Suggested Audio Jukebox
 Chris Isaak “Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing”
 The Mushroom River Band “Mud Crusher”
 Tricky Pixie “The Mushroom Song”
 Korn “Wake Up Hate”
So I got to thinking recently, what kind of foul misdemeanors earn us the mantle of wrong ‘un. I mean, there are plenty of them out there and you only need tune into the daily news to get a handle on precisely who’s sending the whole world swiftly down the tubes. But what of the others? Could it be like Invasion of The Body Snatchers whereby one-by-one we’re all being replaced by ill-mannered doppelgängers? If so, do you think the aliens would mind terribly if I call dibs on Brooke Adams when they finish threading her replacement’s eyebrows? Should I rush her cadaver back to the lab quick smart, then I should still be able to get a few good thrusts in before she drops below room temperature. Indeed if I time it right, I may even ride a clench or two as she turns frigid. Oh dear, it would appear that my last statement constitutes as wrong ‘un material. That makes me as guilty as sin and beyond then right? Whaddaya reckon, shall I just wrap this up now, save us all the shame? Hells no! I will be doing absolutely nothing of the sort. You see, it matters not whether I’m totally inappropriate through suggestion, as I happen to consider myself something of a model citizen. Granted, the only reason I don’t shit on the sidewalk is the amount of pesky surveillance cameras they conceal nowadays unbeknownst to us; but there’s little that would stand up in a court of law.
So I have been known to streak the shadows after midnight from time to time, big whoop. I don’t jaywalk (admittedly because I have no idea what it is), assist the elderly across bustling intersections whenever necessary (as an affectionate homage to my Frogger days), don’t fart in crowded elevators (since the shart was patented), and recycle at every opportunity (jockeys, sperm, acid reflux). It’s not like I’m chirping for a Silver Star here, just the right to be considered “normal(ish)”. It’s all too easy to overlook the good in people and focus our beady pips on the rotten. This saddens me as, while it is far more than statistically viable that there is indeed fungus among us, I’m convinced they only own the minority stake. Watch too much breaking news and it can appear that the balance is shifting, when there’s so much ripeness in the world not receiving the credit it deserves. Now I’m not about to go all American Beauty and toss a polythene bag into a windbreaker for effect, but I do believe I have earned a quick tug on at least one of your aortic valves. Remember I’m currently perched in the dock after my earlier outburst and consider this my community service. It sure as shit beats painting the side of Ethel’s bungalow dandelion yellow when the old dear was born color-blind anyhoots.
While I’m sworn to oath, perhaps there’s one iddy biddy thing I should come clean about. You see, I do glean rather a lot of sick pleasure out of watching folk annihilated with two-handed weapons, cordless drills, and the like. However here comes that shot of perspective. The other day my teenage niece kindly informed me of a French Olympic gymnast who caused himself a dash of mischief after botching his dismount from the vault. Okay so dash may be a tad stingy, how does whole fricking bundle grab you? I cringed just hearing of the injury and felt utterly nauseous by the time she reached for her cell phone and my wi-fi signal dropped to two bars. A spot of on-screen splatter is one thing, but when a dude’s leg is left resembling a question mark and he’s evidently in some discomfort, I’m out. Of course, the alpha male in me suggested I rise to the challenge in the name of “cool uncle” dignity. But I could only stomach the photo and flat refused to pay YouTube a visit and fritter all the vital protein I had digested mere minutes earlier. I may be a “dash” sick (there’s today’s buzz word again) but I’m only marginally demented and draw the line at bona fide agony. St. Elsewhere is about my limit and, if that makes me a wuss, then I challenge you to a hopscotch duel and the winner gets the Barbie skipping rope. Oh dear. It would appear that she currently needs it to restrain that awfully nice Ken fellow.
You see even plastic can spoil over time and, if a squeaky clean bubblegum icon like Barbie’s a wrong ‘un, then what hope can there possibly be for all us other ‘uns? Perhaps Crazy Ralph was onto something with the whole “you’re doomed” rant after all, maybe this place does have a death curse. If Danny Glover were here now, then I’d request he grab the cat but, judging by the funk of rancid Mexican cuisine wafting down the stairs as we speak, I reckon he’s taking a dump, hope there’s enough toilet paper up there. And there was me thinking he was too old for this shit. I don’t know about you lot but I’m booking the first flight out of here and heading to the Waka Waka islands until it all blows over. What could feasibly be wrong about a perky young lady in a garland who bumps and grinds your junk on a public beach? Is there such a thing as more saintly behavior than that I ask you? That said, while it may be all sun, sand, and senoritas by the shoreline, should you ramble freely into the dense thicket to the rear then I’m assured it wouldn’t be long before you hear the tribal equivalent of “get him lads” and wind up getting your eyes gouged out on a rock altar by famished cannibals. And who wants the job of telling the Ya̧nomamö tribe that they’re acting a dash out of sorts? It’s in their nature dagnabbit and that makes them only accountable to its house-mother. Besides, it’s at least a 10km walk to the nearest McDonald’s and bamboo flip-flops will only take you so far.
