I was never much for dolls growing up. The only doll I remember having was when I was maybe 3. It was an ethnically ambiguous Afro-Inuit doll with dreadlocks named Mukluk. My maternal instinct was…how do I put this delicately: underdeveloped. Mukluk’s disappearance still remains a mystery to me. There were no other dolls after her aside from a short-lived and unexplained Barbie fetish in my tween years. Maybe there were some paper dolls at some point. I had this bucket of small wooden blocks that I’d build houses and stuff with, and sometimes I’d draw a person onto a block with magic marker. Does that count?
Husband would say that my lack of dolls explains a lot about my nurturing side. Husband would do well to fuck off. But it’s become clear I could use a female alliance around the house, even if it is mostly symbolic. I’m hideously outnumbered by males and my remaining cat, a female, hates me because, in her minuscule cat brain, I’m the one who came between her and Husband in their very one-sided, cross-species love affair. Don’t ask. But I’m not kidding.
This is where the logs come in. I know. Finally. The best way to grow shiitakes is in logs. My preferred doll medium seems to be log-derived. Why not cross-purpose my shiitake logs and relive my lost youth? Ren and Stimpy know how much fun logs can be.
First I had to find some logs. Not dead, rotting logs you find in the woods, as I had planned, because they’re already inhabited by competing fungi. No, you need recently cut logs. Except I didn’t want to cut down any trees. So, I asked myself, what would Barbie do? Barbie was useless. She was too busy admiring her boobs in the mirror, as usual, so I asked Ken. Ken suggested trolling the neighborhood for wood in his convertible. Ken always got a bad rap. He’s actually very smart for plastic.
Sure enough, there was a big pile of logs on the curb down the street. Turns out everyone cuts down trees in the spring. Yay, deforestation! But, boy, those logs are heavier than they look. I cradled them lovingly in my arms one by one and deposited them in the trunk. And that’s where they stayed for about two weeks to let the wood’s anti-fungal compounds wear off and to protect them from rogue spores. (Or because I forgot about them.) Then I got my drill and punched holes two inches deep about four inches apart, staggered all around the four logs.
This took much longer than expected because, apparently, I have Black & Decker’s Strawberry Shortcake Purple Pie Man edition of a cordless drill, which has no power even when I recharge the spare battery pack and swap it out and put my full weight on top of it, and then have to wait around for an hour while the other one recharges, and repeat six times. (Stupid piece of shit.) (But it smells like strawberries!!)
Anyway, with the 100 or so holes drilled, I banged in the plug spawn with a hammer.
See? My doll has implants, too. Then I brushed the holes with melted beeswax to protect them from insects (messy and a pain to clean up, but at least I made use of all those beeswax sheets I meant to turn into candles for wedding favors but then never did). With the logs inoculated, you water them once in a while and store them in the shade. After enough time has passed (about a year, I hear) and the right conditions present themselves (whatever those might be), fungus will start to emerge in ruffles all around the log like an ill-conceived, earth-tone flamenco dress. If you’re lucky, you can strip down the logs and dress them up again for a good seven years! My logs are going to be sooooooo pretty. I can’t wait to have a tea party!
So, if you see me talking to my logs, that’s why.