Friday, June 04, 2004


Mushrooms are a curious specimen. In effect, they are an extremely large edible mold. They come in hundreds of sizes and shapes, and nature has camouflaged some of the most deadly varieties to look as harmless as your favorite household mushroom.

The oddest part about mushrooms is that since they are already a fungus, it is very difficult to determine when they are no longer fresh enough to eat. Sometimes, but only rarely, they get another fuzzy mold growing on them. Sometimes, the caps get really strange and spongy. And sometimes they turn a funny color.

The effects of spoiled mushrooms are quick and vituperative. Within minutes, the stomach feels as if the mushrooms have expanded to an unnatural size or the victim becomes convinced that he/she is shrinking in the manner of Alice in Wonderland. In fact, Alice in Wonderland fails to address the problems arising from rapid shrinkage in height. Since her dress shrinks with her, we can only assume that her stomach contents does too, but this overlooks some lovely possibilities for embarrassing situations.

After some gastrointestinal discomfort, the effect of the spoiled mushrooms becomes more noticeable. A sudden surge in malodorous flatulence serves as a sign that the nasty stomach pains will eventually be over, and that no hospitalization is necessary. Unfortunately, during this period, no beings with a half-decent sense of smell can stand to be in your vicinity.

My cat, however, is nasally impaired. She crawled under the comforter in the midst of the eruptions and nestled herself under my derrier, where she promptly feel asleep.


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