The author, smiling winningly Scott Raymond home

My encounter with the Mystic Corn Man

30 Jul 2001

So this afternoon I was standing on the loading dock behind the natural-foods co-op grocery store here in town, looking in the dumpster for some cardboard boxes, because I’m moving to a new place on Wednesday, and as long as I need cardboard boxes, I thought I should get all-natural, organic, environmentally-conscious cardboard boxes. As I’m scrounging through the dumpster, an old Jeep pulls up and a friendly looking young guy with a long goatee hops out.

GUY: How’s it going?
ME, smiling: How’s it going.

I pull out another box.

GUY, smiling, nodding: I’ve got six hundred pounds of corn here.
ME: Oh, no, I don’t work here. I’m just getting some moving boxes.

I turn back toward the boxes.

GUY: Right on. Give thanks.
ME, silently, to myself: Did he just say “give thanks”?
ME:
…riight. Yes.

I pull out another box.

GUY, smiling, still nodding, almost bobbing: Yup, I thought you worked in produce.
ME: Nope, ’fraid not.

Then the guy stops bobbing, lowers his head, and looks right at me with that eery, unsettlingly peaceful smile.

GUY: Be not afraid.
ME, swallowing: Ahem, heh, um. Right. Okay. Welp, gotta go. Heh.