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So You're Trapped In a Labyrinth

Help!

What's up?

I'm trapped in a labyrinth!

Huh. Is the labyrinth a metaphor? Are you trapped in something that's just really confusing? A long-term cellphone plan? A bureaucratic nightmare? The prison of your own diseased mind?

Creatas/Getty Images
The CDC warns that most cellphone plans can cause mind disease.

No, it's an actual, literal maze with tall walls, and I'm lost.

OK, at this time of year, what you're probably trapped in is a corn maze. These are regularly navigated by children, so I guess just wait for the next child to wander by and follow him or her to freedom.

It's not a corn maze.

Yeah, you're probably imagining walls made of corn kernels, sort of an endless sea of yellow nipples. But not so! A corn maze is actually the corn crops, which are green and leafy stalks.

I KNOW WHAT A CORN MAZE IS. These walls are not green and leafy stalks.

They're the nipply kind?

They're not corn at all. The walls are a lot harder than corn.

Like ... a Korn maze?

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images Entertainment
A Korn maze would be a lot harder.

The. Walls. Are. Made. Of. Stone.

Oh. So like a labyrinth. You should have said so from the start.

I DID SAY SO FROM THE START.

As you should have. So then. How did you come to be trapped in a labyrinth?

I think I angered a powerful man.

Poseidon?

No, a businessman.

How'd that happen?

I was on vacation in Greece, and I was ... you know, relaxing on the beach.

Drinking ouzo. Staring at other people's wives and daughters.

Sure. But like really, extremely relaxed.

Exposing yourself to other people's wives and daughters.

halayalex/iStock/Getty Images
"You ladies here for a good time? Or a long ..." -looks down- "... a longish time? Like a long enough
not to need to feel self-conscious about it time?"

Yeah. And then blackness. And then I woke up here.

So, having shown your tackle to someone's wife or daughter -- someone with the wherewithal to build a labyrinth -- you were drugged and placed in one.

And now I'd like to escape, please.

I'm assuming you don't have a ball of thread with you.

No, I wasn't doing any sewing at the beach.

Well, that rules out the classic escape. OK then, we'll simply fall back on logic. Touch the wall on your right. Now, never lifting your hand from that wall, follow it all the way around the labyrinth. You'll eventually find the exit.

That's it?

Nothing more I can help you with. It's all tedious work from here. Now then, off you go. If you need me, just holler. I'll be here drinking ouzo and reading stories about Greek men wrestling.

For research?

Sure.

Antonis Magnissalis/iStock/Getty Images
"Ah, very good. Yes." -turns page- "Yessssssssssssh."

-some time passes-

I hit a dead end.

That's fine. You'll be hitting a lot of them. It's part of the process. Just keep your right hand touching the wall and go back the way you came.

Like walk backward?

What? No. Just keep touching the wall on your right and go back the way you came.

So, like, turn? And cross my right arm across my body?

Right. Wait. Wrong. You need to go to the very end of the dead end while always touching the wall on your right, then touch the end, then turn around, still touching the wall on your right, which was originally on your left. That's how the strategy works.

This is confusing.

Is it really? As discussed, children navigate mazes like this all the time. Seriously, this is a foolproof strategy for navigating any maze. Almost any maze.

Almost any maze?

It is conceivable that the topography of the labyrinth features a loop, which would make this a foolproof strategy for going around in circles.

Can I not do that?

Not really. If there is a loop, the best you can hope for is identifying it, and only going in a circle once. Try to leave some kind of distinguishing mark here that you'll recognize if you came back this way.

I don't have anything to leave a mark with.

Blood. A chunk of hair. One of your teeth. Poop.

I don't have anything I want to leave a mark with.

Come on. No one's going to know if you squeeze out a path-finding turd here.

I'll know.

So will I, actually. OK, forget it. Off you go, touching the right wall, and if you happen to spend several weeks doing that without escaping, we'll assume you're in a loop and switch to the other wall.

-several weeks do not pass-

Wait. I just heard footsteps.

That'll probably be the Minotaur then.

The half-man, half-bull thing? That's not a real thing, is it?

Are labyrinths real things?

Apparently. But how would you even make a Minotaur?

