A plan is in the works to lure a mushroom factory to Auburn, which city officials promise would make the area the mushroom capital of America. That sounds pretty exciting and all, but to gain that distinction, Auburn is going to have to bare knuckle fight Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, which currently holds that title. Kennett Square may not look like much with their puny population of 6,000, but they’re wiry and they won’t hesitate to knee a few groins or gouge a few eyes if it means defending their title. And who could blame them? Running a mushroom empire isn’t all fungus and games, you know.

Fungus among us

Now that I think of it, what does a mushroom factory even look like? I’m getting images of the final scenes from “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” Or the world’s biggest and filthiest high school gym shower. Or a news editor budget meeting.

I’d like to buy a vowel

I’m sad to report that I seemed to have lost the C and E listings from the Rolodex that has graced my newsroom desk since 1994. If your name is Clark, Crawdaddy, Emerson or Evanescence, this is why I haven’t called you lately for one of our giddy 1 a.m. gossip sessions. Miss you.

When can I move in?

I wish all of my news assignments could be over at St. Mary’s Residences, the independent living joint in Lewiston where 130 older folks live together. Those oldsters have more energy than kids at a rave and more stories than all the world’s libraries. I tell you, sometimes old people make young people seem like old people.

Cold hands, warm heart

For years, people have been writing me about the phenomenon of finding lone sneakers, boots and dress shoes at various locations around the Twin Cities. I looked into it a bit, but when I began to uncover a conspiracy of such size and scope that I feared I’d single-handedly bring about the Biblical End of Days, I dropped it. You’re welcome. Lately, though, I’ve stumbled on a similar but potentially even more world-endy marvel: pairs of mittens and gloves laying neatly together on downtown streets with no indication at all of how they got there. I mean, I get losing a single shoe or sneaker here and there. Stuff happens, right? But I can’t bring myself to imagine the kind of thing that would scare a brother out of both gloves in the middle of a downtown street. It’s got to be something so menacing and horrific that the notion of cold fingers pales in comparison. I think we’ve all got to brace ourselves for the possibility that the mushrooms are already here.

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