RICK MERCER VISITS CORN MAZE IN HIS OWN LIKENESS
Posted By DIANA MARTIN, SUN MEDIA; CHATHAM DAILY NEWS
Posted Sept 24 on the Daily News Site
Corny, not husky, is a word used to describe Rick Mercer.
In the Thamesville area, he’s a bit of both.
“I’m lost in my head as we speak, I love it!” the comedian said Monday, as he looked around at the seven-foot high stalks of corn that make up his head — literally.
Mercer is standing in the Maize Maze just west of Thamesville, grinning with boyish charm.
Tall fronds of corn sway and rustle in the breeze, prompting Mercer to pause.
“Kind of spooky,” he whispered, before laughing out loud.
When Ingrid and Ken Dieleman submitted a proposal to transform their 11-acre cornfield into Mercer’s head, the executives at CBC’s Rick Mercer Report didn’t think much would come of it.
“They e-mailed the office and said, ‘Can we put your face on a corn maze?’ and we said, Yes.’ But we kind of thought . . . I won’t say crazy, but a lot of odd people use the Internet so we just kinda said, ‘Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever,'” said Mercer.
“We didn’t think about it until some guy sent us a picture he took overhead flying in a Cessna and that’s why we’re here.”
Ingrid and Ken Dieleman are delighted that the crew was able to fit it into Mercer’s six-month shooting schedule.
“We certainly had no expectations Rick would come; we just like having his head in the field,” said Ingrid.
The designs are discussed over the winter months by the family and are whittled down to one.
“It’s a pretty big deal that we had Rick Mercer in the field because the only other person we’ve had is Tecumseh because of his historical significance,” said Ingrid.
Like a kid in a candy store, Mercer appeared overwhelmed at the size of the maze.
“I thought the rendition was incredible, I don’t understand how these things work. I don’t understand when you are in here, how they can make it look like that from the sky. I’m very impressed,” said Mercer.
The Dielemans plant the field by machine and then map out the maze by counting rows of corn when it’s about knee high. Corn that is marked is then removed to form the pathways and the twists and turns that create Mercer’s image. It’s a big job.
Mercer and his three-man crew toured the farm, sampling cornbread, walking the maze, seeing it from the air, and taking a few political cob shots with the corn cannon.
The corn cannon shooting gallery is pasted with photos of the federal political party leaders. Before taking to the gun, Mercer got some tutelage from the Dieleman’s 14-year-old son Ethan on how to aim his blows — a little lower for Stephen Harper, and oddly, a little to the right for Stephane Dion.
“I still can’t believe it, I never thought that anyone would do such a thing, it’s amazing,” Mercer said of the maze, adding it’s the strangest thing he’s done. Ever.
Considering the experiences he’s had — the travelling, the people he’s had the opportunity to meet and the media interest he garners — he still felt a need to write home about it.
“When I got the photo of my head as a corn maze I sent it to my parents, I emailed it. And you know they were more impressed by that than anything I’ve ever done in my entire life. More than the cover of Maclean’s magazine. This was the pinnacle.”
Which left the Dielemans asking themselves how they can possibly top this next year.