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Look, we know what you’re thinking: This is by far one of our worst pun-based ideas. But Greg gets real pissy if we don’t let him just go to town roasting something, both literally and figuratively, every thirty days or so. And so we present: corn.
It’s treat season. The air is turning brisk, apples are falling out of the sky, and the Pumpkin Spice vaults have opened, ready for Guild Navigators to try and reach their next level.
I love a treat, and Fall has some classics. The caramel apple. Apple cider donuts. Basically any baked good you could already eat, but now it has pumpkin in it. Candy Corn. Just wall-to-wall bangers, and the weather is either so gorgeous and perfect that you want to eat something bad for you while walking through a field, or so dour and gloomy that you sit at home and crush a handful of halloween candy just because you’re bored. I go fully sicko mode with snacks. How can you not? I mean that as a serious question, I’m not being rhetorical.
People will tell you it’s about willpower. Those people are either boring, or losers. I’m gonna give you the real deal on how I manage my consumption, it’s so easy. Why didn’t I think of this before? Here’s the trick: Fuck up your teeth. When you got messed up little bone guys and it hurts to bite things that is where you get what economists call righteously fucking disincentivized.
I bought in on those freaky non-braces things – they aren’t paying me so I’m not naming the product – and reader, get this: it sucks ass. The way it works is that they ram a computer into your jaw and then wiggle it around taking pictures of your teeth, then a robot makes like 20 slightly different retainers that start with your mouth in its extant jacked-up state and gradually animorph their way to regular teeth. Every couple of weeks you switch out for a slightly less grotesque one, and in this way your chompers are gradually shoved into alignment. That’s the upside. The downsides are twofold: first and foremost, my personality sucks when I’m hungry. The other is that every waking moment I am consciously aware of the teeth in my mouth, to a degree I have never before experienced. It’s not painful – this isn’t a toothache or the bleeding from an extraction – but you sure as hell don’t forget about it, for even one minute. I’m not entirely sure how to explain this, but it feels like I have a popcorn kernel stuck between every tooth at the same time.
So yes, I may want a treat, but do I want it enough to claw this piece of shit retainer out of my mouth, eat the candy, fully brush and floss my teeth, and then crowbar the teeth-shovers back on over their molecular bondings studs, until they click in and invariably pinch my lip? Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’m good on snacks, right now.
I put in the work to eat a Kit-Kat earlier and I had to shove the entire thing into my mouth at once and grind it down with my molars, because my front teeth are too wobbly to be of any use. You’re not even supposed to drink things with these in. The dentist gave me a pro tip in that you can drink coffee through a straw, which is absolutely perverted, but does seem to work.
The good news is that, inshallah, in 25 more weeks I will have Normal Teeth for the first time in my adult life. The downside is that I timed it such that Goth Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Regular Christmas all hit during my Hellraiser Mouth Window (which is, admittedly, one of the tamest uses of the phrase “hellraiser mouth window” available). I doubt I could have come up with a worse time than “every single eating holiday in the year” to enter a self-imposed exile from hard or crunchy foods. Also, no, I won’t be apologizing for running a second Meatwatch about teeth. I’ll do it again if I have to.
Before any of this, my last hurrah of being able to bite things, I went to a corn maze. Corn mazes are, and I say this with no trace of irony, extremely cool. This might be the Stockholm Syndrome talking, but living out in the sticks the tradeoff is that you don’t want to know your neighbors’ opinions, but you do get to go to farms and wander around looking at goats or getting lost in corn. This particular maze was Praying Mantis themed. I don’t know why. The farmer explained it to me but I’d already zoned out by that point. At certain intersections in the maze there were trivia questions about mantises, with correct answers being turned into hints (“The Mantis prays because it fears the wrath of God, but it also knows that it deserves it. TRUE: go left. FALSE: go right”).
I was doing this as a team-building exercise with my co-workers, which sounds extremely cringey but was actually not that bad, and we were ordered to make it a competition. At first I had no interest in this: there was no prize other than bragging rights, and I wasn’t about to ruin a perfectly relaxing stroll through the corn by rushing it. The entire point of the corn maze is to hang out with corn, and going out of your way to minimize the time spent doing that seemed counterproductive to me. Alas, the relaxing corn part of my brain lost out to the comp-pilled WAAC part.
Here again I have a secret tip to help you on your way: don’t try to be smart. Be dumb. I acknowledged early on that I don’t know a dang thing about Mantii, including how to pluralize the word. Thus, if I already know I’m going to get the hint questions wrong, why waste time reading them? When I saw a question-slash-hint, I simply picked a random path, and went where it took me. I was navigating purely on Vibes. This did lead to a frightful number of wrong turns and doubling back, but the numbers don’t lie: I won, navigating the maze comfortably ahead of the rest of my team. You can absolutely bet that I was, and remain, a shithead about it to all of them. I may not have gotten a good look at any particular corn as I power-jogged by (running was not allowed), but I’m willing to bet I looked at the most corn.
There are fall festivals happening all over the place, with hay rides and haunted houses and pumpkin picking and other types of unpaid farm labor. They’re all fine, and I would gladly go to any of them, but the true King Shit this fall is to scoop up a grip of decorative gourds and disappear into the corn with them, perhaps never to be seen again.
Thanks for sticking around, and making this column what it is: a little-read corner of this website that exists solely for me to waste your time and get yelled at. If you have questions or comments, let us know at email@example.com, or right here in the comments. Meatwatch is here to help.