I passed by a ... um....what's a group of mushrooms? A crop? A bunch? Anyway, I passed by a herd of mushrooms on my way to cat duty today so I stopped to take a photo or ten. None of them really struck me, but I had a random conversation with a 127 year old man who was really afraid I was going to pick and eat them. He said "you're not going to eat those, are you young lady?" about a dozen times. While I was amused by his concern for my stupidity, I was also depressed that it's only 127-year old men who think I'm young.
Knowing nothing about mushrooms, except that they come from the grocery store and taste yummy on pizza, I am not going to pick random bits of fungus and think "free food!' Potentially fatal stir-fry is off the menu at our house. But old guy seemed unconvinced. I assured him repeatedly I was just taking pictures -- not taking my life in my hands. But he just kept repeating "don't eat them." Odd, because we were both speaking English, and yet he seemed to not understand my "no, I'm not going to pick them, I'm just taking photographs." "OK," he'd say, "but don't eat them." No, strangely persistent old guy, for the 15th time I am NOT going to eat them. "Fine," he said, "just don't eat them."
I tried to change the subject. Beautiful day. Look how clearly you can see Mt. Diablo. Do you think Oswald acted alone? But he kept beating that poor, dead (because he ate the fucking mushrooms) horse. "Yes, it's a lovely day. Too nice a day to die eating bad mushrooms." Thank you, Mr. Reaper, I wasn't feeling suicidal before but these mushrooms are beginning to look like a quick way of ending this conversation.
I actually wanted to keep taking photographs, but I told him I had to get back to work and trotted back to my car. As he walked off, I swear he muttered under his breath "don't eat the mushrooms."