Klaus Hnilica
Thursday October 25th, 2012

Mushroom Dishes

Carl and Gerlinde (XXVIII)

It was like a meteor strike!

At least with respect to how often it happened. In terms of the actual damage done, it was actually initially negligible!

But if you looked at how frequently it happened, it was really as scarce as a meteor strike – which, basically, is no surprise when you are talking a mushroom dish. After all, mushrooms are rather few and far between – and the yellow boletus even more so!

If, however, you included the slime mould ’Physarum polycevalum’ into your considerations, then fungi suddenly were no longer all that scarce; not to mention all those disgusting fungi that seemed to feel comfortable on the most intimate parts of the human body with their mycelia. Nobody could claim they were not itchy!

Still, the fact remains that the slimy protozoon ’Physarum polycevalum’ is a lot more aggravating than all other fungi, because it can practically make its slimy way on the shortest route to all the places in this world without any involvement of brains. In particular, it can go wherever you will find oats. And you really can find oats everywhere, can’t you? Not just in larders, kitchens, drawers and on tiled floors.

But, of course, you could never find them on Gerlinde’s kitchen floor!

Let alone in one of her drawers, because, naturally, this brainless ’slimy’ would never have even the ’slightest chance in the oats‘ world’ where Gerlinde’s cleanliness and orderliness reigned –  a fact that went without saying, both in her own and Carl’s opinion.

But – at least so Carl thought – why should that mean that no other fungus must ever appear more often than a meteor in their shared kitchen? Take, for instance, the much-loved-by-Carl yellow boletus Boletus edulis of the giant puffball group. He certainly would not have minded if this species had found its frying and comfortably frizzling way into the sparklingly clean kitchen a little more often over the year. That would definitely have been welcome!

On the contrary!

Well, basically, as a logical conclusion and if you do the probability calculations, it had to happen at some time, didn’t it? So it happened that one Wednesday, when Gerlinde, as she put it, just could no longer resist the almost obscenely displayed yellow boletus at Emmi’s fruit and vegetable stand on the weekly market at H., she actually bought some.

Buying them had practically become a duty since Emmi had already registered how longingly Gerlinde had looked towards the yellow boletus while being served the desired fruit choice of mango, melons, papaya and kiwi. Almost at an aside, Emmi had informed her that Carl, as he had confessed not long ago, liked the yellow boletus ever so much. So Gerlinde really had no choice but to ask the caring Emmi to weigh in a good portion of those obscene yellow boletus for her Carl who was obviously loved by all women. Well, she had better take six hundred gram, Emmi said with a roguish laugh!

Gerlinde even managed to get the wide tagliatelle from the neighboring stall and still be there as promised for a cup of the delicious cappuccino with Hannelore and Kurt at their favorite Italian restaurant before heading home to prepare the mushroom festival for Carl…

Later in the afternoon, when Carl came home from the office surprisingly early and as he just unlocked the door, his very sensitive nose – which, strangely enough, always found its way to the kitchen like a magnet needle found the North Pole – noticed that actually something as fundamental as a meteor strike must have happened: his Gerlinde, who was not known for being particularly enthusiastic about cooking, was busy preparing his favorite dish!

Tonight, he was indeed going to eat – mind you, this was no fata morgana – ’Roasted yellow boletus in cream and wine!

It really seemed almost like Gerlinde had foreseen that this was a day when he would be especially in need of some balm to make him feel better. After all, this had been another one of those days you really want to forget in a hurry. Otherwise he would probably not only have murdered this new anathema Fritz Kogler in cold blood right the next day, but ’Golden Bernie’ , who had seen to it that this ’slimy fungus Kogler’ got into the section ’outerwear’ with sales as his responsibility, along with him.

Mind you, there was nothing basically wrong with Fritz Kogler. Except that, for a man, he was just too handsome, and he knew it, too. And the young female employees were falling for his slimy charm just in the same manner as did scattered oats when confronted with the ’Physarum polycevalum’!

Incidentally, this whole affair had already been going on for three weeks. After all, it had been the wish of Dr. Bernhard Osterkorn that this slimy Fritz should definitely learn about the entire TRIGA company; and the section ’hosiery and knitted articles’ for which Carl was responsible as a salesperson, was definitely part of the whole company.

And it was truly sad that this stupid, very pregnant cow, Miriam Braun, who, after all, had already been ensnared by our ’dear Bernie’ did not notice how this Fritz Kogler kept listening in on her and spinning intrigues all around her!

For Carl, it had been quite obvious after no more than two days that this slimy Fritz was massively pushing towards the ’underwear’ of Miriam Braun. He literally thirsted for her post as soon as she would be on her maternity leave. But the allegedly so clever and worldly Miriam Braun never seemed to notice it. Instead, regardless of her pregnancy, or maybe because of it, she was totally fascinated by the disgusting Fritz.

And that was exactly what promoted ’Bernie‘s’ always brilliantly seedy game: because since Miriam Braun had disappointed him, it was clear that this beast had to be demolished piecewise until she would herself realize that she had been a huge mistake for TRIGA and was no longer needed. So sunshine boy Kogler was exactly what Dr. Osterkorn needed at this time.

But now – back in his home sweet home – Carl’s world was at least in balance for one small moment. His beloved Gerlinde had prepared his favorite meal for him!
It all smelled absolutely heavenly …

Gerlinde, too, exuded some aroma when she came towards him with her happily reddened face; the light and sweet Riesling she had used for the sauce had apparently already had some effect on her…

She was truly excited when, after her deliciously wet welcoming kiss, she told Carl in randomly capricious fashion how it all had happened with these strange mushrooms today. How they had attracted her attention in a truly obscene manner and she had therefore had no choice but to buy them; how she was now truly looking forward to all this mushroomy paradise which, basically, she had not dared to prepare in ages. As this went on, Carl saw himself being more and more compelled to suffer the ever-present multitude of odors wafting through the air. Snuffling with relish, he pushed Gerlinde ever further back into her own, holy kitchen area, directing his own insatiable nose not only towards the frying pan where the first installment of golden-brown delicacies was already comfortably frizzling, but also towards her fleshy, naked arms and her neck until finally reaching her slightly lighter, flimsily soft hairline in acrobatic sniffing manner, while a fidgety Gerlinde, getting less and less focused, tried to turn the brown mushroom slides with her kitchen utensils….

Making use of her last reserves of housewifely instinct, Gerlinde also tried to direct Carl, who wound himself around her in python style, towards the already waiting mortar with the fresh caraway – before, with a shrill outcry and several more noise, this makeshift defense, too, broke down and the more and more stony mushroom glory got mercilessly charred in the frying pan…

The accompanying wads of smoke shortly afterwards not only caused the smoke-detector to activate the siren; they also remained lingering through the entire building for several days, reminding them in a ghostly manner of the events of the day.

KH
(Translated by EG)

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