Those lucky enough to grow up ensconced in the idyllic and unchanging lifestyle on the classic American farm have always possessed a bit of wisdom that hapless urbanites never acquired. "Sweet Jesus," the farmers say, as they lean against a wooden fence, chewing on a stalk of some sort of grain, "I'm so fucking bored. Get me off this farm before I blow my brains out. Amen."
Meanwhile, slick city-dwellers were all sitting around their "rustic" Brooklyn apartment furnished in farmhouse-chic pre-distressed items from ABC Home, waxing poetic about the idyllic and unchanging lifestyle on the classic American farm. And—in what can only be described as a devastating indictment of our nation's susceptibility to the twin afflictions of boredom and naivete—boredom-crazed farmers have discovered that non-farmers will pay them good money to come to their farms and engage in the types of activities that would leave the average farm-bound child longing for a video game's sweet embrace:
Some have opened bed-and-breakfasts, often known as farm stays, that draw guests eager to get a taste of rural living. Others operate corn mazes - now jazzed up with modern fillips like maps on cellphones - that often turn into seasonal amusements, with rope courses and zip lines. Ranchers open their land to hunters or bring in guests to ride horses, dude ranch style.
Known as agritourism, such activities are becoming an important economic boost for many farmers.
Has everyone in America turned into Dwight Schrute? Peering at an iPhone while navigating a "corn maze" in a dopey stupor? We waste our lives in neon-lit office cubicles only to blow our wee reserves of discretionary income in an archaic effort to return to some manure-soaked feudalistic agrarian landscape? What do you think the farmers will do as soon as they get enough of your money, you touristing fools? They'll hop on that zipline straight to civilization, leaving you at the mercy of the pigs and chickens!
I swear. Americans will pay for anything.