The world is a scary place right now (anyone else suffering from pandemic PTSD or is it just me??). Especially if you check social media or accidently catch the news while trying to find something fresh to binge because you’ve already watched Outlander from start to finish five times because everything else is too sad, too scary, too heavy, too political or too hard to follow because you have to pay attention and not scroll on Instagram, paint your toes and read the latest from Elin Hilderbrand on your Kindle simultaneously. A quick once over the headlines reveals Roku and YouTube are fighting, Bill Gates is back on the market, Caitlyn Jenner is running for Governor, a town in Japan spent their covid relief money on a flying squid statue, and there’s a national shortage of chicken wings. My husband suggested that I “only look at the news every other week” to try and “keep things less emotional and reactive.” He knows me so well.

Today I took his advice and went outside to throw the tennis ball for Goldie. Wholesome, outdoor fun. Fresh air. Exercise for my doodle pup. No headlines. No drama.

Then this happened.

A vile alien invasion in my backyard. Here we are worried about the border crisis, meanwhile, Satan himself has brazenly burst forth in my backyard in the form of a deranged, vengeful, starfish monster – with an outrageous stench. I’m absolutely horrified.

Is this punishment for not getting vaccinated? For digging Lil Nas X’s latest single despite the controversy? For not flossing regularly? Either way, send help. Send an ordained priest. Send a yard exorcist to expel this evil spirit of the soil.

Omniscient Google

Google says this is an Aseroe rubra. Or rather, Starfish Fungi – and in typical Google fashion, we’ll die if we touch it. Kidding. It’s a member of the “Stinkhorn Group.” Strange and slimy, but harmless. Oh, and apparently edible (good news for the chicken wing shortage). I guess we’re fungi farmers now.

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