I was minding my own business this afternoon, just taking the trash outside to the garbage can. On my jaunt back to the front door, I noticed two oddly shaped, orange “carrots” were sticking out of the mulch in front of our house. I whipped my phone out of my pocket and snapped a photo of each one giving a shudder after taking the second picture. They were disgusting.
Once inside, I flashed my phone towards Marc and asked, “Have you noticed these outside?”
“What is that?” he spat.
“I have no idea, but they’re kind of terrifying!” I replied.
Marc zoomed in on the images and shook his head.
“I can pull it out,” he offered.
“No, I can do it,” I said, wanting to take one for the team.
“You might want to wear a gardening glove,” he suggested.
I reached under the sink and grabbed one of the latex gloves from the box I keep there (for chicken prep). “Gardening glove? Not a chance! I’m using one of these disposable gloves.” He nodded knowingly. “Would you grab me a couple of plastic bags so we can throw out whatever it is in the outside garbage can?”
Marc grabbed the bags while I donned the glove. The two of us walked to the front door where I muttered, “Buy a home, he said. It’ll be fun, he said. You know… this wouldn’t be happening now if we lived in an apartment!” Marc snickered. He’s heard a similar refrain out of me any time something has gone wrong since we became homeowners a dozen years ago.
Once outside, I grabbed the first orange horn and pulled it out of the ground. “Yuck!” I declared as I tossed it into the double bag. I smoothed the mulch around so as to cover up the hole that was left. Then I made my way to the second one, but when I reached for it, the horn snapped like a piece of cheap foam pool noodle. That’s when I had to use my gloved hand to feel for the bottom of the horn to grab it out from the base. Once I got there, I trashed the carrot-like pieces in the bags Marc was holding, but discovered something just as gross beneath the surface: several brown mushrooms!
“Ugh! Yuck. There’s more down here. YUCK YUCK YUCK!” (I may have used the f-word. Who can remember?)
Marc had some kind of quip, but I was too grossed out to recall it. He tied up the bag that I filled with detritus and pitched it in the outside garbage can. I removed the glove, turning it inside out, and pitched that too. (I may have shuddered again.)
Hours later, I was deleting photos from the day from my phone. That’s when I realized I never looked up what those “carrots” was. A search of orange fungus in mulch led me to several pages on stinkhorns, which are a fungus. Apparently, besides looking gross, they smell bad! (Thankfully, I must’ve been too grossed out to breathe normally so I never got a whiff!) There’s also no solution for them so — they could be back!
All I know is that I’m here rethinking home ownership yet again!