What's thick, gooey, sticks to everything it touches, stains clothing and will make your mother yell at you if manage to bring it into the house on the bottom of your shoes, or in this case, feet?
Also - due to the recent lack of rain - it has to be made following a special two-ingredient recipe.
It's good, old-fashioned mud and once a year, as a tradition at the Webster County Fair, it's used for playing volleyball in.
-Messenger photo by Hans Madsen
Zoe Schneider, 16, of the Shutterbug 4-H Club, left, and Hannah Lentsch, 17, of the Johnson Jaguars, end up in a muddy heap Saturday morning while competing in the annual mud volleyball game at the Webster County Fair.
Hannah Lentsch, 17, of the Johnson Jaguars, ended up wearing a great amount of near-liquid Iowa topsoil.
"I got pretty muddy," she said after the game.
Playing in mud presents a few challenges. For one, she said, the ball acquires a coating of mud - which makes it heavy.
"Just watch and use as much muscle as you can," she said.
This includes serving. She said the only way to go is with an underhand technique.
Ashley Edge, 17, of the Douglas Dreamers 4-H Club, was on the same team as Lentsch. She had a slightly different theory as to what makes a good mud volleyball player.
"It's pure skill, pure talent," she said.
You also have to adjust your attitude toward getting covered with near black goo.
"This is just like a facial," she said.
That's also an ulterior motive for Lentsch: "That's the second reason we do this," she said.
Alison Nagel, of Fort Dodge, enjoyed her time in the pit, some of which, she got out with.
"There's a couple of pounds on me," she said.
Much of that was on her feet, the dry dirt along the edge stuck to the mud and created something that looked much like a five-toe dirt clod.
"I just got a pedicure yesterday," she said.
Of course, accidentally getting a bit of the mud into your mouth is difficult to avoid.
The flavor ?
"It's a little crunchy," she said.
After the games, the players made good use of a nearby garden hose to try to remove the worst of the dirt. For most, a good long hot shower with plenty of soap will be required later.
For Madison Anderson, 14, of the Washington Winners 4-H Club, getting the mud off is only going to be part of the battle - whether her mom can get her clothes clean again is another matter.
"I really don't know," she said.
For Danielle Lentsch, an alumni of the Johnson Jaguars, the mud is not going to do her image any good.
"Look at my fingernails," she said while observing a thick coat of black dirt under them. "I look like a witch."
There is one additional hint for mud volleyball success.
Daven Rees, 12, of the Washington Winners, learned that moving around is difficult.
"I got stuck a couple of times," he said.