The Manners of a Mushroom

Mushrooms are considerate,
I've never heard one cuss.
I've never heard one raise its voice,
Or make unpleasant fuss.
They'll never interrupt you
when you're trying to make a point.
They won't mock your opinions,
Or get noses out of joint.
Mushrooms are polite
When they're invited to a meal.
They don't protest or grumble
If the food is not ideal.
They make no slurps nor belches,
Nor take more than their share,
No texting during dinner,
Or crumbs left on their chair.
A mushroom never gossips.
A mushroom bever brags.
It's always prim and proper,
And its posture never sags.
It won't push people's buttons,
Or discuss political views.
It never tracks in mud
because its wearing dirty shoes.
A mushroom won't cause messes,
Or leave stinkers in the restroom.
If only everyone
could have the manners of a mushroom.
Mushrooms are inconsiderate.
They don't show appreciation.
They never answer questions
Or share their information.
I've never heard one apologize,
Or try to work things out,
They'll give the silent treatment,
Which is rude beyond a doubt.
Those mushrooms have no manners
When they're at the dinner table.
If you say, "please pass the butter"
They will act like they're unable.
A mushroom never shows respect
By taking off its hat.
A mushroom won't come visit you
And have a friendly chat.
I feel like they are judging me,
So smug beneath their hood.
I wish they'd give encouragement
When I do something good.
Mushrooms are poor citizens,
They don't go out and vote,
They never pay their taxes.
Oh, I hope you're taking notes!
A mushroom leaves the empty roll of T.P.
In the restroom.
Yes, we all could do much better
Than the manners of a mushroom.

-B.C. Byron
It’s what mushrooms DON’T do that shows their manners. I’ve never seen them bow or shake a fist like this.

This week you get 2 poems with the same title. I first wrote a poem about polite mushrooms and shared it with my 13 year-old. She got the humor of it and immediately had the awesome idea to write the same poem again, but making the opposite argument that mushrooms are impolite. She helped a great deal with writing the second half of this poem. I think it’s a good way to demonstrate a logical fallacy (fancy words for an argument that sounds like it makes sense, but really doesn’t). I’ve seen mushroom-poem arguments in political debates. If you think about it, there’s nothing incorrect in my poems above, but any statement that can be flipped to the opposite and is still true isn’t adding any value to the conversation. It’s good to argue a point from both sides in your head before speaking out. You may catch yourself in a mushroom-poem trap, and even might realize that your opponent actually has a good point worth considering.

This poem also made me realize that sometimes it’s what we DON’T do that shows our moral character more than what we DO do (not to be confused with doo-doo). Are we willing to intervene when someone else is being mistreated, or will we pretend we didn’t see it? It’s not always an easy decision to make and we shouldn’t judge others for they’re failure to act, but we should think carefully about when is the right time to get involved. There are times to be a mushroom and times to take action.

Published by B.C. Byron

I’m a children’s author, poet, father of 3 girls, and electrical engineer. My first book, A Cat Named Lump, is available on Amazon,, and Google Books. I post new poems and illustrations every week.

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