By Donal Mahoney
I was out hunting mushrooms early one morning with my gunny sack
and flashlight as is my wont when good mushrooms sprout like little penises.
They go good with a fine steak, provided you know where to look for them and I
do because my grandfather took me out in the woods many years ago and showed me
his secret spot. Hes dead now as is my father but the mushrooms are
always there. On the way, however, I stopped under a bridge to relieve myself
and found I had company, a gnome with a bulbous nose and a severe case of
rosacea leaning up against the abutment and rolling a joint.
Howdy, he said, his little triangular hat almost
falling off his head.
Howdy, I said, affable fellow that I am.
Then he said, You look like an intelligent gentleman.
Maybe you can answer a question no other mushroom hunter has been able to
answer all the years Ive waited for them under this bridge.
Not wanting to insult the only gnome I had ever met, I told him
Id try to answer his question.
He seemed very happy to hear me say that, took a deep breath and
then said, What two people have the same DNA even though no one in the
world wants to debate this issue with me, maybe because they think Im
short on facts, no pun intended?
Well, Im no genius but I know that ones DNA is like
ones fingerprints--singular to that person. No two people share the same
fingerprints or DNA. So thats what I said to the gnome.
No two people have the same DNA. Scientists proved that a
long time ago. Science is always right."
Youre as dumb as the rest of them, the gnome
replied, taking a long drag on his joint and throwing his free hand in the air
with obvious exasperation. His little hat almost fell off.
If Im wrong, I said, "tell me what two people
have the same DNA.
He took another long drag, jumped up, did a little dance and
shouted in a high-pitched voice, Why Jesus and Mary, of course. But you
cant test them because theyre in heaven now waiting for the rest of
I thanked him for his insight, picked up my gunny sack and
headed for the mushroom patch, looking behind me all the way to make certain
the gnome wasnt following me. He wasnt. Apparently he chose to stay
under the bridge, rolling a joint and waiting for the next mushroom hunter to
take his little quiz.