The arrival of July in Iowa reminds me to two things this year: corn and my high school reunion.
When I was in middle school, I detasseled corn for the first time. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the process, here’s the wikipedia description.
Now, here’s my description: Detasseling is a torture device for kids who would rather be inside reading next to the air conditioner on a summer day. Once I entered the detasseling bus before dawn, there was no going back; I was owned by these sadistic people called “crew captains”. By 7 am I was soaked by dew, covered in mud, and bitten by insects the size of my fist.
As much as my parents said it would build character, I didn’t believe it.
So, on one particularly hot, muddy, miserable day I had a clever idea (this is also a lie I’ve kept under wraps for the past 15 years). I decided to faux faint in my corn row. This meant that the sadistic crew captains had to carry me back to the bus, and I didn’t have to finish my row.
I acted my ass off that day and it worked. I didn’t detassel the following year and my middle school counterparts never let me forget it. As a result, I received a slightly mean, but humorous note from one of the girls in my crew.
“Have a great year you non-tasseling freak.”
I have to say that it’s the only yearbook signature I still remember.