PEMBINA VALLEY, MB
Every year in August the honesty and integrity of Mennonites throughout the Pembina Valley is put to the test as local farmers set up self-service corn stands at the end of their driveways. Customers are welcome to husk the corn, fill a bag, and deposit an appropriate amount in a little ice cream pail. All of this works on ‘the honour system,’ something that Rev. Herman F. Warkentin says is leading people into temptation.
“First there’s the temptation of the corn itself,” explained Warkentin in a sermon this Sunday. “That corn is fiendishly delicious. Too delicious if you ask me. But what do the scriptures tell us about delicious things? That’s right. Avoid them. ‘When Eve saw that the fruit of the tree was good, she took and ate.’ Not good, my friends. Not good.”
Warkentin also suggested that some residents may be tempted to pay less than they should, or some may take corn without paying at all.
“The siren call of sweet corn is very real. You can’t just put that product out there on display and expect single men not to want to stop and husk a few,” said Warkentin. “Think of young Benjamin here, whose life has been ruined because of his addiction to self-service corn stands.”
The Benjamin he is referring to is a young man, now on parole, who was arrested in 2006 for corn stand theft. His life only spiralled down after the arrest.
“It’s very unfortunate,” explained Benjamin’s lawyer. “It was a sting operation. There it was. All that corn and not a soul in sight. But, unbeknownst to my client, the whole place was under surveillance. In my opinion this whole self-service corn industry needs to cease immediately before more young Mennonites are lured into a life of crime. It’s entrapment, really.”