How would you feel if a random stranger ran up and pulled your clothes off to see if you're worth taking home?
Exactly. And there's no reason to believe that sweet corn likes it any more than you do. So with that in mind, we must learn to choose cobs of corn without stripping back the husks, which exposes the corn and allows it to dry and rot faster.
The first thing we must expect is that EVERY corncob is going to have a few missing kernels. This is to be expected, so pulling off husks to find the 'perfect, flawless cob' is a waste of everyone's time and just makes the corn feel worthless. So, find a cob that is tightly wrapped in green husk. The corn silk at the top of the husk should be damp and dark, which signals a fresh ear. If it is dried out or gone, you have a fairly old piece of corn. Then, gently squeeze the base of the wrapped cob, where it is fattest. It should be heavy and firm. If it gives too much when squeezed, this means the cob is drying out and is old.
If you are not going to boil or grill the corn on the cob right away (which everyone says you should, but is rarely convenient to today's busy corn eaters), store the cobs, still in husks, in a basin of icy cold water and a tablespoon or two of vinegar until the water is boiling or the grill is hot!