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A Cornfield Misadventure This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


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I never thought my first accident would be on a country road in the Midwest, without any cars around. Now that I look back, it would have been a hilarious sight to witness two teenage girls drive off the road into a cornfield with Ke$ha's “Your Love Is My Drug” blasting on the radio.

The crash happened over the summer when I was visiting my mother's family on their massive farm in Wisconsin. It was only me and Franny, my Swiss cousin who was visiting at the time. Franny is a little younger and was just learning to drive, so I would be driving us on our errand that day. We are both city girls who drive on paved streets with stop signs and other cars around, the exact opposite of the backroads of Wisconsin. I now know how easy it is to skid on gravel roads.

“Hurry up, girls! You've got to deliver the check to the Bramers before we go!” Joe, our relative who owned the farm, shouted. “We were supposed to leave ten minutes ago!”

Franny and I knew not to mess with Joe when he was in a mad rush. As we headed across the gravel driveway to the old red pickup, I asked Franny, “Do you even know where this guy lives?”

“Yup, I'll tell you where to go,” she replied.

When we got into the truck, I immediately put on my seat belt. I had heard too many stories of people being thrown out of cars, or cars flipping, resulting in serious injuries or death. “Franny, when I drive, you wear your seatbelt!” I noticed that she was still fiddling with the radio and had not buckled up as I was backing out.

“Ugh!” she complained, as she put on her belt. Franny had gotten into the habit of not wearing it in Wisconsin.

Franny had chosen the song “Your Love Is My Drug” by Ke$ha, and we were both lost in thought. We were driving 25 mph up a hill, the speed I always went on that road, when Franny said, “Hit the gas!”

This is the part that I look back on and think, Why the heck did I do that? Franny has apologized profusely for trying to get me to rush, but the truth is, I was the driver. I was the one who literally “hit the gas.” I will admit, the rest of the story is a little hazy, but here is what I remember.

I hit the gas. We were now going about 35 mph. As we rounded the curve, the vehicle began to go in the opposite direction I was turning it. So, I tried to steer it in the opposite direction. Stupid city girl, I thought this was no big deal and so didn't take my foot off the gas. Bad idea. We were now fishtailing down the road. When I finally began to brake, panic was starting to take over and I was freaking out. Mind you, all this happened in a matter of a few seconds.

When I hit the brakes the truck skidded to the right and went straight into a cornfield. There was a small “curb” of rocks to stop excess rain water from flooding the field. When we hit it, the truck jumped a foot off the ground. We were a mini version of “The Dukes of Hazzard” as we literally flew into the field.

We hit the ground and I was gripping the steering wheel for dear life and stomping on the brake. All the while, Franny and I were screaming at the top of our lungs. I don't remember, but Franny told me I turned to her and yelled “Franny!” as if she could make the truck stop.

The corn whipped around us like windshield wipers, which is pretty funny, now that I think of it. We were plowing through cornstalks that stood taller than the truck, until out of nowhere, we hit a telephone pole. It was a small one, about five feet high. I remember the impact as though it happened in slow motion. We knocked the pole over as the truck slowly went up it. Then we came to a stop.

Because your love, your love, your love, is my drug …

Franny and I sat in shock for a second, then she jumped out and began to tell me what to do. I couldn't hear her because Ke$ha was still on and I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I ended up just turning the volume down.

“Okay, try to back up and then we can go home and tell them what happened …”

“Wait, wait, wait! Are you okay? Because I'm okay,” I said, almost questioning that fact myself.

“Yeah, but we need to go back to the house,” Franny said, looking at the truck-sized opening of flattened corn that led back to the road. She and I did a double take when we discovered that the only damage to the truck was a slight dent under the hood where it was now propped up by the telephone pole. The front tires weren't touching the ground.

Seeing the tires in the air was the turning point for me. I starting cracking up. I think I was on the verge of hysteria, but my hysterics made Franny start laughing. We cracked up in a row of flattened corn with an old pickup truck, something I never thought would happen to me.

We started off on foot for the house, but because Franny wasn't wearing shoes, we had to walk slowly. As we went, we exchanged every detail of our first accident. We knew that we were in serious trouble – more like I was in serious trouble. I was so scared of what Joe would do.

As Franny and I walked up the driveway, we saw Joe standing there yelling, “Did you flip the truck? Run out of gas? Crash? Are you okay?” I found it funny that his first question was “Did you flip the truck?” rather than “Was anyone hurt?” We explained the entire incident, and he was surprisingly calm. Almost as if our lives had not been in danger at all. “Well, now I can blame being late on Paige's horrible driving and her first accident!” he chuckled.

Joe called his wife and told her the whole story. He exaggerated so much that it sounded like Franny and I were daredevil drivers. He then called my mother and exaggerated even more, “They flew ten feet in the air and took down the telephone pole!” No one seemed to be worried about our physical state, they were so busy laughing at what a moron I was.

Now when I look back, I realize that we were extremely lucky. The telephone pole stopped us from doing a nosedive into the nearby creek that was seven feet deep. If Franny hadn't eventually put on her seatbelt, she could have been thrown out of the truck. Overall, no one was very upset with me because the truck had very little damage. It was a beater anyway that was meant to get totaled, but no one would have ever thought that I would be the one to crash it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.




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Two-ply said...
Oct. 3, 2011 at 6:14 pm:
This was so awesome and so funny! Good details, I can see it all in my mind's eye.
 
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