Fun with fatal hallucinogenics
We like to think that our condo maintains a certain standard. There was much tutting a couple of years ago when an owner shacked up with a young lady who, had she come from Aberdeen, would have worked as a fish gutter. One day, when her displeasure was invoked, she retaliated by swearing loudly and throwing objects out of his condo where they came to rest in the swimming pool. It was like a debris scene from the Titanic, but with more packet noodles. As tempers rose, a samurai sword was drawn and the police were called. Quiet words were had by members of the committee and the lady concerned left the condo, never to be seen again.
And so I shudder to think what my fellow committtee members would have made of my behaviour last night as I stood on my back balcony clad only in T-shirt and underpants (slightly holed), yelling “I am an artist!”; with one hand holding a drugged but still startled cat, and the other wiping my mouth; cleaning up following an inadvertent projectile vomiting episode which had been shared with a family of passing Russian tourists beneath. Shouting “a present from my country” seemed to have done nothing to lighten their mood.
As is always the case, it wasn’t my fault. If I had to blame anyone, and I usually like to spread the blame as wide as possible, I will blame Craig from the windsurfing club.
Yesterday was she who must be obeyed’s day off and we planned to go SUP paddling in the afternoon. On the way to the club we stopped for lunch and noticed Craig loitering in a nearby cake shop. Arriving at the club, it was therefore of no surprise to find no Craig, in fact no anybody; which made it rather hard for us to rent an SUP for SWMBO. So, no SUP, but on the grass at the club there was a grand collection of mushrooms.
My wife is an expert at eating and can tell you immediately if something can be eaten (almost everything apparently). She told me, with real sadness in her voice, that we could not eat these mushrooms. Or rather, we could eat these mushrooms if we wanted to experience the twin joys of liver and kidney failure accompanied by the life changing experience of an agonising death.
I am less of an expert at eating; but I do know what I fancy photographing, and I fancied photographing these morsels of doom. So we scooped some up and placed them in a plastic bag to bring home. I placed them behind the seats in the truck. She who must be obeyed was having none of that and tied them up at the back of the truck, as far from us as possible; “otherwise they will give off sperm (I think she meant ‘spores’) and the smell will make us feel ill.” Yeah, right.
Back home and I rigged up a bright light, sat a mushroom on it, and clicked away. The heat of the light made the mushroom give off a bit of a smell, but never mind.
Half an hour later I had a headache and was feeling decidedly unwell, as was my wife. The cats were snoring as usual, but could not be roused with the usual poke. Oh dear.
So I put all the mushrooms back in the bag, sealed it with tape, and threw it away. Then we both took a shower and changed our clothes; but it was too late. My limbs showed little interest in doing what my befuddled brain thought they should be doing. My left arm in particular was on strike. I felt clear headed, but also felt the need to say ridiculous things and giggle stupidly afterwards (this morning my wife said she never noticed that symptom because I am always saying stupid things and giggling). I thought I should do something to help wake up the cats so, in spite of a rising nausea, I plucked one from its somnolent state and waved it around in the clear air on the balcony whilst considering how many more photos of the mushroom I could have taken if it had not decided to try and kill me. It was around this time that I vomited on the tourists.
Later in the evening the world steadied, and while my wife gawped at the final episode of The Apprentice (months after it aired) and watched a shortlist of wankers being narrowed down to a single wanker by one of the world’s biggest wankers, I pushed one of the shots through Topaz Effects, clicked presets at random and came up with the image I posted yesterday. I was very pleased with it and was tempted to go and repeat my “I am an artist” performance on the balcony; but the cats were hiding and I was clean out of vomit.
Slept fitfully but normal service has been restored this morning. There is a sticky outstanding clinging to the balcony rail, but will let the maid deal with that; I will tell her the sword wielding fishwife is back and up to her old tricks.
Below is the original shot, before I subjected it to Topaz, and some other attempts. I have a rough recollection that I used a camera and a couple of lenses; but other than that I have little recall of how I took them. My next project is to photograph a pit viper. After the shoot, I am reliably informed we can eat it.
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