To Fear the Wonderland Mushroom
It’s a sad state of affairs when Sister Madly becomes the voice of reason.
She was on her way to a dinner party when she made a stop to pick up the requested potatoes. She had long-since decided on purple potatoes since no specific instructions were given, as the color would make the evening festive. Besides, what’s more fun than wandering the international market?
After her usual dilly-dallying amongst the chicken claws and cans of grass juice, Sister Madly found her purple potatoes- and was immediately enchanted by a blue mushroom in a nearby bin.
By now you know that Sister Madly likes mushrooms; she also likes blue. Put these two marvels of nature together and you have brushed the outer fringes of nirvana. No doubt the Professors would be pleased; they once mentioned wanting to hunt for blue chanterelles someday.
The Professors, however, were less than enthusiastic.
“On which trip through Wonderland did you dig that thing up?”
Now, you must know that Sister Madly’s idea of mushroom picking is digging through the U-Pick carton at the market- indeed, even Sister Madly wouldn’t trust a mushroom Sister Madly picked out in the woods, even under supervision. Also, there’s that tendency to wander off and get mixed up with big kitties.
“Are you sure it’s edible? It doesn’t look edible. What’s it called?”
Well, according to the sign, Professor, it’s line, line, intersecting-line-with-an-oh-so-subtle-yet-intriguing-arc, square-with-a-line-through-the-center, line. Repeat the sequence, but add a line- and, quite possibly, a smiley face.*
*Approximate. Sister Madly is not known for her spelling- especially when it comes to Asian Characters.
“That’s not a chanterelle, Sister Madly. It looks like a portabella that sat too close to the puffer fish. You can’t just pick up things because they are pretty. How do you know someone didn’t just walk by and toss it into the crate?”
Real Blue Chanterelle.
What is wrong with these people? It’s blue. It’s a blue mushroom. And when you get down to it, the question of death is never If but When, and should it be via Wonderland Mushroom, Sister Madly gives you permission for an I Told You So! eulogy.
Admit it, Sister Madly, their hesitation is not unwarranted. You think it was luck that you got the last blue mushroom, but did it occur to you that it was the last mushroom because it was blue and it wasn’t suppose to be?
Who cares? It’s a blue mushroom. It’s magic.
Magic- yes, it might be just that. You assumed, Sister Madly, that the name was written on the sign, but a slight variance in dialect and your unsupported interpretation of Blue Chanterelle might actually have read Shroom of Doom.
Still, this could be the shroom that puts the fun in fungus.
Be that as it may, Sister Madly, you’ve heard time and again that the Professor’s Significant Other, Mr. Safety,* doesn’t like people to hallucinate in his house.
(approx. 17 such internal and external exchanges edited from this narrative for brevity.)
*Mr. Safety: a worrier known for the lengths he will go to ensure that life is safe, clean and quiet. He also hates skinny jeans.
With a pair of tongs, the Wonderland Mushroom was handed back to Sister Madly, after which the Professors went about scrubbing the countertop as though performing a ritual exorcism. When they asked for the potatoes, she handed them over with a sulk.
“Sister Madly… they’re purple.”
The Professors, for all their faults, have a remarkable grasp of the obvious.
“But they can’t be; Mr. Safety is afraid of purple.”
They stated this as though it was the most natural thing in the world, and one look around that house proved this to be true: there wasn’t an ounce of purple anywhere in sight.
Sister Madly didn’t mean to disrupt this little purple-deprived world, but come on. Colors are not to feared; colors are our friends. Some even taste good. Black and white is meant for things like photography and film noir; the real world is meant for purple and blue.
Besides, if they didn’t want purple potatoes, they shouldn’t have sent her to the market unsupervised. Those are the documented risks of nonspecific instructions.
To this day, Sister Madly doesn’t know whether she left the Wonderland Mushroom at the Professor’s house, or whether Mr. Safety & Co. had it secretly removed and incinerated. Mr. Safety also doesn’t like people hallucinating in their own homes- as if that’s any of his business. Sister Madly has every right to hallucinate, indulge in psychosis, or go the full range from bananas to berserk and back again in the privacy of her own home, just like anyone else.
That was the last Wonderland Mushroom.
POST’S THEME SONG: Almost Like the Blues, Leonard Cohen