Cornfield

“I invented symmetry did you know that?” George said.

“You may have mentioned it, and I believe it. I once saw a clown giving a haircut to a woman with a pair of novelty plastic scissors.” Replied Donald.

“Completely rational response George.” Said George.

“Names Donald, George. Getting your own name mixed up with mine is a sign of virility. At least so goes the legend a clubfooted Indian woman once related to me.” Donald said.

“My names George. That woman was my wife. I miss her and I’m glad she wasn’t no clubfooted Indian.” George said

Donald replied, “Now that you mention it may have been a white woman with six fingers on her left hand, instead of a clubfooted Indian.”

“That’s my Mildred.” George said.

George and Donald sat in rocking chairs way out in a field behind the tall corn stocks. Thirty years back a couple of “twisted hoodlums” as the two men called them, had driven back there with there pick up trucks and had a party. When Donald and George saw the wreckage later that week they sat out there all night in their rocking chairs with shotguns across their laps waiting, secretly hoping that those punks might come back for a second party, so they could blow them away.

Their wives both accepted this that night figuring it would put the two men at ease to guard their corn. They assumed that eventually their husbands would cool off and things would go back to normal. Indeed he next day they had each returned to their respective wives, and nothing was said of it.

Every once in a while the two men would return to the field at random intervals. Every time they secretly hoped the hoodlums would come back and get their comeuppance. They said they were just guarding what was theres but they both wanted revenge.

“The only way to kill a komodo dragon is to feed it it’s own back legs.” George said.

“A komodo dragon once stole my car in Tulsa some 42 years back.” Donald replied.

“Sneaky bastards can’t be trusted. Bullets bounce off them like rubber bands. I once went to an off-Broadway performance of Oklahoma, where a Komodo Dragon took the entire performing company hostage and slowly devoured them one by one in front of a horrified audience. When he was done he performed the entire show by himself, and if anyone tried to leave he would bite them in half like a saltine cracker. He received a standing ovation and returned the following night for an encore performance.” George told. “The critic for the New York times called his rendition of “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” the most heartbreakingly beautiful performance he had seen in his thirty year career.”

Donald replied “A vicious but beautiful species.”

After a time the two men had lost interest in their venture and decided that those rotten hoodlums were never coming back. The real reason the had kept up their sporadic night watches was that they just enjoyed each other’s company, it was good to get away from their families every once in a while. Still they both loved their wives and neither wanted to get divorced so they could only occasionally justify their nighttime outings.

Then George’s wife died. His kids were all grown up and gone. He had nothing to do. So without really realizing it he began to go out to the cornfield more and more until he spent almost every night out there guarding his property. Sometimes Donald would join him but as his wife was still alive and his youngest son still lived at home, he couldn’t join his friend as often as he would have liked to.

The cornfield was the only thing George in his life that he cared about at all, but he didn’t really enjoy being out there by himself. With nobody there to talk to the cornfield was just a big stupid field. Nonetheless over the years he began to spend his days as well as his nights out in the cornfield. He ate corn. Donald made sure George’s groceries were delivered to him, but George only ate the corn. The only thing he touched from the grocery man were the jugs of water, as there was no freshwater source out in his field, except the irrigation, and that of course was hardly accessible.

So no, the cornfield wasn’t the most comfortable place in the world. But he couldn’t stay in his house, it reminded him too much of his wife. The only thing the cornfield reminded him of were his late night bullshitting sessions with Donald. What his field lacked in creature comforts, to him nostalgia made up for it.

Donald too held a lot of fondness for the field. As he began to approach old age, he too spent more and more time out they’re with George just shooting the bull. The two of them had built up a rapport that as far as I know was completely unique. Basically all those hours sitting in isolation talking had drove the two men harmlessly crazy. Donald realized that he hadn’t really ever liked his wife that much anyway and his kids could take care of themselves. His place was with George out in the cornfield.  This was mostly dementia. When he was younger he really had cared very deeply for his wife. She was simply no longer relevant to his life. Neither of them had anymore reason to ever leave the cornfield.

“I’m sure you’ve heard of the hole in the ozone layer George.” Donald stated.

“Naturally I have. Put it there myself.” George replied.

“Extremely believable.” Donald said truthfully. “How did you do it George?”

“When I was a young lad I was excluded from a tree house club that all of my friends had been allowed into on account of the fact that earlier that summer my father had gotten drunk and wandered into a town meeting and attempted to get a motion passed declaring him self the Princess of all rainbows. The motion passed 123 to 114 with one abstainer.”

“Democracy in action!” Donald said.

“Precisely. Naturally when he woke up the next day he regretted the decision. Unfortunately he was in fact now very legally and officially the Princess of Rainbows. Of course he attempted to get the decision overturned at the next meeting, but to no avail.” George said.

“What’d the old man do?” Donald asked.

“He was a man about it. With a title like that he could do nothing but become a gay man. He spent the rest of his life living with a commune of homosexual artists on the lower east side of New York.” George answered.

“Ahhh, they wouldn’t let you in because your old man was a faerie.”

“Precisely. So I got so mad about the whole ordeal that I punched a hole in the ozone layer.”

“You’ve doomed us all.”

“Indeed I have.”


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