Child of the corn

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It was 1936, and little Jimmy walked slowly between the rows of tall corn on his father's farm, basically thinking about nothing in particular.

Suddenly a figure appeared in front of him.

"Holy mackerel, mister! You scared the pee-willy shit out of me!" said Jimmy. He stared at a man was dressed in a curious uniform, not unlike that of a football player.

"That's right, Jimmy," said the tall figure. "It's me, dodgeball all-star Patches O'Hoolihan."

Jimmy perked up. "Oh, yeah!" He recalled when his father took him to Des Moines to see a game a couple of years back. "But... you're supposed to be dead."

"Yep, that's true. But I've been sent back to give you a special message: if you build it, they will come. Got it?" said Patches.

Jimmy said, "Okay. But are you really Patches O'Hoolihan?"

Quick as lightning, Patches produced a dodgeball out of nowhere and flung it at Jimmy, hitting him square in the crotch. "Believe me now?," said Patches, grinning.

Groaning, Jimmy nodded his head as he sat on the ground. Woozy, he asked, "So can I get your autograph or something so I can prove to my friends that you came back?"

"Sure thing, kiddo!" And with that, O'Hoolihan unleashed another dodgeball that bounced off Jimmy's head with a loud thunk. Jimmy passed out.

When he woke, it was dark and there was no sign of Patches or any dodgeballs. He staggered back to the house, finding that he had missed supper.

His father looked up from his newspaper. "Well, I suppose you stumbled on a gopher hole and beat yourself up. I told you to pay attention."

Jimmy then told his his story about his encounter with Patches O'Hoolihan, bringing hoots and guffaws from both his parents. He didn't bother to ask for supper and just went to his room and went to bed.

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The next day, Jimmy's father was working at the edge of the cornfield when he heard the phrase his son mentioned: if you build it, they will come. He angrily called out, "Come out of there, you trickster! Jimmy, you're in for it now!"

But Jimmy was behind him, explaining, "Father, I'm over here! That's Patches O'Hoolihan in the cornfield!"

Just as his father turned back to the cornfield, a dodgeball came rocketing out and hit him right in the crotch. Just as he was about to ask if that really was Patches out there, another dodgeball flew out of the cornfield and hit him in the head, knocking him out cold.

After a couple of weeks of this, Jimmy's father finally began to get the point. He leveled a large swath of field with the tractor, had wooden flooring laid atop an asphalt base and built a small grandstand and scoreboard. It was all built to strict pro dodgeball standards. And then Jimmy and his father waited.

Soon, Patches O'Hoolihan strode out of the cornfield, a dodgeball under each arm. "Very nice! What's all this, then?"

"You told us: if you build it, they will come" said Jimmy.

Patches shook his head. "You dummies! You were supposed to build a roadside stand to sell your corn to travelers and tourists. I thought it was pretty clear since me and my team was sponsored by the Iowa Corn Board. They were the ones that told me to say that stupid line. And I'll be saying it forever. How was I to know when I signed up to play dodgeball, that it was a perpetual services contract and not just a lifetime one?" He then launched dodgeballs at Jimmy and his father, hitting them in the crotches once again. Patches thought, I might be dead, but the old arm is still as good as ever.