Monthly Archives: October 2014

Mushroom Hunt

Mushroom Hunt

What the Hell Were We Thinking?

     The sound of the shotgun blast made cry out like a little girl.  Without thinking, we ran as fast as we could to get back to the truck.  Tyler jumped into the driver side and I wasting no time leaping into the bed, where I banged my knee with such force I was sure that it was broken.  Tyler started the engine and floored spewing gravel and rocks behind us.  After a minute or so Tyler somehow managed to keep the truck under control until we finally hit the black-top of the main highway.  I kept low in the bed of the truck for fear of getting my head blown off. Tyler started to calm down when he realized that we were not being followed. Realizing that the danger had passed, I pick my head up and tried to crawl to the back window where I tapped on the glass to remind Tyler that I was back there.

“Stop the truck!”

Tyler eased off the gas and started to press the brake until eventually the truck came to a stop.  I climbed out of the bed and limped to the passenger side where I opened the door and climbed in as quickly as I could.

“Go!” “Fucking drive!” I said, my voice a couple of octaves higher than a man should have.

Tyler pressed the accelerator to the floor; the truck lurched forward, causing me to jolt back into the seat.  We drove for another few minutes before I finally spoke. “Fucking Christ!” “We almost died.” I said angrily.  “A couple of fucking rednecks tried to kill us.”

“Well”, Tyler said, “this is Georgia, they take trespassing very seriously down here.”

“Really?”  “I can see the headline now.”  Two Yankees were shot and killed at Farmer Rednecks property looking for cow shit”

“Mushrooms Bunkie, we were looking for mushrooms.” “Besides, that is way too long for a headline.” “And they weren’t going to kill us; they only wanted to scare us.”

“Well, it worked, I think I shit my pants.”


“No dumbass, but I came close.” “Fuck!” “I think I shattered my kneecap, I can’t even bend the fucking thing.”

“Do you need to go to the hospital?”

“No.” “But I do need a fucking drink.”

“There should be a bottle of Captain Morgan behind the seat.”

I reached behind my seat feeling around for the bottle, finding it; I screwed of the cap and took a long drink.”  I put my head back and tried to calm my nerves. “I can’t believe I let you talk me into this.”

“What?” Tyler said, now chuckling. “It was a good chance for us to make a little money, and party.” “How was I supposed to know about farmer redneck and the shotgun?”

At this moment, I broke out into laughter. “Well except for my knee, this whole is kind of funny.”

“Alright Bunkie, stop hogging the bottle, pass it over.” I handed the bottle to Tyler; who, with shaking hands, grabbed it and took a drink.

“This trip has been a fucking freak-show!” “First was that psycho hitchhiking chick you picked up in Virginia.”

“How was I to know she was crazy?”

Next, was the Special Olympics volley ball team in Savannah, not to mention, your drug addled college friends.” “Jesus Christ, I never thought I would miss New Jersey.”

“Take it easy Bunkie, think of it like this, in twenty-five years you’ll probably write a story about it” Tyler added; “I would leave out the part about you shitting your pants though.”

“I didn’t shit my pants.” I can see it now, as soon as we get back home, Tyler will take great joy in telling everyone that I shit my pants.

“Well Bunk, I thought we would look for another pasture.” “It’s still kind of early, we can’t give up yet.”

“You have got to be kidding me; I am done hunting for cow shit for one night.” “I want to find mushrooms too, but the shit isn’t worth dying over.”

“We’ll head back to the college and see if there’s anything going on there.”

“Let’s try and finding something else to do. Something that won’t get us killed.”

“Fine.” “I will figure something out.”

Tyler and I passed the bottle back and forth without speaking.  Each was trying to get a grip on what had transpired.

After twenty minutes of driving, I asked.

“Jesus Christ Tyler, are you lost?”

“No.” “Why?”

“It feels like we have been driving forever.”

“Hey, look, there’s a place up the road.”  Tyler said, “Looks like it’s a happening place.”

“Really?”  “Come on.” “Look at all the pick-up trucks, it looks like redneck heaven.” The only thing missing is a Clan rally.”

