Tracy K. Lorenz ...


Indian Corn

Years ago at about exactly this same time of year I bought a new house. It was my first new house so I figured I should make it look nice. I bought some Indian corn from the farmers market to hang on my door because every other house in my new neighborhood had Indian corn on their door and I’m basically a middle-aged woman.

I started looking at the Indian corn and I wondered if I popped it would the popcorn be the same color as the kernels?  One of the big advantages of being a bachelor is you can do idiotic things and there’s no one to stop you and, I’ll admit, at no time did I think this was a bad idea.

I plucked a bunch of kernels off the cob, put them in a bowl with some oil, stuck it in the microwave and, to my amazement, it both popped and retained the color of the kernel.  It didn’t taste that great but at least I had a bowl of blue, and purple popcorn.

Then I thought, “Hmmm, I wonder if I stick a whole cob of corn in the microwave if it’ll pop and stay on the con like a parakeet treat?” So I took a whole cob of Indian corn, rubbed some oil on it, stuck it in the microwave and I’ll be damned, it both popped and stayed attached to the cob so now I had multi-colored popcorn on the cob.

The riddle of why I was still single came more into focus.

Anyway, I cleaned up the mess by sort of dumping the unpopped kernels down the drain in my kitchen sink.

At the time we were building a rather large test facility for Ford in Livonia. Ford requested (demanded) that we have a full time project manager on site for the duration of the job AND we’d be working seven days a week, including holidays, from late October until January.  My dad looked around the office and saw one guy who could pull off such a monumental task and that was me. The fact that I was the only single guy in the office was just a coincidence even though it was the overwhelming determinant factor by a mile. They got me a condo in Livonia and I was off. The true beauty of the situation was I got to make my first three mortgage payments on a house I wasn’t living in.

When I returned home four months later I walked in the back door and was greeted by a three foot tall corn stalk growing out of my kitchen sink. Apparently one kernel got caught in the trap and decided that was a good place to grow. I figured I could just pull it out like a weed but it had taken root so doggedly that all the pipes under my sink had to be removed and replaced.

I had a neighbor who was coming over to feed my fish while I was gone, you’d think he would have noticed and removed this giant stalk before it was face high. I asked him about it and he said he figured I wanted it there (because, ya know, sink farming was all the rage). 

In the end the corn was removed, my kitchen was saved, my standing in my new neighborhood took a hit, and they probably chalked the whole thing up to the fact that I wasn’t a Grand Haven ... native.

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