So what’s good for the cannibal right? Wrong fortunately. You see, when I dash out for the groceries, the last thing I need is to be dodging poison blow darts and I’m pleased to report that has only happened to me the one time. There is a code of decorum that us flatlanders are expected to adhere to and, for the most part, adhere to it we do. I would never dream of tucking into my neighbor’s calf unless he nabs the window seat and our plane then goes down in the Andes. Let’s not get this twisted, aside from a long-running cheddar addiction, I’m practically carnivore. But meat just tastes better when you don’t have to roll the sock off first. You ever seen ten frostbitten toes? Never mind that, have you ever seen The Stuff? Imagine taking it up on its secondary nail varnish function and you’re in the right refrigerator. As a species we tow the line (pun irresistible) pretty well for the most part and barely a siren is necessitated (or affordable given the cuts in public sector funding). But still there is fungus among us and it’s high time I speak of the elephant in the room before it sucks up all the bar nuts and ejects its early evening stool. I’m talking about mushrooms Grueheads. Filthy, deplorable mushrooms. I just knew they had something to do with all this.
I detest these supposed “fungi” and, should one sneak into my meat feast unannounced, then my face drops faster than a poster boy for Bell’s palsy and I’m on the next Greyhound to Memphis without so much as a solitary curtsy. You guessed it, me and mushrooms don’t get along. Indeed, they populate my most petrifying phantasms and I wouldn’t trust one as far as I would suggest that someone else throw it before politely requesting they rigorously scrub their hands and don’t come a step closer or I’ll shoot. It’s nil by mouth for anything with a stalk as far as I’m concerned and this makes it even more heartbreaking that they also come in the magic variety. Cards on the table here, the only reason I have not partaken is that they’re so twatting hard to get your hands on, and I’d guzzle them reluctantly down for the cause if it meant tripping bollocks until sunrise. But every last gulp would be labored and begrudging, and followed by a Tequila chaser. The bottom line is this – I’m reasonably certain that mushrooms are inherently evil and that includes toadstools too. The whole lot of them are wrong ‘uns and it turns out that fungus isn’t synonymous to far-flung bayous and dotty Deirdre’s poorly tended allotment. She’s never been the same since that hip replacement. But don’t start feeling sympathy pangs as it was likely her that instigated the whole outbreak.
I guess it doesn’t help none that the line between love and hate is so frightfully slender. One minute little Timmy Jarvis is your absolute bestie in the whole entire universe and, the next, you’re thwacking him to the temple with a hunk of 4×4 just for staring at Muffy McGee’s tits the wrong way (like there’s any right way to stare them out). Whatever happened to the in-between? Is is that hard to vaguely despise someone or should it all end in a month’s detention with the dreaded Mr. Moffat? Apparently he’s six degrees of separation from Adolf Hitler y’know and only three from Bill Cosby. Wherever did all this hate come from and, more to the point, where the holy hell is it headed? The first thing I’m doing when I’ve concluded blathering is to dash upstairs and seal myself into the panic room. Alas, technology hasn’t quite reached my rural trappings as yet so it’s more of a small, poky bedroom with below-average ventilation. That’s good enough for me as I’m soundly buggered if I’m letting that hate worm its way in and felch my happy juju. It took me forty-one years to stock that up dagnabbit.
Thus I don’t believe that I deserve to be considered a wrong ‘un and would like to approach the bench and ask that you slacken these manacles as I’ve had this southern itch for almost forty minutes and it has now spread to the other one. Surely you wouldn’t deny me a harmless protracted scratch? Tell you what, I promise I’ll give you a sign when it’s all better, how’s that? Decline my wishes and I would propose taking a gander in that full-length mirror as fungus has a reputation for striking without rhyme or reason, only malice. Slap my wrists, hell place me over your knee and impart a severe thrashing on my buttocks if it makes you feel more important (just a suggestion), but don’t give up on this old dog yet as there’s still plenty of time for me to release an EP of love songs and donate 2% profit to Greenpeace. Okay you’ve twisted my nipple clamps, make it five and throw in a hand job. But if I see a single mushroom mincing menacingly around in the shadows, I’m damn well making that dash.