Well, the Minotaur of Greek legend was supposedly made when the wife of Minos fell in love with an especially attractive bull. She then climbed inside of a fake wooden bull, and so disguised, mated with this crazy beautiful bull. Later she gave birth to the Minotaur.

Wow.

Wikimedia Commons
Greek legend makes even dwellers of the dankest corners of the Internet look like amateurs.

Yeah, but it's called legend for a reason. Although the concept of chimerism is scientifically grounded, that's rather more limited in scope than half-and-half monsters. It's more like having two different types of blood cells, or, oh, whoops, your dead twin's liver is also living inside of you. Honestly, what you're probably dealing with is a Scooby-Doo villain. An old man in a rubber mask.

So I shouldn't be afraid of him?

No more than you'd be afraid of any other old man stalking a maze in a rubber mask. Which is to say, quite a bit, actually. So yes, like brave Theseus, if you do see a Minotaur here, you'd be well advised to stab it in the neck with a sword.

Which I don't have.

Right.

Is there any other way to kill one?

Uhhhhhhh, keep your right hand on it at all times?

Fuck you.

OK, seriously? Take off your clothes.

The deceit in your advice is normally better concealed than this.

I'm not kidding. You need a rag or cloth or something to twist into a loose ball. If he tries to gore you, snare his horns with your shirt and drag his head to the side. What type of clothes are you wearing? Please say it's a leather jacket and mesh shirt.

Photodisc/Getty Images
Please?

Surprisingly not. I told you, I was at the beach. I'm just in my swim trunks.

That's a bit thin. Still, this is life and death here. Off with them.

Are you sure?

It's either that or turd throwing.

-some time and flopping passes-

OK, I'm armed and naked. And- oh shit! It's the Minotaur!

OK then. Now, with your weapon in your hand ...

Heh.

Heh. With your wad of cloth in hand, approach the Minotaur and try and convince him to gore you.

I notice now, as I approach the Minotaur, that its horns are shaped like penises. Is that normal?

That's not typical, no.

I wonder what that means.

Well, you didn't want to get gored before, so this probably doesn't change that. Unless it does?

It doesn't.

That's cool. Either way is cool. OK. I'm ... uh, going to turn on Incognito Mode here and do some research on what this might mean. You try not to get gored.

Wikimedia Commons
This type of Minotaur apparently prefers mesh vests.

He's charging!

OK! Quickly -- and carefully -- use your weapon to parry his weapons and then dodge to the side, and when his neck is twisted, kick it in half.

-a snapping sound-

I can't believe that worked.

That worked!?

Comprehensively.

You killed the Minotaur. It's an old man in a rubber mask, isn't it?

Nope. No mask. It's a real Minotaur. With penis horns. And now the walls are starting to crumble to dust. I'm outside!

Huh. I wonder.

And now a dude with a trident and all the world's seaweed draped over him is coming up to me.

That'll be Poseidon then.

You think?

xyno/iStock/Getty Images
Or Sea Santa.

Tell him I say hi.

He's bellowing that he trapped me here in this maze of depravity ...

I knew it was a metaphor.

... as punishment for exposing myself to his many daughters and wives.

Many?

I'm on vacation.

Antonis Magnissalis/iStock/Getty Images
"You ladies got a little Greek in you? Would ... you like to ... space pants?"

Could Poseidon really have so many wives and daughters, though?

These Greek gods were all about fucking with mortals. You can count yourself lucky this hasn't ended with you inside a wooden bull. Though it could if you wanted to. Cool either way.

I'm good, thanks.

What's Poseidon bellowing now?

He's bellowing that, as I have slain his Minotaur, he will leave me at peace.

He's definitely not going to do that. Sorry, friend, but your trip home from vacation is about to get bonkers.

So what should I do?

Congratulations! You have successfully completed this guide and are now no longer stuck in a labyrinth. Should you desire any further assistance, please consult out guide, So You've Doomed Yourself to a Lifetime of Bizarre Sea-Themed Torment.


Chris Bucholz is a Cracked columnist and would like to apologize to the people of Greece, chimeras everywhere, and Poseidon. Join him on Facebook or Twitter to threaten him with various Sea-Themed Torment.

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