Illegal Corn Shuckers


My 24-year-old daughter and I headed off to the grocery store today. We’ve recently become fans of a No-Frills that’s in another town about 20 minutes away–a small farming community. The store is overflowing with local produce. The watermelon we got there last week was the best of the summer, and the corn on the cob was still warm from the heat of the sun out in the field. We set to work selecting this week’s cobs straight away. Just like last week, we ripped the husks from the corn and put the ears into plastic produce bags. The sign said 10 for $1.98. We got to 9 before we noticed the words at the bottom of the sign: PLEASE DO NOT REMOVE HUSKS FROM CORN.

Giving one another stricken glances, we scurried back over to the cart, covered the accusing ears of corn with our reusable grocery bags, and got the heck away from the sweet corn bins.

My daughter whispered to me, “We really shucked up.”

I snorted loudly, which drew some looks. Then I whispered back, “Do you think we should get the shuck out of here?”

“Shuck, no,” she replied.

“I didn’t see the shucking sign,” I said.

“I didn’t, either,” she snickered.

An older lady stopped ahead of me, perusing tomatoes, and leaving her cart in the centre of the aisle. (Aside: this is something younger me has avowed never to do as older me). I waited for a few minutes, then I leaned over to my daughter and said in a low voice, “I wonder when this lady is going to get the shuck out of the way?”

“What the shuck?” she agreed.

This game continued for several rows while we filled the cart. My daughter found it particularly amusing (I think) because it’s been a long-standing rule that the “shuck” word should not ever be uttered in my presence. Of course, that kind of went out the window one day when one of my girls was hiding in the kitchen cupboard (for eavesdropping purposes) when I went on a rant about something during an adult conversation with my husband. This fact was revealed several years later, because at the time, she didn’t dare come out of the cupboard until the coast was clear.

I should probably continue to set a good example (even though my credibility is shot) to my adult children. But maybe it’s good that they know the truth about me. I’m only shucking human.