Monday, January 16, 2006


[REUTERS NEWS WIRE/AP] Los Angeles: In a development that has stunned more or less everyone alive, including doctors, pathologists, organic chemists, tribal medicine men, and clergypersons, a Culver City man survived eating approximately a pound of one of the worlds’ most dangerous mushrooms.

Dan Wald, 23, apparently ate a “plateful” of Amanita ocreata, also known as “Death Caps” or “Destroying Angels.” Amanita ocreata is deadly poisonous, and there are no known cases besides Wald’s of a human surviving its consumption.

Dr. Armeet Sharma, a specialist in poison control medicine at Our Lady of Perpetual Befuddlement Medical Center in Los Angeles said, “Frankly, we’re all perplexed. At first we thought maybe he had a stronger than normal immune system, but his white counts are fairly normal. Then we thought that his kidney and liver were perhaps stronger than an average human’s, but there are no signs of abnormal renal activity. The only explanation I can come up with is… the kid just fuckin’ rocks.” None of Wald’s other physicians could be reached for comment.

Wald apparently purchased the Deathcaps at Trader Joes’ in Culver City. Susan Humboldt, national spokesperson for Trader Joes’ LLC, announced in a press conference on Wednesday: “There was apparently a packaging mix-up at our assembly plant in Cedar Rapids, wherein poisonous mushrooms accidentally were picked and packaged instead of Agaricus bisporous.. We are terribly, utterly, heinously sorry for the mix-up, and are astronomically grateful for Mr. Wald’s ass-kickin’-ness.”

Wald claims that he was unaware of the poisonous nature of the mushrooms when he ate them. “My mom sent me her chicken piccata recipe, and I was like, sweet. I thought the mushrooms tasted a little different, but it was cool.” Wald claims to have suffered no adverse side effects: “I had a headache the next day, but I’m pretty sure it was because we were out of Code Red.” Dr. Sharma reports that all of Wald’s vital signs are normal, and perhaps even slightly better than normal.

Notes Wald: “Some people say fresh ingredients are the key to good cooking, but I think it’s a healthy dose of danger.”

Wald is equally perplexed by the incident, but not surprised. "I've always been weird like that," he said in a Saturday interview. "One time, I touched a poison ivy plant, and instead of getting a rash, I killed the plant."

Dr. Karen Chao of UCLA’s Botany Department noted, “Anyone who ate that many Deathcaps should be dead several times over by now. Bears routinely die from consumption of Armanita, and their body weight exceeds that kid’s by a factor of ten. All I know is, he’s got an excess of sheer awesomeosity.”


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