For some, the mild WA winter drives an ice-pick of demotivation into their social lives and their sense of adventure shrivels like a man suffering from 3rd-degree dexie dick.

To others, the cool air and refreshing precipitation in the South West means one thing: it’s time to run the fungus gauntlet down to Balingup and its surrounds.

Once you have found a nice spot of pine forest your task is to identify the right mushroom (subs). There are wrong mushrooms. There are very wrong mushrooms. Correct identification of shroom is the difference between a night of laughing like a halfwit during an Adam Sandler movie and chronic organ failure. 

A slow & painful death aside, there is another foe you should be wary of – the humble farmer. Remember, it is not possible to wake up earlier than a farmer, so they’ll be out and about and won’t welcome your presence. If they don’t chase you, they’ll probably snitch on you, remember, old McDonald has a phone, so E-I, E-I GO.

Why the urgency? Well, aren’t many roads out of Balingup and unsurprisingly the police are aware of this. To make matters worse given that the average automobile in Balingup will be dripping in dream catchers and Magic Happens bumper stickers, your Perth metro-mobile parked along Jayes Road will stand out like a cold sore in a Colgate commercial.

Of course, in an ideal world, a person would be free to take a cruisy drive through beautiful WA countryside, wander whimsically through a magical forest and harvest nature’s favourite fuck-yeah-fungi. However, this is WA we live in.

This is a state that would publicly flay you alive for drinking a beer on the beach, so you had better believe that the act of harvesting psychedelic mushrooms will earn you a hot date with the magistrate. Don’t give a toss? Well, this journey is for you.

If you managed to avoid death caps, a pitchforking and a possession of psilocybe charge, then you are in the clear. Almost. It would be worth remembering that after a mouthful of shrooms you may find yourself as useful as graphite tips on the cooling rods of a RBMK Russian Reaktor. You may also find yourself erupting like mount Vu-spew-vius as you purge your body of half-chewed stems. 

On the plus side, you will slide through the room like a plate of penne al Funghi cooked al dente. The world would gleam with a colourful, melty brilliance while you revert back to your infant state and struggle with complex tasks like conversations or mobile phones. 

It’s like being in on a joke that no one else gets, it feels like a long weekend in 4 hours and it’ll help you remember how beautiful the world looked before you couldn’t ignore the stains of life’s cynicism.

Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?

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