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Semi-finalist #18

Sunday, 11 December 2011  |  Posted by Brenda Drake

Name: Shell Flower

The Seventh Annual Rogue Valley Barter Faire was my seventh time in the hell of working my parents’ booth selling organic mushroom burgers as a front for my dad’s pot business and his brother’s psychedelic mushroom business. The barter fair is something most of the kids from town look forward to all year. Unfortunately, most of us slaves, oh, I mean children of hippie parents living in the Rogue Valley dread the stupid thing. Not only does it mean tons of work for little to no pay, but it also means our parents will be madly rushing around and probably loaded on all kinds of weird drugs,forcing the eldest of us kids to keep everything together.

“Yeah, I’ll have a, uh, mushroom burger,” this dreadlocked guy said with a giggle. “Are those, you know, magic mushrooms?”

I rolled my eyes as I took his five bucks and handed him the burger.

“Well, these are shiitakes, and quite nutritious. You might call their protein levels magic, but yeah…see that rainbow Volkswagen van over there? I’d go talk to that guy.”

“Yeah? He’s got the ‘shrooms?”

I just shrugged and waited on the next customer. It was bad enough to have to point those losers in the right direction. I wasn’t going any further than I had to.

“Can I help you?” I asked the next hippie in line.This one was a girl with hair down to her butt and three kids under five pawing at her indian-print skirt.

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