The magic of mushrooms

Continuing education was on the agenda around the debating table at the Bakery in Drizzle Creek the other morning. Maury, from the hill country north of Hooterville, broached the subject.
“Have you seen the crop of mushrooms out in the wild the last week? It’s simply amazing,” he stated with wonder as he sucked in his first mouthful of high test.
“You’d better be careful what you go stickin’ in your mouth,” lectured Moose, an authourity on all things wild.
“I’m pretty careful when I’m out pickin’ mushrooms, but I think someone in the last group snuck in one of them poisonous or magic specimens,” he added, pausing only to reflect and refresh his cup.
“Well, whatever happened? You’re still with us,” needled Pickle, delighted to dig up some dirt on Moose.
“I fried up a big pan of ’em fer my supper with lots of onions and butter, and I must say they were delicious. I’m quite a cook when I turn my hand to it,” bragged Moose as he pointedly ignored Pickle and tied into his toast.
“But somethin’ was amiss ‘because I woke up in the middle of the night with the curse upon me. Couldn’t hardly move and I’m sure my heart wasn’t beating more’n a few rpms a minute. Just sat there on the edge of the bed a sweatin’ and a moanin,’” he recalled as he washed down a bite of toast with half-a-cup of scalding coffee.
“Then the worst part started. Spiders, snakes, and monsters started comin’ out of the walls. It must have been a couple of hours ”til I sort a’ came back to my normal self,” stated Moose, the terror of the experience obviously still vivid.
“Sounds pretty scary. What did the missus think of it?” I asked, wanting all the juicy details but wondering at the same time just what was Moose’s “normal self.”
“Oh, she was absolutely beside herself,” Moose replied. “Spent the rest of the night and most of the next day pouring over the life insurance policies to make sure mushroom poisoning was covered.
“Didn’t really settle down until she discovered not only was it covered, but would probably qualify for double indemnity benefits,” he added as a puzzled look crossed his brow.
“Anyways, the long and the short of it is you don’t want to be pickin’ mushrooms unless you know which are the safe ones,” he concluded, blessing the table with his insight.
“Oh, I figure on taking that course ‘Honey Bee’ is holding out in the high country on identifying wild mushrooms,” assured Maury, chastened by Moose’s close encounter.
“Say, I’d kinda like to take that seminar in, too. I kinda fancy a feed of wild mushrooms,” mused the Runt as he licked the last of the peanut butter off his knife.
Pickle looked up quickly with some alarm.
“Runt, before you start picking, would you mind stopping by the lawyer’s office? Make sure your will is updated to specify cremation. No one at this table has a back strong enough to be your pallbearer,” he observed.
All round it seemed like a sensible precaution.

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