I met Craig J. Clark when the documentary I directed, I Don't Know Jack, played at the Philadelphia International Film Festival in 2002. He seemed interested in Pork Pony and began to submit stories. Craig's shared the same absurdist humor that PP was founded on, so he fit in perfectly. PP was barely a fraction of Craig's web presence; he's been creating Dada, a daily, web-based comic strip for years and it's remained consistently smart and funny. In this story, Craig mixes mushrooms, community theater, and organ-transplant humor to great effect. (CL)
Once upon a time, long, long ago, in an alternate universe where most people were actually fungoid, there lived a Shiitake Mushroom named Arthur. Then he died. He was then delivered to a four-star restaurant where he was chopped up, lightly sautéed in extra virgin olive oil and served with a variety of dishes, including a medium-well London broil, a chicken breast smothered with Monterey Jack cheese and two orders of pan-seared sea scallops in a teriyaki sauce with noodles and pea pods. He was reportedly delicious.
Which reminds me of the story of Bailey, an amateur actor and the self-proclaimed master of the shit-take. Realizing that merely expelling liquid from his mouth wasn't always enough to convey to an audience of blue-haired women how surprised he was by any given situation, Bailey took it upon himself to learn how to defecate at will. He kept his burgeoning skill under wraps, however, until one night, when he was essaying the role of Brick in a community theater production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Bailey dropped his pants during the second act and performed the first shit-take in the history of the Village Players of Ewing Township, N.J. The audience was reportedly stunned, but nevertheless burst into applause.
This did not go over too well with the actor playing Big Daddy, who stormed out of the high school auditorium in a fit of rage. He got into his car, fending off the demands of the volunteer stage manager, drove off and immediately got into a fatal traffic accident at the first intersection. Moments later, his 1987 Mercury Cougar was beset by Mushrooms of all kinds. Puffballs, Morels, Milkcaps, Brittlegills, Horns of Plenty, Black Trumpets, White Buttons, Matsutakes - they all fell upon the newly deceased actor who until recently had been playing Big Daddy - and who was still wearing his costume - and devoured him while his body was still warm. The costumier was reportedly furious.
Just then, a shot rang out. The Mushrooms all retreated, leaving some of the more succulent morsels still untouched. When the paramedics arrived, the remains of the actor who had until recently been playing Big Daddy were placed into an ambulance and driven to the nearest hospital, where they were given to all of the newborn children. One, Carl Jr., was the happy recipient of the actor's liver, but unfortunately the tot choked on it. Carl Jr. was immediately rushed to the emergency room, where surgeons worked feverishly to remove the undigested pieces of liver so they would not go to waste. Carl Jr. was then delivered to the hospital cafeteria, where he was roasted over a spit until the owner of the spit came to take it away. Carl Jr. was declared not finished and thrown away. Later he was eaten by rats, who declared him delicious.
And so, everyone lived happily ever after, especially the ones who were rich. The end.