“Don’t worry about it Bunk.”  “They’re probably just a bunch of good ol boys.”

“Yeah, like the ones who shot at us?” “We should take a pass on this place.”

“Look, we’ll have one beer, and then we will leave.”

“With our luck, we will probably get lynched.”

“No.” “They don’t lynch white people down here.”

“Tyler; we are from New Jersey; they will lynch us.”

“Well then; don’t act like a Northerner.”

“Easier said than done; “How am I going to explain my grammar, hygiene and full set of teeth?”

“Your grammar isn’t that good Bunkie.”

“Well, you’re no William James.”


“Never mind.”

“I am stopping.”

“Fine; This should be interesting…

My Job

I travel a lot.  When I say travel I mean drive.  In the last five years, I have spent 75% of my life driving. I have been to Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey (but I do not count New Jersey because I am from there.) The things that I enjoy the most from all of this traveling is the solitude, I get to spend hours and hours of nothing but me and my mind. The lack of friends, home and family make this job perfect for me.  I have found that in order to do this job well, you need to let go of all those desires that make going home important.  If you have no relationship, there is no one to miss or long for, if you have no family, again, no one to miss you or be glad to see you return. Friends are possible, but after you turn down too many invitations for cook-outs, parties, birthdays and holiday events, people get the hint and stop sending invitations (why bother?)  Not having a place to live is also important.  I do not own a home or property.  I don’t even rent an apartment.  I pay people money to let me sleep on their couch while I am in the town of my residence.  As of now I pay a relative a monthly rate to stay in one of their spare bedrooms.

If you can deal with the lack of sleep, aching back, hemorrhoids, chain-smoking cigarettes, coffee and a diet of fast food mini mart cuisine, not to mention the consumption of alcohol that is needed to help you cope with the shitty nightmare that you have created for yourself, this job may be perfect for you.  If on the other hand, you care about such things as a healthy body, mind and spirit, not so much.

I am an Environmental Consultant, which means, I inspect buildings for Asbestos, Lead and Mold.  The job in and of itself is not so bad, the threat of lung cancer, Asbestosis, Mesothelioma and, lead poisoning are a minor concern but they are the least of my worries.  I am certain that the alcohol, caffeine, cigarettes and fast food will do away with me long before the environmental hazards will.

Now, those few, very few, that read this might say “Well why don’t you quit? Get another job? The only reply I have to that is…but I get to travel a lot.

“Maybe it’s a good idea we no longer communicate.”

…“Maybe it’s a good idea we no longer communicate.”
These were the last words he had ever received from her. As he read it, he felt as though his chest had imploded, he could actually feel his insides fall into despair. Could she really mean this? Was this some sort of practical joke? But he knew her all too well, this was no joke. What grievous error had he committed? Had he shared too much with her? Not enough? Many thoughts began to swirl around his head. There were far too many for him to focus on any particular one. He poured another drink; the alcohol gave him the calm reserve to deal with the flood of emotions he was experiencing. Had he come on too strong? He did, after all, send her a very heartfelt letter in which he had bared his soul. He had admitted to things that most men would not dare share with anyone else. He had shared with her all of his feelings of loneliness, fear, sadness the tears he had cried. Things he could scarcely admit to himself, let alone another human being.
Nonetheless, he wrote it all down, just for her.
But, it did not matter; it had meant nothing to her.
She recognized the letter as a sign of weakness. Who was this frightened little man who would waste his time chasing her, a woman well beyond his reach? Had he no shame? Had he no dignity? She could not be concerned with anyone’s emotions but her own, let alone a man with whom she had had a brief affair with so long ago. How pathetic that anyone would carry a torch for so long over something that meant so little. The feeling of disgust made her sick to her stomach. She could not even find pity for this creature, only contempt. She knew immediately that she would have to cut this malignant wound out of her life forever. It was then that she sent a text that would put an end to this once and for all.
…“Maybe it’s a good idea we no longer communicate.”
With the slightest smile on her face, she hit send. She was giddy with anticipation as to the devastation she was about to induce upon his weak soul.
…“Maybe it’s a good idea we no longer communicate.”
The only response he could come up with was
As you wish.