Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Mushroom Walked into a Bar...

...but the bartender wouldn't serve him. "We don't serve mushrooms here," he said. Dejected, the mushroom walked out. He came back in the side door, strolled up to the bar whistling, and ordered a gin and tonic. "I'm sorry," the bartender said, "but we don't serve mushrooms here." Even sadder now, the mushroom walked out of the bar and came in the rear entrance. He sidled up to the bar, keeping as much of his face turned away from the bartender as possible. Before he even asked for the drink, the bartender said, "Look, it doesn't matter how many times you come in here. I'm telling you, we don't serve mushrooms here."

"Aw, c'mon," the mushroom wheedled. "I'm a fun-gi!" (read: "fun guy")

Yes, folks, it was a bad pun, but I was attempting, in my lame way, to prepare you for the horrific picture you are about to see. You know how, when people talk about death, taxes, and other unpleasant subjects, they try to make a joke about it to ease the tension? It's sort of like that.

So okay, enough of the pleasantries and joking--let's get to the fearful topic of...fungus. You'll see I've included a picture at right of a mushroom that has been growing in my yard all summer. We had a couple of 'shrooms last year (please let me reassure you at this point that we are NOT eating them, and if you have anything remotely resembling the pictured fungus growing in your yard, I wouldn't recommend adding it to any dishes), but nothing like this one.

This fungus, dubbed the Voracious Mutant Rock-and-Leaf-Eating Fungus from Outer Space and viewed with great trepidation, has evolved into an amorphous blob of spongy goo. I dared touch it, and the slick, glistening surface is actually dry and smooth. You can see hints of mushroom texture on the outer edges of this fungus blossom. Please note that the rock and leaves are STUCK--no amount of tugging would release them in one piece. I think the fungus is actually consuming them. I carefully placed a quarter in the upper right quadrant before taking the picture (which has not been photoshopped other than to simply be resized to fit the blog) so you could get a sense of the gigantuhugimammothian size.

All I can say is I am glad I am moving. I do not wish to be caught in the house unawares when this glistening, slavering beast darkens the doorstep.

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