S1E3: Shroom, The Quietest Room

Original Transcript:

Dear S,

Let me just preface by saying I do not condone any illegal activity pertaining to psilocin or psilocybin otherwise known as magic mushrooms or shrooms. You, as a listener, can do whatever you please. I'm not responsible for your actions. Without further ado...

A room with a letters S and H are tacked in front of its door. Inside the quiet room, a person stares at a screen. An e-mail was open and the header reads, "Mushroom hunting"...

Before I continue with the story, let me say something real quick. There is a common misconception or association with fungal fanatics and magic mushrooms. The moment I give my elevator pitch about me being a fungal fanatic, I often get looks that can be interpreted as, "Oh, you're one of those people who get high off shrooms." I get it. There are very few times in a conversation where someone brings up the topic of mushroom hunting or talks about mushrooms found in the wild. The portrayal of mushrooms in the United States is typically either get high off shrooms or don't eat mushrooms you pick because they can be poisonous.

With that in mind... we return to Boromir staring at the e-mail. The e-mail is an invitation to go foraging for mushrooms, more specifically, the magical variety. You see, the e-mail is kind of random. The sender says he knows Boromir through networking events and was hanging out with mutual friends, Elsa and Lisa. The sender, Aragon, was talking to Elsa and Lisa about foraging for mushrooms. Of course, the first person they think of is Boromir.

As an aside, I strive to be like that where people will immediately think or associate me with fungi. Brian Chau = fungal fanatic. Done.

Of course, Aragon gets Boromir's e-mail without Boromir getting a notice from Elsa and Lisa. As Boromir sat thinking about how to best reply, he thought about how easy for him to unknowingly fall into a trap, get kidnapped, and disappear because he goes foraging for magic mushrooms. What a slippery slope his mind went down in mere minutes. If Elsa and Lisa knew Aaragon, then there should not be a problem to go out and about foraging for magic mushrooms. Besides, what are the odds of identifying any? As the reply to accept a crazy adventure was sent, Boromir decided to scold Elsa and Lisa for not letting him know early, jestingly. In the meantime, the e-mail chain grew to coordinate a public meeting location, and to gather information on identification of the mushrooms. Boromir felt relieved knowing an abundant amount of time and care is put into research on identification. Boromir is one not to have someone die on his watch. At the same time, he is still perplexed as to who Aragon is. Aragon told Boromir they met at several networking events where Elsa and Lisa attended, but Boromir doesn't remember. Only time will tell as the foraging adventure nears.

Now, if Boromir believes in the multiverse as portrayed by Rick and Morty, one of the Boromirs might end up dead in the multiverse or turn into a mushroom because he can. Luckily, this story is not about that particular multiverse.

Boromir boarded the train and walked over to where Aragon sat. Aragon already outlined the details of the day and how to get to the foraging location. In hand, Boromir carried a backpack full of the necessary tools and identification books. They were ready to take on the task of finding mushrooms. As they made their way over to a vast park with hills and grasslands, they discussed a game plan of how to best tackle the immense areas. They would not split up the party which is never a good sign. Boromir knows first hand that strength in numbers is better than a solo adventure. There is no fun in a solo adventure in a foreign place.

It's important to note the month of mushroom picking. The best time to go foraging is after the first rain. Mushrooms of many varieties will appear after the first rain. What Boromir and Aragon need to know is the rain must stop for some time to give the mushrooms time to absorb the water and grow. For them, the time is January and rain has been falling on and off for some time.

The two went off the beaten path in search of mushrooms. Sure enough, there were a bountiful amount in clusters. Most were inedible, not poisonous per se, just inedible. There's no nutritional value and the mushrooms would have been too rubbery to chew and swallow. Aragon asked how Boromir could have known aside from looking at a book. Boromir only knew from former foragers passing wisdom down to him that some people have sensitive tongues. If you are to cut a piece of mushroom, a small piece, and place it on the tip of the tongue, a tingling sensation would indicate toxicity. Then, you would spit out the piece. That isn't the clearest of methods, but it was an answer. Boromir also thought about a way for people to bring some sort of testing kit that's portable. The demand of those items might not be high enough and cost of buying one might not be appealing to the masses who have already misconceptions about mushrooms. They continued to no avail in finding these magic mushrooms and went off on tangents in their discussions ranging from dating to family and from work to personal identity. Aragon mentioned about how he wanted to be connected with his background. He wanted to go back to his homeland and learn more about his culture. In doing so, he wanted to try something radically different before leaving. There were no shrooms naturally grown in his homeland. Boromir thought to himself about self discovery. Sometimes, shrooms are used as a means to an enlightened path, a more open way to thinking. He reflects upon two instances where he too thought about shrooms. He asked two separate friends about their experiences.

Boromir's friend, Manny, has gone through an experience with shrooms and from that prior experience told Boromir how he would not have a good time. Mood and time of day changes the outcome of the event. The chance of Boromir having a good time is very low considering that Boromir is usually not in a good mood, hardly ever. Tina reiterated the same sentiments in that she laughed so hard at Boromir repeating no...just, no. Returning from his thoughts, Boromir decided he should give another effort in looking from shrooms, in deciding his own faith of whether or not he would be enlightened.

After going around in a convoluted loop, passing a waterfall, a lake, through pavement, and off the beaten path behind a garden and a baseball field, they made their way back to the underpass where they were confronted by two gentlemen. One offered to sell shrooms. Immediately, Aragon shot down that request and walked away with an increased pace.

I'm going to comment here and say that's pretty ironic. All this trouble in finding shrooms and these two guys sitting on a bench had what they were looking for all along. Then, Aragon just says no. I was not expecting that.

Boromir asked why to which Aragon replies, they might be cops or the shrooms might not be what they were selling. What are the chances to validate the source? True. Boromir didn't think of those situations considering he was usually the one who came up with the slippery slope thoughts. The opportunity was there...

Boromir didn't see Aragon after they parted ways. Boromir assumes Aragon has found his epiphany through shrooms by other means through other people and is enjoying his time learning more about his homeland.

Best Regards,
Brian Chau

P.S. Chau Time is produced and edited by Brian Chau. Logo design was done by Charis Poon. Music was produced by Jadey Gonzalez. If you liked bits and pieces of this podcast and would like to support Chau Time, please visit my Patreon page. You may follow me on Instragram @this_is_chau_time. Feel free to tweet @ChauTimesfor your thoughts and inputs. Check out the rest of my website http://chau-time.com/ for more information. You may listen to Chau Time every week wherever you get your podcasts. Don't forget to subscribe and or write a review. Thank you.