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Sunday Feature: MWM Seeks Fungus for Dinner, STR

Two years ago I wrote a story for this very site about morels, those delectable mushrooms that make their appearance here every Spring.

I have yet to find one since.

Actually, that’s a lie. If you get one thing out of this article, it should be the fact that Shroomers lie about, well,  Shrooming, which is the act of seeking, harvesting, and eating fungus, athlete’s foot not included.

My lie here is that I really did find three yellows last week, but they were so small that they should be spelled mshrms, not being big enough to qualify for vowels. Dude, they were so dinky, they hurt my feelings. Didn’t have the heart to pick ‘em.

Maybe my last article ruined my luck, that I offended the gods of fungus, or some such nonsense. Branch Rickey said that luck is the residue of design, but the only residue I’m interested in is the mushroom gravy-type that you sop up with a biscuit right out of the skillet. (BTW, the Roman goddess of fungus was Jocitchoria).

Everyone said 2012 was a sucky season for morels (at least around here), but they seem to be all over the place this Spring - that is, everywhere other than where I’ve looked.

Jeremiah stopped by the house the other day with about 3 lbs. of yellows in a potato bag, but that was just to show off, not to offer up. He left with all 3 lbs., a smile, and me with small tear in my eye.

Dan has ‘reportedly’ collected a half-bushel of the buggers this year, but I’ve known Dan my entire life and tell you here and now that he is a True Shroomer (see above) and is not past gilding the lily.

Stu had a very nice mess soaking in his fridge, and when I asked him to take me along on his next trip, he glared at me eye-to-eye for two full minutes of silence. We changed the subject to golf.

A deacon at your church who would help you change a tire in a downpour would rather have your Honda fall on his foot than tell you where he found those three hundred grays. He’ll tell you that he found them on the moon, when you know damned well that he’s never been west of St. Louis. The maxim holds true: Be they princes or paupers, if they Shroom, they sham.

I tell you this sorry, sad, and sordid story in a blatantly naked attempt to solicit your sorrow and perhaps wear out the ‘s’ on my keyboard. I never liked it anyhow. I want some fungus, dag nab it, and not the kind that takes Weapons-Grade Tinactin to cure either.

Glen and I plan on going out Shrooming this afternoon, but I’m not optimistic. Glen is a good guy and a good Shroomer, but he has a knack for finding things other than mushrooms and wanting to drag them home. If I’m there when this happens, he makes me drag while he pushes and supervises. My idea of a fun Sunday afternoon doesn’t involve lugging what Glen says is the left side of a 350-cubic inch small-block engine out of a swamp because “it might be worth something“, like a $32,000 bill from my orthopedist.

No, I’m convinced that morels for me are like poker hands better than two-pair, something else I haven’t seen in two years.

That’s why I’m asking my millions of readers here in Logan County to throw me a fungus-flavored Lifesaver and take me with them this week in search of what is wonderfully described as the elusive morel.

(Just read the last paragraph and had a good laugh. Millions of readers, ha ha, in a pig‘s eye. Last time I got 2000 reads on a story I almost passed out. That should be proof enough for you to trust that I, too, am a True Shroomer. I lie in print, man; I can lie about where you take me Shrooming.)

Bear in mind that while I am a lot closer to being height-weight appropriate than I was six months ago, if your idea of Shrooming involves rock-climbing equipment, include me out. I’ll climb a hill and gully or two, but I’m looking for fungus, not to get back to nature. (Why does this sound more and more like a personal ad in a really weird magazine?)

So if you’re willing to let a fifty-ish fungophile follow you around in the woods for a couple of hours this week after work, I’m your guy. I’m good company, can get around in the woods and can talk for five minutes straight on any subject. With 24-hours notice, I can talk intelligently for fifteen minutes straight on any subject, as the five-minute version is very likely contain up to eighty-percent crapola.

Just leave a post at the end of this story via Facebook inviting me along. The not-really-a-law-firm of Stephens and Smith, BMF, will pick the most intriguing or funniest and will contact My Latest Hero by Tuesday and make arrangements to go later this week.

If you already reached you're yearly limit of fungus and took pics, send them to me at tstephens@wpko.com in a .jpeg format and I'll post them below.

All I’m really interested in is finding a mess or two of mushrooms for me and the family, not hitting the lottery. But if it just happens that while My Latest Hero and I are out finding morels, my Reporter gene kicks in and I find a story, say, about people who hunt mushrooms, I could certainly take pictures, conduct interviews, and do a feature story for this site and a package for WPKO and WBLL next weekend. Wow! The very definition of serendipity.

Footnote: The not-really-a-law-firm of Stephens and Smith, BMF , consists of me and Night Mix Guru Matt Smith, who owns an odd sense of humor that makes sense to me. My name comes first because I have underwear older than he is.

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