EETOM - Roy L. Cover
Most people are unaware of the true nature of mushrooms. They usually see live ones only when they’re nestled in little plastic covered trays in the supermarket looking docile and content. Or they’ve seen them sliced, diced, or chopped in gravy over a steak, or in a myriad of other culinary delights. Of course, you can’t see the canned mushrooms, but when you open that can, you still expect that serene look about them. Whether they’re whole or in pieces.
That serenity look is no accident. We professional shroomers go to great lengths to breed that into our herds. Naturally, that means we must first eliminate that wild streak. That takes time and lots of patience.
Some unscrupulous shroomers, however, take shortcuts to achieve that end. Instead of patiently doing selective breeding, they turn to inhumane methods to subdue their mushrooms into temporary serenity. They place short term profits above all else. These are not honest professionals. They are merely cruel opportunists with their sights set only on the bottom line.
I will not go into detail about their methods. Suffice it to say they are shocking. At times, literally.
Some of the local shroomers and I tried to get an animal rights group to step in and end the horror. But PETA spokesfolks washed their hands of the whole affair. They claimed mushrooms were not classified as animals–even though many dedicated vegans have taken an oath not to eat mushroom gravy on their steaks.
That prompted we conscious-minded shroomers to band together and form an organization to promote consumer awareness on the mistreatment of innocent mushrooms. As with any organization worth its salt, the first order of the day is to come up with an acronym that people will associate with your goals. We thought of calling ourselves People for the Ethical Treatment of Shrooms (PETS). But that looked too much like PETA, and we weren’t on very good terms with them after they refused to help us. They can get pretty nasty with those who don’t agree with them.
After kicking around a number of ideas, we finally settled on EETOM, which stands for Everybody for the Ethical Treatment Of Mushrooms.
Our first action was to confront the major supermarket chains. We loudly voiced our displeasure over their practice of buying mushrooms from people who brutalized and tortured them. We demanded more compassion from the supermarket managers who bought the lower priced mushrooms from those heartless dealers. We implored them to stock only humanely produced mushrooms in their produce departments. And, of course, the ones stuffed into cans and placed on shelves in their canned goods section.
Unfortunately, our protests were unable to penetrate the ears of profit hungry CEOs. We then turned to a more drastic measure that we all regret now. We brought out the placards and picketed all the major supermarkets in town. With our small membership, and the large number of stores, we could picket each one for only about ten minutes at a time in order to cover all of them in one day. Even so, we were too successful.
In our desperation to help the mushrooms, we caused a temporary market shortage of them. Like with a shortage of any consumer good, people immediately began to stock up. Even people who didn’t like mushrooms, or had never even tasted one, frantically bought every mushroom in sight. Fresh, canned, or in gravy.
This shortage was immediately pounced upon by the very scoundrels we were trying to put out of business. They used every unimaginable and foul method in their dark minds to produce more and more mushrooms at an even faster pace.
We at EETOM were horrified and ashamed over the increased mistreatment we had set in motion. There was nothing left for us to do but admit defeat in our noble efforts. We called for a peace summit between ourselves and our hated enemies. It looked like the mushrooms last chance.
The one thing in our favor at the summit was that EETOM was organized, unlike the ragtag barbarians who advocated brutality for the sake of profits. Little good it did us, though. The swine would agree to nothing. We were forced to walk away from the summit with nothing other than our honor and good name. That, and our tails tucked between our legs.
So, now it’s up to you honorable consumers to stop the torture of defenseless mushrooms everywhere. You can do your part by buying only those mushrooms raised and loved by members in good standing of EETOM.
When in a restaurant that serves mushrooms, politely–but firmly–demand assurance that all the mushrooms used were purchased only from EETOM approved suppliers.
And before buying fresh mushrooms at a farmer’s market or your favorite supermarket, always look for “EETOM Approved” gently stamped on every mushroom’s tender little bottom.
I thank you, and tasty mushrooms everywhere thank you.
Roy Cover writes mainly for pleasure and masochistic tendencies. Humor has become his passion after retiring from a rowdy lifestyle, earning a B.S. degree, and kicking back in a small town within sight of Dallas. Last year he somewhat grudgingly agreed to become the head writer for the planned TV sitcom, Western Style. Look for more traditional and offbeat humor from him in the future. firstname.lastname@example.org